Game 7. Avs-Blackhawks. The Streak Ends, but Questions Remain.

Posted: October 21, 2011 in Avs vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Game Thoughts

Well, this is just what I was worried about. Sure the Avs just won five in a row on the road, and while that is impressive, the combined current record of those teams is 10-19-3. To be honest, the Avs really have not beaten a good team yet. And the team is a long way away from competing with the top of the Western Conference.

Lets start with positive. Once again the O’reilly, Winnik, Landeskog line looked good. The chemistry they have with their passes is unreal. They creatively can get the puck from stick to stick, and that is good.

Once again, Varlamov kept the Avs in the game. Mostly with saves like THIS. And while yes it is good that he had another solid game, stopping 27 of 29, the team simply cannot leave it all on his shoulders. Varly made at least 3 or 4 great saves to keep the game close. This is a troubling situation that is brewing, and most people don’t realize it. It is the opposite of last year, we expect the goalies to only allow a goal or two to keep the Avs in the game because the Avs are not scoring.

The Avs one goal tonight was a fluke. It was not even a shot on goal, that just happened to bounce off of O’Byrne. I understand that Corey Crawford had a very good game, but one goal in two home games is unacceptable. The Avs seemed to have few chances against the Keith-Seabrook pairing, which just shows that this team need to find some offense. What the team is lacking is that go to guy who can put the puck in the net. Hejduk? Maybe 5 years ago, but not anymore. Duchene? No consistency. Stastny? More of a passer than shooter. When you think of the top teams in the league, the Washingtons, Pittsburghs, Detroits, Vancouvers, Chicagos, San Joses, of the NHL, they all have that guy who can, and will, get it done. The Avs don’t have that right now.

Erik Johnson was a -3 for the game, which probably knocks his confidence down a little after a very solid road trip. The second goal for the Blackhawks was weak. Varly saw it, and should have stopped it, but the defense was terrible.

Now the Avs head to Chicago for the second half of the home and home. I can only hope they win. A loss would ruin the five game winning streak. The Avs would be a pedestrian 5-3 if they lose on Saturday, which would be awful considering what they did on the road early in the season. I don’t know how they are going to win either? They don’t seem to have the offense, and if they can’t get it done at home, it is only going to be tougher playing in the United Center, in front of 22,000 Blackhawks fans. 6-2 just sounds so much better. But all I can do right now is wait……and hope for a win on Saturday.

The puck drops between the Avs and Blackhawks on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Mountain Time.

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