Blue Jackets Beat Avalanche

Paul Stastny scored his 21st goal of the season. Photo: Bridget Samuels/Flickr.

Yesterday, I wrote a brief summary of the game’s events. I’m now prepared to be a bit more thorough.

 

The game got off to a quick start, as Cody McLeod and Derek Dorsett dropped the gloves two minutes in. It wasn’t the best fight (Dorsett seemed more concerned with removing McLeod’s jersey than with punching), but it did serve to ignite both teams. Just a minute and a half later, Shane O’Brien and RJ Umberger attempted to mix things up. Instead of fighting majors, they each received a two minute minor for roughing. It only took another few minutes for Columbus to score. Cam Atkinson snuck a wrist shot between Semyon Varlamov’s skate blade and the post. Colorado would respond several minutes later, as David Jones backhand shot went past Steve Mason. Unfortunately, Columbus would retaliate towards the end of the period, as Rick Nash scored his 28th of the season.

It was an eventful start to the second period, as two minutes in Darryl Boyce earned a double minor for highsticking Erik Johnson’s face. Eight seconds later, Paul Stastny would capitalize on the first power play of the game. A few minutes later, Stastny took a penalty himself. Ryan O’Byrne would take a penalty 30 seconds later, giving the Blue Jackets a five on three opportunity. Colorado killed off most of the time with a two man disadvantage, but Columbus scored with four seconds remaining. Rick Nash had his second goal of the game, which was also the second power play goal of the game. Soon after, Cam Atkinson would score his second goal of the game.

Colorado had a deep hole to dig themselves out of going into the third period. They were down by two goals, with their playoff hopes on the line. They pressed for 16 minutes, before pulling Semyon Varlamov. Alas, the only goal to be scored during the third went in the empty net, completing Cam Atkinson’s hat trick. Overall, I think the Avalanche played hard, but it was not enough. Varlamov just did not seem sharp in tonight’s game, and there were not nearly enough second and third chances on Steve Mason. For the second year in a row (the first time since the team moved to Colorado) the Avalanche will not be in the playoffs.

 

Other Thoughts:

-David Jones scored his 20th goal, marking the second consecutive season he has 20+.

-Derek Dorsett is infuriating. I won’t repeat what I wrote yesterday, because it’s a bit tiresome to repeat oneself, but you can check out yesterday’s post for more information.

-Colorado was very poor in the faceoff circle. Three out of four centermen were under 50%. Surprisingly, Columbus has been a top ten team in between the dots this season, but the Avalanche are in the top five. They needed to do better.

-As I said, Semyon Varlamov did not look confident in net. He didn’t seem to have the same level of flexibility he has had in previous games, and seemed unable to extend his leg as far as he typically can.

-Yesterday, I said Tyson Barrie earned his first NHL point. After further review, the assist was taken away from him, and given to Gabriel Landeskog.

-There is a bit of a rumor going around that Ryan Wilson is injured. If so, that would explain his absence from the lineup. I really think the Avs could have used him last night.

 

Upcoming: I will be talking more about what I think the Avalanche need to do in order to be more successful next season, and what sort of signings they should be making in my opinion.

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