Game 32. Avs-Sharks. Avs Let One Slip Away

Posted: December 16, 2011 in Avs vs. San Jose Sharks, Game Thoughts

That game was a emotional roller coaster. The Avs came out strong, and to be honest, it looked like they had turned a corner. They were coming back into form, and could go on a bit of a winning streak. But in a matter of 4 minutes and 29 seconds, the Avs let the game get away.

Maybe I’m highlighting Erik Johnson because he is one of my favorite players, but he had a great game tonight. He led the team in ice time, had a great assist on the Stastny goal, and played good defense. That is the Erik Johnson the Avs traded for in February. 4 hits, 2 blocked shots. It was nice to see, because sometimes it has been hard to be positive.

I don’t normally like the blame losses on the goalie, because there are so many other factors in a game, but tonight, this one goes on Varly.

The Sharks first goal was terrible. Varly basically passed it right to the Sharks, and honestly was 100% his fault. The first two goals in the third period were both rebound goals, and both shots before the rebound could have been controlled a lot better.

The easy thing to do after this game is hang your head, and have no faith in the team, but oddly enough, I’m doing the exact opposite. The Avs were the better team for 55 minutes and 29 seconds tonight. It just so happens that the Sharks were a lot better in the other 4:29, but I loved how the Avs played tonight.

Very nice to see Stastny score a couple of goals, and get an assist. I have been as critical of Stastny as anyone, but if he can pick up his game, and play like he played tonight, the Avs might be able to climb back into the playoff picture.

Daniel Winnik had a great home and home series against the Sharks. Tonight was no different than Tuesday. He scored another goal, added an assist, and fought hard the rest of the game. He is very underrated in the role that he plays.

The Avs scored 4 goals, and Duchene only had 1 assist, and it was not even the primary assist. If the offense can continue to produce when Duchene is not on top of his game, things will start going a lot better for the Avs.

Varly was not at his best tonight, and I think he would be the first to admit it. He allowed 5 goals, and it should have been 6, if not for a nice play by Stefan Elliott late in the third, when he swept the puck off the goal line, with only a few centimeters at best between the puck and a goal.

The easy thing to do would be to play Giguere against the Capitals. It’s his former team, they would know him well, and Giguere has been very solid this year, but I really hope that Varly starts on Saturday.

Look at new members of the Avs, against their former teams this year. Jan Hejda had a great game against Columbus early in the year. He had a great game against the Blue Jackets, and had an assist on a late tying goal. Don’t believe it was that good? Go back and read my post on that game, and I’m pretty sure you will see a lot of positive.

J.S. Giguere against Toronto. Stopped 27-29 and let the Avs to an overtime victory. That stats should look even better now, seeing the years that Kessel, Lupul, and the rest of the Leafs are having.

Nothing sticks out to me about how Kobasew played against the Wild, but with only 1 goal being scored in the whole game, not a lot is going to stick out for anyone.

Varly is going to be amped to play his old team. He wants to show them more than anyone that they made a mistake trading him. Not playing him would be a mistake, because you know Varly is going to bring his A game. But I have a bad feeling that Sacco is going to give it to Giguere. Everyone has been ragging on Varly, and the trade, but I love Varlamov. He is going to be a great goalie for the Avs. I think right now, people need to cut him a little slack.

The Avs have a lot to feel good about, despite losing in a very tough way tonight. I look for the Avs to come out strong on Saturday.

The Avs next game is Saturday against the Washington Capitals at Pepsi Center. The game starts at 7 p.m. Mountain Time.


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