Different kind of ugly? Kuemper, Wild blank Avs again
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.
Many Wild players and Yeo gave props to the referee awareness to boot Avs' 4th line off ice with 3 secs left. "It is what it is."— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) October 12, 2014
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 Hockeystats.ca:
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.