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Different kind of ugly? Kuemper, Wild blank Avs again

Minnesota Wild v Colorado Avalanche

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 11: Goaltender Darcy Kuemper #35 of the Minnesota Wild keeps an eye on the puck as teammates Marco Scandella #6 and Jared Spurgeon #46 defend against Alex Tanguay #40 of the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on October 11, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Here’s the good news for the Colorado Avalanche: they didn’t get blown out tonight. Their penalty kill did an outstanding job. Semyon Varlamov didn’t get bombarded like he did on Thursday night. An empty-net goal inflates the difference of tonight’s contest, too.

The list of bad news is still a little disturbing, however. The Minnesota Wild won 3-0 on Saturday, giving Darcy Kuemper a two-game shutout streak (the best run of his brief career), all against the Avalanche. Minnesota outscored Colorado 8-0 in this opening duo of games.

(Aside: Zach Parise fired an absolutely absurd 19 shots on goal through two games. That almost seems like a typo.)

There’s also the ugly news, as the Avalanche exhibited some serious moments of frustration. As this post shows, both Erik Johnson and Gabriel Landeskog did some things that might draw some attention from the league. Here’s the video of Johnson’s hit on Erik Haula, who appears to be OK.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo points out a moment in which officials might have defused some late-game ugliness:

Interesting stuff. Granted, there’s no guarantee that anything nasty would have surfaced from that, but it could provide some precedent if the league wants to limit nonsense at the end of testy and/or lopsided contests.

While it seems like score effects probably played a role in Colorado looking better, at least tonight’s loss doesn’t look as horrifying in fancy graph form via

Tonight’s game


Wednesday’s debacle


It’s probably foolish to say that all is well in Colorado, especially if some kind of reprimand comes from the Avalanche’s less desirable moments. Call it faint praise, but they still looked a lot better in their second game than they did in that disastrous first.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins