Game 27. Avs-Red Wings. Avs PK, O’Reilly, lead Colorado to Victory

Posted: December 4, 2011 in Avs vs. Detroit Red Wings, Game Thoughts

If you go back and look, three games ago I said there was no way the Avs would win the next three, and finish the home stand with a winning record. Well, sometimes I love when I’m wrong. The Avs played another great game tonight, and beat a very good Red Wings team, for their third straight victory.

When I woke up this morning, if I had asked for a perfect day in the sports world, I could not have asked for much more than what actually happened. The only thing that comes to mind is getting OK State into the BCS title game, but other than that it was perfect.

How about Tiger Woods? He is the man. Huge birdie on 17, and classic Tiger on 18, making a tricky putt for the win. Gotta love it.

Next is the Avs though. I just did not see them winning this game. It’s one thing to beat the Devils and Blues when both are playing well, but the Red Wings too? Maybe the Avs can get on a roll again and stay on top of the mountain this time unlike early in the season.

The first period didn’t help with my optimism either. The Wings dominated, but I thought they might get out of the period unscathed. But go figure, Franzen scores on the powerplay. It was a really nice play by Datsyuk to get the pass all the way through, but I have to put the blame on Hejda. He was caught flat footed and even should have stopped the pass but missed it. I think he should be the seventh defenseman to sit once everyone is healthy.

But the Avs came out flying in the second period. 26 seconds in and Mr. Clutch O’Reilly ties the game up. Sure it was a terrible play by Detroit defenseman Ian White behind the net, but Landeskog took the puck cleanly and made a nice pass to O’Reilly. It was nice to see Landeskog get on the score sheet because he has been in a bit of a funk lately. Also, on a side note, just today did I get why O’Reilly has the nickname “Factor”. It’s after the TV show “The O’Reilly Factor.” Clever. Am I way behind on the nickname train, or is this news to anyone else?

But anyways, less than two minutes later, Paul Stastny finally scores a goal, and the Avs are up 2-1. Stastny did something on the play that you don’t see often, which was beat Nick Lidstrom. A perfectly timed lift of Lidstrom’s stick lead to the easy goal for Stastny. About time! But he is still a long way from getting out of my doghouse. Hopefully his injury is not too serious, and he will be on the ice against Vancouver.

But in the third, Detroit scored early enough for me to think they would get another one, and the Avs would leave without a point. And Detroit was certainly applying the pressure at even strength, and then Ryan Wilson took a cross checking penalty and Detroit had a powerplay, I didn’t think the Avs would survive another PK.

But near the end of the penalty, Detroit still had not scored but were racing up the ice, when TJ Galiardi poke checked the puck up to Landeskog in the neutral zone, who crossed the blue line, gave the puck back to Galiardi, and PING, off the inner post and into the net. Not only did it send fans flying out of their seats at Pepsi Center, but also got me off the bed and yelling in my room. Very unselfish play by Landeskog to give up a shot, for the pass.

O’Reilly added an empty netter, after Varlamov, who continues to excel in net, kept the Avs ahead with some nice saves, and the Avs win 4-2. That turns the home stand into a small success for me, rather than a disappointment.

A few other things I noticed from the game:

1. Stefan Elliott is terrible on defense. It would honestly be better to duct tape a stick to a rock in the Avs zone right now.

2. The Avs PK was awesome. To kill 4/5 penalties against a Detroit team that has a lot of offensive weapons, and is very dangerous on the powerplay is pretty impressive. I have to give some credit to Lefevere, because earlier in the day I was thinking about if Sacco is fired, I sure hope Lefevere goes with him, because our powerplay and penalty kill have been awful. Don’t let our league ranking fool you, our powerplay is not good.

3. Despite being about as good at Hockey in November as Ryan Leaf is at quarterbacking, the Avs are currently only 2 points out of a playoff spot. San Jose (Currently the 8th seed) has played four less games than the Avs, but Colorado is starting to get back into the thick of things.

The Avs next game is Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver. The game starts at 8 p.m. Mountain Time.

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