I’m still on a total high from today’s game. Yes, the Avs are out realistically out of the playoffs. It doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a few good games before the season.
Semyon Varlamov made sure the Avs got the win in today’s game. The young goaltender made 34 saves, many of them spectacular, or during the penalty kill, or both. While the team played well in front of him, this game was a complete goaltender’s battle.
The Avs lost this game 4-1, but this was one of those rare occasions where the score does not reflect the game. The Colorado Avalanche were in control of this game, for the majority of the game. If it wasn’t for the heroics of Canuck’s goaltender Corey Schneider, the Avs would probably have scored four goals in this game. Unfortunately, they came up against one of the hottest goaltenders in the league right now.
The Canucks scored first (of course), and the only reason they held onto that lead was because of the heroics of their goaltender. Finally in the third, Matt Duchene broke through the Schneider wall. Sadly, a few minutes later, the Canucks scored when Varlamov was screened and there was the slightest miscue in the defensive zone. The final two goals came in the final 100 seconds, when the Avs were unable to defend an empty net during their six on five advantage. Vancouver is now 18-0-2 in their last 20 against the Avs. In the past three years, the Avs have outplayed the Canucks during at least half of their games (and failed miserably in the other half), and yet, somehow, the Canucks continue to come out on top. Canadian voodoo at its finest I guess.
There’s not really much to say about the Avs tonight. They need to win, for themselves and for the fans more than for the playoffs at this point. At the same time, as a fan, it was relieving to see a game in which the team actually played well. That’s what happens when your team is losing like crazy and almost certain to miss the playoffs AGAIN-you start to be able to differentiate between the feelings after a loss wherein the team played awful hockey, and a loss where the team plays good hockey.
The Vancouver Canucks are now 17-0-2 against the Colorado Avalancehe since November 2009. I wasn’t really expecting an Avs win, because of the dominance Vancouver has had over the Avs in the past few years.
Today is P.A. Parenteau’s 30th birthday. The right winger was picked up by the Avs over the summer, to the tune of a four year, $16 million deal. P.A. has been exactly what everyone hoped for when signed. In 30 games, he has 29 points (13g/16a). While the offense has struggled some nights, P.A. has brought a ton of points to the table. If this was a normal season, Parenteau would be on pace for 79 points (a career high) and 35 goals (15 more goals than his previous career high). Since joining the team, Parenteau has played in his 200th game, earned his 50th goal, and his 100th assist in the NHL. He and Duchene have had instant chemistry, and out of all the concerns Avs fans are voicing, 2/3 of the Duchene line for the next three seasons isn’t among them.
Here’s hoping the Avs can get a win for his birthday tonight!
The Avs blew it, again. In the first ten minutes of the game, they allowed two different goals. The team started to wake up after the second goal, with three minutes left in the period, P.A. Parenteau shot the puck past Kari Lehtonen. Unfortunately, the referee felt there was an incidental contact between Lehtonen and Avs forward David Jones, a call which is not “reviewable” under the current rules. If replay was allowed on such a situation, I’m 100% positive that the goal would have counted. I thought it was a ridiculous call on the ice, but obviously I was watching from a different vantage point. Had that goal been allowed, things might have gone differently. Instead of being motivated, or angry, the team came out flat once more in the second period. Dallas scored another two goals, and Coach Joe Sacco pulled Varlamov. The Avs began to play better after goal number four, and in the final minute, on a powerplay, P.A. Parenteu scored off a pretty passing play. Paul Stastny started the third period off the right way, with a goal in the second minute. Unfortunately, a few minutes later, Jaromir Jagr slipped a puck past Giguere. From then on, I thought the Av had a few good chances, but they were playing too scrambled, too frantically to put together three goals in the short amount of time left.
Tomorrow the Canucks will be in town, and the Avs will finish off this back to back segment of the season. The trade deadline is in 12 days, and I don’t really know what is going to happen if the team loses again tomorrow. They practically have to win every game for the rest of this season to have a shot to make the playoffs at this point.
-Paul Stastny had two points in tonight’s game. Of course, Adrian Dater will probably blame the loss on him.
-Gabriel Landeskog was a late scratch with a torso injury. Hopefully he’s not out too long.
-Neither Jamie McGinn nor David Jones made much of an impact in their return after being scratches.
The Avs will be in Dallas tomorrow night, looking to add another win to their record. This is a sort of bizarre home and home series, because while the Avs had both yesterday and today off, the Stars played last night in Los Angeles. We all know that the Avs playoff chances are slim, and for now, I think we as fans just have to focus on one game at a time (like the team), because we’ll deprive ourselves of having any fun the rest of the season if we try and look at the big picture.
The lineup isn’t completely set for tomorrow night’s game, although Sacco said that Semyon Varlamov will be starting, and Milan Hejduk will sit out (iapparently in preparation for the following night in Vancouver). David Jones, as a right winger, would fill Hejduk’s spot better, but Jamie McGinn has played a lot better than Jones this whole season (his play has only dropped off since the win over San Jose, whereas Jones has been absolutely brutal all season), so it will be interesting to see which winger Sacco slides into the lineup. I’d personally like to see Shane O’Brien in the lineup over Greg Zanon, but it doesn’t seem likely that that will happen.
The Avs are going to need a strong effort (especially considering Dallas will be flying, as they are only one point behind 8th place San Jose). Varls will have to be strong, and it’d be nice to see the team score the first goal for once. At this point though, the Avs can’t be too picky about how they pick up wins. They just need to get the job done and earn two points.
10 days ago, the Avs ended a historic streak. Many people, myself included, thought that would be the push they needed. Two nights later, they conquered the Sharks. Now though, they’ve lost four straight games. With each game, the shining light of playoff possibility continues to dim. I can’t give up on this team, not yet, but I’m already preparing myself for the season ending in April.
Once again, the Avs allowed two goals in the first six minutes of a game. Do we need to hire a crappy high school marching band to play outside the lockerroom before the game starts to ensure the team is awake? Surprisingly, the Avs best chances came in the first period, after those first five minutes. At the end of the night though, your chances don’t mean anything. Gabriel Landeskog cut the lead in half in the final minute with a beautiful shorthanded goal. The second period was very similar to the first (although I still think Varlamov had zero chance on Kane’s goal, considering Jonathan Toews whacked him in the head while taking him out a second before hand). The Hawks scored twice, and Milan Hejduk scored in the last minute and a half to cut the lead (although his goal came on the tailend of a powerplay). In the third, the Hawks continued to dominate, but Semyon Varlamov put on a clinic. It took the Avs 15 minutes to get a shot on goal, and Toews capped the night off with a goal. The Avs were absolutely outplayed tonight. I think they were trying, but it was just a bad night. There were a few individual accolades I’ll mention below, but there’s not much to say (I’ll rip them after the season when, I’m no longer sobbing in the fetal position). I feel horrible for Varlamov, who’s statistics continue to tank, because everyone in front of him has been AWFUL.
I can sit here and harp on the team all I want, but if you’re an Avs fan reading this, you know how bad things are right now. Unfortunately, what I say doesn’t affect the team. I can tell them to get it together, that it’s go time, time to buck up, but they aren’t going to read this. Something needs to come from within that lockerroom, and it needs to come fast.
-First shorthanded goal of the season for the team, and Landeskog now has three goals in three games. (Two passes came from Duchene, so to people saying he only heated up when O’Reilly came back, GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHTS. Yes, I’m yelling over this. It’s ridiculous, I know.)
-Hejduk is now tied for 104th in the NHL when it comes to goal scoring. Thousands of players have played and scored goals in the NHL, and Hejduk’s that high up on the list. Pretty cool.
-Another really good game from Aaron Palushaj. He was the only player who brought energy every shift.
-Jamie McGinn…I love the dude, but he’s been invisible the last few games. Gotta get going, Ginner.
-Greg Zanon…god can we call Barrie back up, with Wilson injured, and scratch Zanon. Multiple poor defensive decisions. Zanon, I’m sure you’re a lovely person, and I hate criticizing an Av as much as I criticize you, but gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
-Okay, resume your keening, fans.
Oh gosh, really? Do I really have to preview the Avs game tomorrow? The Blackhawks are coming into town. Last time these two teams played, the Avs ended “The Streak”. Since that time, they’ve gone 1-3. I really hope the boys can come out with a full effort, but I’m not feeling too optimistic, considering the way the last three games have gone. Yesterday, the Hawks beat the Stars 8-1, and I’m fearing a similar fate tomorrow night.
The Avs haven’t said anything more about Ryan Wilson, and while I’m hopeful that they only held him out of the last game because his ankle was hurting and they wanted to rest it for a couple days, I’m preparing for the worst. And this is really the worst, because I LOVE RYAN WILSON. I mean I love all of our other guys (and I sort of tolerate Zanon), but Wilson has a special place in my heart.
Milan Hejduk missed yesterday’s game too, and I don’t think Sacco would have really made him a healthy scratch, so I fear his injury is flaring up again. Then again, Sacco has been acting even more strangely than normal, so maybe he did make Hejduk a healthy scratch.
So, let’s just list all of the buzz words and phrases that need to describe how the Avs come out tomorrow…
-This is a MUST WIN situation!
- I mean maybe if you don’t win it’ll be okay
- but probably not
-Full, 60 minute effort!
- not 59 minutes
- not 58 minutes
- if it goes into OT we’re expecting 65
-Best players need to be the best players!
- but feel free to step up even if you’re on the fourth line
- especially because one of the best d-men, Ryan Wilson, appears to have re-injured his ankle
-Defensive errors need to be minimized!
- keep an eye on your man
- get the puck out of the zone quickly
- oh and maybe protect Varls a little bit
-Varls needs a shutout worthy performance!
- I mean you can let in one goal Varls
- but we’re looking for one of those 50 save efforts
- I’m sorry man, but the team just needs this
- I know it’s not fair
- but I will buy you icecream and take your little doggies on walks for the rest of the season if you can do this
-Score the first goal, it’s hard to play catch-up hockey in this league!
- but if you don’t score the first goal, score the second!
- but if the second goal is still the other team, it’s okay, you can do it!
- if the other team scores three goals in a row YOU CANNOT GIVE UP
- even though all of the fans will be crying and smearing chocolate all over their faces as they try to aim for their mouths
-No stupid penalties!
- especially you, O’Byrne and Zanon
- No one else needs to take their place as typical dumb penalty takers either
- stop gripping sticks
- have fun
- but really you need to win
- so remember that when you’re at the end of a 45 second shift and feeling too tired to backcheck
- do you want to be the guy who makes that crucial mistake?
- so basically, relax but
- don’t make any freaking mistakes
- but really
- there is no panic button
- it does not exist
-Woohoo we can do this!
- I mean we can
- but will we
- JUST DO IT
I think that about sums things up. Cheers, everybody!
Yesterday I said that the Avs would score either 3 or 6 goals, and Minnesota would score 4. I was right about the score being 4-6, however I was wrong about which team had which number. Minnesota decided to go for the 6 goals. It’s just embarrassing at this point.
Jean-Sebastian Giguere started the game, and he did not “calm things down”. I know that the Avs allowed a lot of shots, but all four of the goals Giguere allowed were awful. For some reason, Joe Sacco refuses to pull a goalie until the intermission. He only called his timeout after the Wild scored their third goal. The timeout worked temporarily, when John Mitchell scored his 9th of the season, but then Giguere allowed the fourth.
In the second period, the Avs scored two quick goals with Semyon Varlamov in net. Minnesota called their timeout, and soon after scored against Varlamov. Those would be the only three goals in the period. In the third, Minnesota scored their sixth goal of the game on a semi-breakaway. Chuck Kobasew would get a goal with less than two minutes remaining in the period, but they were unable to put another couple in the net with the goalie pulled.
I had an uneasy feeling as the team was set to start this home and home series, that if the Avs didn’t earn at least three points, their chances were gone for the playoffs. At this point, they’d need to go 16-5, or 15-3-2, or 14-1-4 to get to 56 points, which would probably get them into the playoffs. I expect them to try for at least one of those records, but at this point, as a fan, I think things look pretty bleak.
-Joe Sacco ABSOLUTELY should have pulled Giguere after the second goal in six minutes. This isn’t some “oh we’re five games in the season, let’s let him redeem himself” situation, or a “we’re sitting comfortably in the playoff picture, let him have a chance to redeem himself” situation. This is a “we need to win this f*&^ing game, and you only get playing time if you’re helping” situation. When he didn’t pull Giguere, it sent a message to me that said “we’re still okay if we lose this game”.
-Giguere was awful, and Varly was just okay. It’s just not fair to them though, how many shots they’ve faced.
-Ryan Wilson missed this game with an ankle injury…sounds like he reinjured himself.
-Milan Hejduk also missed this game, but there was no word on a possible injury.
-Matt Duchene and P.A. Parenteau are third and fourth in the Western Conference in points (Duchene at 30 points is just behind Patrick Kane/Ryan Getzlaf with 31.)
-Aaron Palushaj had a really good game-keep him in the lineup. I want Olver in too, he’s a sparkplug too.
-Mitchell, Parenteau, Landeskog, and Kobasew had the Avs goals.