On the third day of Christmas the Avalanche gave to me…
Three hits from Malone,
Two shootout goals,
And a pain in my head and tummy.
Thursday night the Colorado Avalanche traveled to San Jose to take on the Sharks two days after the Avs beat them in a shootout at the Pepsi Center. I’ll be honest, I was a little worried about this game. I was anticipating a huge game from the (also huge) Sharks, who would surely have a lot to prove after losing to the “lowly” Avalanche. I was pleasantly surprised to see the Avs skating hard and consistently outworking the Sharks. It still wasn’t enough to win, sadly, and after three unanswered goals the Sharks came away with the W.
Yes, I know I could/should have used the “three unanswered goals” as today’s Christmas gift, but ending two consecutive lines with the same word sounded a little tacky. What can I say, I’m a slave to the music.
Brad Malone is one of the Lake Erie Monsters currently playing up with the Avs to fill in for injured players. In his third career NHL game he involved himself in the action by laying three hits on the Sharks. The Avs desperately needed players to step up and play a physical game, refusing to be pushed around by a much larger team. It was great to see this kid make his presence known in a game that mattered.
Three Avalanche players (besides Malone) caught my eye. Paul Stastny really brought the offense against the Sharks, scoring two of the Avs’ four goals. Another Avalanche standout was Daniel Winnik, who had a Gordie Howe hat trick (a goal, assist, and a fight) not only in one game but in one period. Ryan O’Reilly had another very solid game as well.
The last “three” that stood out to me was the third period, in which the San Jose Sharks scored three unanswered goals. I know I quoted this statistic in the first paragraph, but the symmetry of all three being scored in period three deserved another mention.
Stupid unanswered goals stemming from mental errors against a very good team.
The Avs are on their way back to Denver to prepare for the Washington Capitals, who come to town on Saturday night. The Capitals have obviously faced some challenges this season, which means the game is definitely winnable by the Avs. If you have ANY money left over after buying gifts and giving to charity and paying bills (please pay your bills first, people…Christmas by candlelight is only fun when it’s a choice rather than foisted upon you by the electric company), I suggest you buy a ticket and go watch the game in person.
Unless, of course, you’re a Caps fan. You should all get together and watch from some agreed upon sports bar far from the Pepsi Center.
Stay tuned for the fourth through twelfth days of Christmas…who knows what my brain will come up with. It’s always an adventure.
Special note: there was a reader request for “three brand new coaches.” As much as I support the idea of something shaking up the Avs and management demonstrating that the status quo is not acceptable, I wanted to stick to using actual “gifts” rather than wishes. Regardless, it made me smile so I wanted to include it and give credit where credit is due. So thanks, @BlueLineYeti, for the suggestion! You should all follow him and his awesome hockeyness.