Nov 6, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Nashville Predators center Paul Gaustad (28) is congratulated for his second period goal against the Colorado Avalanche the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

What We Learned: Avalanche – Predators


It was bound to happen, but no one thought it would come against the Nashville Predators.

The Avalanche were sloppy, got shaky goaltending, and just looked like a different team as they were downed for just the second time this season. The Predators were smart, aggressive, and capitalized on chances the Avalanche gave them.

Obviously, no one is panicking. The Avalanche are still 12-2-0 on the season and there’s plenty to be happy about. So Let’s get on with it and find out what we learned from Wednesday night’s 6-4 loss to the Predators.

That’ll Happen

As I said above: that was going to happen. The NHL season is too long for teams to be consistently lights out. Mistakes are going to happen, some games are going to be a bit sloppy, and losses certainly are apart of things. As long as this doesn’t become commonplace, the Avalanche can just write this one off.

 

The forwards were their usual selves, but the defense looked really shaky. They struggled with the breakout pass, turning the puck over more than a few times which led directly to chances and goals. They couldn’t clear the puck effectively, surrendered too many chances, and couldn’t keep it clean in front of Varlamov.

Now, with Ryan Wilson potentially out due to a back injury, the group will have to respond. Tyson Barrie is more than likely the guy to be called up to fill in, but he hasn’t exactly been at his best this year. The defense will need to respond on Friday night against Calgary with a strong game if they want to get things rolling again.

Distracted Varly?

The same caveat applies to the goaltenders, but with all that’s happened of late with Varly, you can’t help but wonder if his head is into this as much as you’d like. He was downright bad on Wednesday night, giving up shaky goals in the first period.

He looked a little better as the game wore on, but this is the second straight start in which Varly has looked less than the superhuman man we’ve come to expect between the pipes. Hopefully, this is just one of the expected bad starts most goalies have and not something we should continue to be worried about.

Giguere will get the start Friday night against Calgary, so we won’t get to find out what’s going on with Varly until Sunday at the earliest. Let’s hope we see the sterling Varly we all know and love.

Full on Man Crush

I know I say this seemingly every game, but have you seen Matt Duchene this season? I mean, good glaben. Talk about a guy finally putting it all together. Duchene picked up another three-point effort last night (G, 2 A) to vault himself into the top ten in league scoring (granted, he’s tied for 10th with about 12 other guys, but still). It’s just a matter of how high he goes at this point.

He had a gorgeous helper on the first goal of the game netted by P.A.Parenteau, toe-dragging around Shea Weber before providing a wide-open net for Parenteau to hit. Then he did this, for which I have no words:

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I don’t even really know what to say about him at this point anymore. The guy is clearly finding his stride, playing with more confidence than we’ve ever seen and unleashing that incredible skill set on the league.

Enjoy him, folks. Because you just don’t see players like Duchene very often.

Next up: 11/8 vs Calgary 

Ryan is the editor of Mile High Sticking as well as co-owner of The Farm Club. Follow him on Twitter to talk Avs, Sabres, hockey in general, or to let him know what a yutz he is.

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Tags: 2013-14 Season Colorado Avalanche Featured Matt Duchene Nashville Predators NHL Popular Semyon Varlamov