The question to Conor Timmins: How did it go out there in your first pro game of any kind? Before the kid who just turned 19 Monday could answer, veteran Erik Johnson, sitting in the next stall over, said “He was the best D out there.”

On a night when the Colorado Avalanche lost a 4-1 preseason opener against the (this is still weird to say) Vegas Golden Knights at the Pepsi Center, a strong showing from their second-round pick of 2017 was one nice positive to take from the night.

Although the stats might not look it, as Timmins finished a minus-2 with one shot on goal, he had many good moments. He wheeled behind the net with the puck effectively, evading forecheckers, generally got the puck out of the zone with a good first pass for the most part and almost scored a goal at the end of the game with some fancy deke work.

Here’s the best stat for how the Avs’ coaching staff felt about Timmins in this one: 21:10.

That’s the ice time he received, second only on the team to Johnson’s 23:02. The fact that Timmins didn’t start the game paired with Johnson (Duncan Siemens was) and that he was on the ice when the Avs were pressing for a goal late, were signs of the confidence he engendered.

“I think I felt a lot better as the game went on,” Timmins said. “I got used to the pace and felt pretty good. For me, I’m just trying to work on my all-around game. The defensive work will be a big part of it and getting more physical.”

Asked about Johnson’s compliment, Timmins said, “That obviously means a ton. He’s a great mentor and obviously he’s had a great career so far, and I just want to learn as much as possible.”

Timmins was taken 32nd overall by the Avs in June. That was a drop from where many scouts had him projected.

“I didn’t put too much thought into that, but at the same time, it motivated me,” he said. “It made me want to work harder. I thought I should have been a first-round pick, and now I’m just out here trying to prove that.”

NOTEBOOK

  • For the first time since the preseason started, the Avs will take a day off, on Wednesday. More cuts are expected to be announced.
  • Although rookie forward Alex Kerfoot did get his name on the score sheet with a second-period assist on Nathan MacKinnon’s power-play goal, he was still shaking his head after the game from missing a wide-open net on a power-play shot in the third that would have cut it to a 3-2 deficit.
    “It was a great pass by MacKinnon, but I just missed it. I made a couple mistakes tonight, but it was good to get my first game,” he said.
  • It was a rough first period for goalie Spencer Martin, who allowed three goals within the game’s first eight minutes. One of the markers came on a 5-on-3 disadvantage, though, and Vegas added another on a 5-on-4. While Martin did settle down to play better after that, he was victimized from the short side on a 2-on-1 Vegas break near the end and finished with 24 saves on 28 shots.

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Adrian Dater

Adrian Dater is a staff writer with BSNDenver. He started his journalism career way, way back in 1988 as a proofreader with the Concord Monitor as a kid out of college (Keene State College), and has wended its way since with a 25-year stop at The Denver Post, 20 of which were spent as the beat writer of the Colorado Avalanche, from its inception in 1995. Adrian has also worked as a primary hockey writer with Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, The Hockey News, Versus.com and Bleacher Report. He is the author of seven sports books, including the best-selling "Blood Feud: Colorado Avalanche v. Detroit Red Wings, The Inside Story of Pro Sports' Nastiest and Best Rivalry of Its Era" and "100 Things Avalanche Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die", which was published in October, 2016.

  • Pixelrebirth

    All the penalties.. that was crazy.. Not clear on the faceoff penalties? Im going to have to go look that one up, definitely cracking down on the hand chopping too….

    I am a huge fan of kerfoot, that guy is one of the best passers I have see in an Avs jersey in a VERY long time…. wow… I sure hope he makes the team cause I love watching him. He will be able to finish that shot once his NHL nerves settle— I am confident in that.

    I am definitely anxious to see the NHL squad— I noticed Rants had the A today… found that interesting.. man he just rang that puck off the corner post….so close.

    Crappy 1st, decent 2nd and a much better 3rd…. I feel like it was Martin’s to lose really…

    Wish I could watch the next game—-

    • Pixelrebirth

      Ah, they are trying to curb people using faceoff infractions as a way to rest players and to clean up the faceoffs from cheating…. stricter stance on an old rule… I actually really like the rule, just hope the Avs can keep it clean.