Avalanche good to be aggressive in shot choice, regardless of Tampa Bay’s excessive quantity of blocked makes an attempt
The shock of blowing a two-goal lead overcome and its recreation re-discovered, the Avalanche have been urgent Tampa Bay with lower than 9 minutes remaining in regulation Wednesday night time.
Looking to interrupt a 3-all tie, the Avs’ prime line buzzed within the Lightning zone. They managed possession. They delivered a number of precision passes. They gained two races to the puck.
But the Avs have been launched to enjoying the Lightning within the Stanley Cup Final, when good alternatives by no means attain goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Defenseman Cale Makar skated from the purpose into the suitable circle: Shot blocked by middle Anthony Cirelli.
Defenseman Devon Toews collected the rebound and handed to middle Nathan MacKinnon: Shot blocked by defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
And Makar retrieved the free puck and fed to winger Valeri Nichushkin within the slot: Shot saved by Vasilevskiy.
In all, Tampa Bay, its gamers equal components good to acknowledge the capturing lanes and fearless in sacrificing their our bodies, blocked 25 shot makes an attempt within the Avs’ 4-3 extra time win.
So what does Avs coach Jared Bednar wish to see in Saturday night time’s Game 2? The very same factor he noticed in Game 1.
“We’re going to encourage our guys to keep shooting the puck,” Bednar mentioned Thursday morning.
Shots might be deflected into higher alternatives. Shots can ricochet off site visitors and into the purpose. Shots can equal lengthy shifts, which end in drained defenders who commit penalties. The Avs can’t anticipate the Lightning to spring a constant defensive leak like Edmonton so grinding out zone time and firing photographs from long- and short-range ought to proceed to be the order.
A have a look at the Avs’ offense in Game 1:
*The Avalanche’s on-shot proportion of 48.1 (38 out of 79) was its lowest within the playoffs and solely the second recreation of sub-50% (49.5% in Game 2 towards Nashville — 51 of 103).
Against Edmonton, the Avs had shots-on-goal charges of 60.3, 65.7, 76.8 and 65.6.
*Tampa Bay’s 25 blocked photographs was the third-most by an Avs opponent this postseason, behind Nashville’s 34 (Game 2) and St. Louis’ 27 (Game 1).
By comparability, the Oilers blocked 46 mixed photographs in 4 video games towards the Avs.
*The Avalanche’s 79 shot makes an attempt was their fifth-most of the playoffs and greater than any of the 4 wins over Edmonton.
The Avs averaged 67 shot makes an attempt within the Oilers collection.
We can solely guess what the Avs’ inner conversations have been like pre-Final, however an informed guess is that no shot was a nasty shot.
First interval: The Avs had 15 photographs, together with on-goal makes an attempt from 33, 50, 35, 29, 34, 62, 43, 42, 42 toes.
Second interval: The Avs had 10 photographs, together with on-goal makes an attempt from 49, 60, 29, 38, 70, 34 and 61 toes.
Third interval: The Avs had 12 photographs, together with makes an attempt from 28, 36, 51, 61, 74, 43, 45 and 32 toes.
The Avs are a terrific East-to-West passing workforce and Bednar mentioned gamers doing the work earlier than they get the puck is a “key.”
“Guys away from the puck (should be) looking to where their defenders are and trying to get into the lanes before they get the puck and moving into those spaces in the ice where you might be able to get a shot through right off the pass away,” he mentioned. “(You) can’t cling onto it too lengthy as a result of it simply looks like their shot-blocking will get higher.
“The game-winning goal is an example of that.”
Yes, Exhibit A was Andre Burakovsky’s game-winner.
Center J.T. Compher intercepted Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev’s haphazard clear into the impartial zone. Defenseman Victor Hedman used his proper shin pad to dam Compher’s shot. But right here was the trailer Bednar talked about — the puck caromed to Nichushkin, whose go was one-timed previous Vasilevskiy by Burakovsky.
“We had a couple of other ones off the rush where we shot it, they blocked it and our trailers came up and picked it up,” Bednar mentioned.
That emphasis will proceed, the target to maintain capturing whereas figuring out the Lightning will stay accountable defensively. And be prepared for the carom.
“Understanding we want to shoot a lot and there will be some that get blocked,” Bednar mentioned. “We have to have a secondary plan if (the initial shot) does get blocked.”