Game 18. Avs-Penguins. Avs Defy Physics, Fall Faster than Gravity

Posted: November 15, 2011 in Avs vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, Game Thoughts

I can honestly say I have not been this upset with the Avs in a long time, and maybe even ever. The game had all the makings of a great game. Highlight reel goals, big saves, glass breaking, and the Avs had a 3-1 lead, and were looking great. I wish I could have been in the locker room after the game to see how Hejduk is responding to tonight’s game and his captaincy.

Before I get to the game, I will say that I am happy for Hejduk. I think he can be a very good captain, but I do wonder if he is vocal enough in the locker room to be effective.

Boy, did the Avs look good in the first period. Jay McClement had a goal, which was not pretty, but a very good start against a good Pittsburgh team. Then Matt Duchene has an unreal goal. Maybe better than his one in Dallas. Watch it below. It really is unreal how smooth it is. Pittsburgh scored a good goal later in the first, and how do the Avs respond? David Jones makes a great play and scores just over a minute later, and with only 15 seconds left in the period. I was thinking that this Hejduk captain move was the best move the team could have made. Well, sure was wrong…..for now.

There is no reason for the Avs to give up 5 unanswered goals. None. I don’t care if Pittsburgh is a great team, decent teams just don’t let that happen. Let me throw some truth at you: Semyon Varlamov has been awful this year. I know he had a good road trip to start the year, but his stats are Brian Elliott/Peter Budaj worthy. 3.08 GAA and .897 save percentage. And I’m pretty sure that is not including tonight’s game. I honestly feel bad for him. Watching him, you can just tell that he has no confidence out there. This is another reason why the Avs should have a full time goalie coach.

Honestly, I think a bigger factor in his poor play than people think, is the KHL plane crash. Varlamov grew up in the Lokomotiv organization, and he lost many, many friends and teammates that day. It has only been just over 2 months. Imagine if you went off to college after high school, and you had many friends and classmates than went to a different college. Imagine a lot of them dying in some unexpected way. Would you get over it in 3 months? No, is the quick answer.

But here is something you may not know about the situation. Varlamov was almost on that plane. If the Avs had not traded for him, he was going back to the KHL to play on that team. Put all those factors together, along with the high stress job he has, and I can’t help but think he is going through a very rough time in his life, and that it has to be affecting him. I don’t really know the situation, but I think the best thing for him, and the team is to give Giguere 4 or 5 starts in a row.

Back to the game though. First off, could the VS. team have been more in favor for the Pens? They did say nice things about some Avs players, but my goodness for a while there I thought I was in Pittsburgh. It was one of the more unprofessional broadcasting games I have ever seen.

That, along with the fact that the powerplays were essentially 7-1 in favor of the Pens put it over top. Technically, it was 7-2, but the second Pens penalty was called with 10 seconds left in the game. I’m not saying that the Avs were not deserving of the penalties, because for the most part they were, and that the Pens were doing a good job drawing penalties, but when the number is 7-1 it definitely makes me question the refs, and not just with the Avs, but any game.


Talk about disappointing. The Avs are now officially under .500 and throwing out the outlier that was the 5 game road trip, that Avs are 3-9-1. That is awful. If the Avs don’t win Thursday against Minnesota, or Friday against Dallas, I think Sacco will be fired. The Avs can’t wait much longer with so much riding on this season, by not having a first round pick. Certainly if the don’t win those two games, and then lose Monday to San Jose, Sacco will be gone. That move must be made.

The Avs next game is Thursday against the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul. It starts at 6 p.m. Mountain time.

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Comments
  1. Advenstor says:

    loved your take on the varlamov situation; insightful; hard to know how someone will respond to a situation such as the plane crash; Sacco must go and he must go quickly;

  2. ppajak says:

    I wish that Sacco would be fired 5 minutes from now, but clearly that is probably not going to happen. Realistically, if the Avs lose their next two games, I think, and hope, the Avs will finally make a change.

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