Game 31. Avs-Sharks. Avs Drown Sharks in the Shootout

Posted: December 14, 2011 in Avs vs. San Jose Sharks, Game Thoughts

What a game! Sorry this is going up so late, but I went to the game last night and this is the first chance I’ve had to write about it. It was a great game. I thought the Avs showed heart and energy, and that was something I had not seen from them in a couple games.
How about Landeskog coming up big in the shootout. It really makes me wonder what I’m doing with my life when a 19 year old, who is younger than me is scoring shootout winning goals in the NHL, and all that I’m doing is writing about it.

The Avs can’t be stopped in the shootout. They are amazing, and it is a lot of fun to watch when you know your team is probably going to win.

As for the game, it started off fairly boring I thought, but Stefan Elliott goes coast to coast and scored a beauty with 17 seconds left in the first. What I love about this goal was when it was. The Avs are usually the ones letting in the goals right at the end of the period, and it was nice to see the Avs finally get one.

The momentum didn’t last in the second period. It was by far the Avs worst period I thought. The Sharks scored early in the period to tie it up. It was a powerplay goal, so I don’t really think you can blame anyone. At the game, I could see the play developing, and I was just hoping that Dan Boyle would shoot the puck instead of making a pass for a deflection, but he made the right play, and they scored.

The Sharks scored later in the period, and I couldn’t help but think here we go again. Varlamov got a big piece of the puck, but just not enough. But once again, I thought is was a nice play by Boyle rather than a bad play by any of the Avs.

But Daniel Winnik came up with a huge goal early in the third. With how the Avs have been playing, you have to think that if they don’t get a goal in the first half of the third period, they don’t have the confidence to get one in the second half.

It was a four on four goal, and the Avs had some very close changes during the four on four, so it was nice to finally see one go in, because they had barely missed so many times, and I thought they might get discouraged if they didn’t score during the matching penalties.

Next, Matt Duchene picked a corner, and sniped the puck past Niemi. It could not have been a better shot, and Duchene knew it from how he reacted with his celebration. If he could be that consistent with his shot, he could be a 50 goal scorer.

After Duchene’s goal, I’m honestly not sure the Avs touched the puck over the next 8 minutes. San Jose dominated play. And they finally got one past Varlamov with only 22 seconds left. The bottom line is the Avs cannot let that happen. The Sharks had the puck in the Avs zone for what seemed like hours. I would have been a lot more upset about the goal if I was not at the game however. I was not rooting for the Sharks to score, but getting to watch more hockey, and potentially see a shootout is always exciting.

The Avs had some very good opportunities in the overtime. They dominated the 5 minutes, and there were a couple of times where I thought they were going to win it before the shootout. But once overtime started, I was rooting for a shootout. Partly because the Avs are great in shootouts, and partly because they are fun to watch.

The shootout was not stress free though. After Hejduk scored the first goal, and Avs really didn’t have any quality chances on their next 3 shooters, and they were one save away from winning but Joe Pavelski found a way to beat Varly, who has been unreal in shootouts. I don’t know why Sacco decided to put Jones out there. He has not been an offensive asset all year pretty much. But the decision did not backfire because Landeskog came up big.

While I’m glad they won, it appears Sacco’s job will be safe again for a while, which is disappointing, but if they can keep winning despite Sacco, it does not really matter.

The Avs next game is Thursday against the San Jose Sharks in the second half of the home and home series, at HP Pavilion. The game starts at 8:30 p.m. Mountain Time.

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