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November 10, 2009

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Avs Beat Themselves Against Oil, 5-3

November 9, 2009

So, how does this Avs team lose games to below average hockey teams?  Answer: By beating themselves.  On a night where they couldn’t kill an Edmonton penalty to save their life, the Avs took 7 penalties, including 3 in the 3rd and two “too many men” penalties.  Pile on top of that some puck luck for Edmonton and good goaltending and you lose by 2.  

  • I actually think this is a good sign.  Obviously, you don’t want to make this many mistakes, but good in the sense that this team was able to stay in the game even with the avalanche (pun intended) of mistakes.
  • I couldn’t believe how hard this team continued to skate after the 5th Edmonton goal.  Much credit to Sacco – this team works hard.  
  • However, one thing Sacco has to figure out is how to get this team to show up for the first 10 minutes.  
  • This was the 2nd game where PK cost us – the other one being at Minnesota.  In both games, the Avs were clearly the better team 5 on 5, but the PK was bad enough that we only ended up with 1 point total in the two games.
  • We missed Hejduk tonight.  
  • 1:49 ice time for Koci tonight — I just don’t understand why he dresses.  Other guys (Stewart, McLeod) can answer the bell, if needed.  
  • Hensick actually wasn’t horrible tonight.  (Don’t worry – he still doesn’t have a future on this team).
  • Instead, Dupris was.  Sorry, Philppe, you’re a little out of place in the NHL . 
  • Great to hear the Galiardi is skating.  He is the difference between having 3 effective lines or having 4 effective lines.   
  • The nickname for Khabibulin in the Payton houshold is “Robert”.  This is because the first time my wife heard an announcer say Khabibulin, she heard “Bobby Bulin”.  

Avs Frustrate Blackhawks, 4-3

November 7, 2009

The Avs found yet another way to win a hockey game against a good team. 
  • What can you say about Ryan O’Reilly?  During the game, I was taunting my wife (who is a Wild fan) for not drafting him with the 16th pick.  Minnesota needs all the help they can get right now.  
  • The Avs need to stop spotting teams 2 goal leads.  Not showing up for the first 10 minutes can’t continue to work. (can’t it?)
  • Colorado was the better team in the 3rd (well, until the last 2 minutes) – a shame they couldn’t get that 4th goal to win outright – but at least they didn’t give up a heartbreaking goal.
  • Whether or not you get games like this to OT – where you guarantee yourself a point and give yourself a chance for two – that’s probably the biggest difference between whether or not “bubble” teams will ultimately go to the playoffs.  
  • Why even dress Koci if he plays only 2:28?  
  • Anyone else read Footer’s lips mouth “fucking pussy” near the end of regulation – most likely talking about Kopecky to teammates?
  • Byfuglien was simply awful on Jones’ goal.  Yes, he’s a forward, but he is a former defenseman – I would expect more from him if I was a Hawks fan.  

Avs Back on Track Against Yotes, 4-1

November 5, 2009

Great to see the boys bounce back with a really good effort (even though no one was there, apparently!

  • Thank goodness Quincey came back after that Doan hit.  I agree with McNab and Haynes – the NHL should protect these players if for no other reason than economics.  The NFL has figured this out, and (over) protects its QBs.  Just like no one wants to see Patrick Ramsey take on Jim Sorgi, no one wants to see the Blackhawks (sans Toews) play the Caps, without Ovie.  
  • Budaj kicked 3 or 4 rebounds right back out front – he was very lucky one of those didn’t find there way to the back of the net.
  • Avs have to find a way to be better on the PP.  It was disappointing to see a few PPs where we struggled to even get into the zone, even after we scored on our first chance.  
  • McLeod’s return seemed to be a big lift.  He was a big part of the most effective line for the Avs all night.  
  • What’s great about Joe Sacco is all you have to do is look at the ice time if you want to know who played well and who didn’t.  Hensick?  3:43.
  • With 3 assists in last night‘s game, Stastny now leads the team with 16 points.  

Avs Shutout by Raycroft – 3-0

November 2, 2009

This game was incredibly frustrating to watch.  
What happened to the hard working team we saw in the first 13 games?
I don’t want to hear about posts we hit or long road trips or lucky bounces or injuries – the bottom line is that we were shutout by Andrew Raycroft.  And that’s simply unacceptable.  
One goal in two games – that’s also unacceptable.  
No shots on goal during a 5-3.  So is that.  

Hopefully, this kind of a game is what this young group needs to refocus.  

PS – Just an absolutely awful shift by the 4th line (Koci, Willsie and Dupris) on the 2nd goal.  Worst shift of the season.  

San Jose Out-Everythings Colorado, 3-1

October 31, 2009

This was the first time all season I felt the Avs were noticeably outworked for the entire game.  Game 1 – the Avs made San Jose look old and slow – this game, the Avs were slow ones to the puck.

  • The brightest spot of the night was Duchene’s goal.  It takes some real talent beat two defensemen and goaltender all by yourself – especially when you have no other teammates with you in the zone. 
  • The only way the Avs will have a collapse to the degree that puts them out of the playoffs is if Anderson is hurt to the point that he is out for months.  The Avs were badly outshot (25 – 46) and outskated by one of the NHL’s best teams and still had a chance to steal points with 10min left in the 3rd.
  • Sacco, can we sit Clark for Wilson, please?
  • Hensick has no future with this team.  Hopefully, Sherman will trade him soon.
  • With all of the injuries, anyone else surprised that we haven’t seen Haydar or Stoa called up yet?
  • Budaj vs Raycroft on Sunday night?  Wow – I really thought at least one of them would be out of the NHL at the end of last season…  

Avs Out Hustle Oil – 3-0

October 28, 2009

Nice, solid win for the Avs.  They played like they were the better team and they knew it.  This is a very confident group right now.

  • Its amazing how effective Wolski and Stewart can be when they are working hard.  Kudos to Sacco for keeping these two accountable to get the right results.  
  • Would have loved to see the Avs get another goal when they were given a 4-3.  McNab correctly pointed out that the Avs weren’t “desperate” enough.
  • Durno had a strong game –  “poor man’s Cody McLeod” comes to mind.  
  • Does Weiman start in Calgary tonight? 
  • Andy seems to be rolling around on the ice multiple times, every single game now.  If there is one guy we REALLY can’t afford to lose, it’s him.
  • I’m sure Edmonton would have moved Dustin Penner ages ago if he didn’t have such an awful contract.  
  • Duchene had a great chance in the 1st where we was able to walk in and take a clear shot – Khabibulin was able to make a relivity easy save.  I know Khabibulin is a very good goaltender, but I expect Duchene to score in that situation.  

Andy Flirting with Greatness

October 25, 2009

Stopping 48 of 49 shots, Craig Anderson was clearly the difference last night’s game against the lowly, 23rd place Detroit Red Wings.  What was so impressive about this performance is that it shows Andy has something that nearly every truly great goalie has – something that it is especially key in the playoffs.  Something that Patrick Roy absolutely had.  

The ability to immediately re-focus after a bad performance and play at an extremely high and confident level.

Andy had easily his worst game against Carolina on Friday night.  This may have been a little understandable, he wasn’t supposed to play – Budaj was, but Budaj had the flu and Andy had to go.  The Avs didn’t play great defense in front of Andy and it was just one of those games where the puck just seemed to be finding the back of the net, but Andy essentially said after the game that his team bailed him out and that there were at least two goals that he wanted back.  

There are many reasons that Andy could have played an average game against Detroit.  He was tired, playing in the 2nd straight night of a back to back, playing in his 11th straight start.  Or maybe he lost some confidence in that Carolina game – we’ve certainly seen Budaj and Theo ebb and flow between greatness and horribleness for weeks at a time.  

But he didn’t.  (Suck it, Detroit.)  

Just to clarify, I’m not saying Andy is an elite goaltender (yet) — no one is elite until they prove greatness in the NHL Playoffs, but its ok to get a little excited, Avs fans.  

Other Notes:

  • Paul Stastny’s empty net goal was the first empty net goal for the Avs in more than a year.  (March 8, 2008 vs. Dallas.)
  • Ryan O’Reilly is now tied with Hejduk and Stastny for the team lead in points (10).  The last team that had a chance to draft O’Reilly before the Avs?  That would be Detroit.  
  • The Avs go right back on the road for 4 games against Edmonton, Calgary, San Jose and Vancouver.  

3rd Jersey News:

  • According to Icethetics.info – the Avs will debut their new 3rd jersey in “mid November”.  The site points to Sat Nov 14th against Vancouver as a possible debut game.  

Avs PK Fails, Lose to Wild in Shootout, 3-2

October 22, 2009

This one was particularly disappointing for me because I’ve watched the 6 of the 7 previous Wild games (as my wife is a big Wild fan), and outside of a great 10 mins against Anaheim in game 2, they have looked horrible.  Granted, all of the horrible hockey has been a lengthy road trip that sort of snowballed on Minnesota – but right or wrong, I expected the Avs to get up on this team early and shut down the Wild – kinda like the game in Toronto.  

  • All that being said, Colorado got a point out of a road game that could have gone either way – remember: every point is big.  
  • I’m convinced that Andy is now our only penalty killer.  Otherwise, we had 4 pylons out there all night long.
  • It’d be one thing to take some penalties and put a good PP on the ice because the Wild were pressuring us, but too many mental errors — 2 too many men penalties and then the one that really killed us – the Wolski delay of game.  
  • If you were watching the Altitude broadcast, you saw something extremely rate in the 3rd period when McNab made critical (but justified) comments about a specific Avs player (Wolski) as it happened.  
  • I was really hoping Wolski could make up that penalty a little bit by scoring in the shootout.
  • 2nd Period wasn’t quite as good as McNab and Haynes were saying – the Wild (Havlet (x2), Zanon and Shultz) had a bunch of golden chances and just missed the net.
  • When Liles comes back, Clark better sit.  
  • I hope I’m wrong, but prepare for McLeod to be out for a long time.  Eye injuries are nasty – at this point, I just hope its not career threatening.  

A Quick Comparison…

October 20, 2009
  • 2008 – 09: 15 games played, 12 points
  • 2009 – 10: 8 games played, 13 points