Oh god. The Avs were 49 seconds away from a point at least. Suddenly, the Hawks were swarming the net, and Daniel Carcillo put the puck between Shane O’Brien and Semyon Varlamov’s legs. That’s right, Carcillo prevented the Avs from getting a point. The Avs remain stuck at 20 points. They have another crack at THE STREAK on Friday. As disappointing as this loss was, it’s hard to be mad at the Avs. They played an awesome game. There were a few mistakes, but there are always going to be mistakes. I think everyone worked really hard, and that makes it even harder to criticize the team.
In the first period, the Avs had a ton of opportunities. Unfortunately, the Hawks struck first on a powerplay. Cody McLeod took an ill-advised penalty (albeit, one that you expect him to take). The killers failed to get the puck out of the zone three different times, and eventually Andrew Shaw tipped the puck past Varlamov. Late in the period, John Mitchell got a little bit of redemption when he scored with a couple of nifty moves close to the net. In the second period, the Avs took the lead on a nice Matt Duchene shot that banked in off of Emery. Early in the third period, the Avs powerplay allowed a shorthanded Jonathan Toews goal. (I didn’t like how O’Reilly played it, and the referees missed a blatant slash from Bolland that left Jamie McGinn stickless and helpless when Toews was at the net.) The Avs continued to have some good chances, but it was Carcillo who scored the next, final goal.
I was really pleased with the Avs tonight, and I’m hoping that they bring a similar effort at home. If they do so, I think they have to get a break, and finally earn a win with their third stellar game of the season.
-Ryan O’Reilly got too much icetime for my liking. He’s adjusting, and playing better, but he’s still making more mistakes then we’re used to seeing from Factor.
-Jamie McGinn was really close to getting a goal several times in this game, if he had been able to break through, the Avs would have won.
-Greg Zanon played well in his return to the lineup…until the final minute.
-David Jones needs to be moved to the third line. He’s playing like he’s asleep out there, and I would rather have Palushaj or Mitchell on Stastny’s line. Jones is a good player, and he’ll work his way back up to the top two lines. For now though, his excessive icetime is hurting the team.
-Matt Hunwick had a pretty poor game. I’m guessing that he sits whenever EJ or Wilson is back, especially if EJ can return Friday.