Game 36. Avs-Lightning. Lightning only strikes once.

Posted: December 25, 2011 in Avs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, Game Thoughts

Well, the Avs are sure rolling right now. They have really climbed their way back into the western conference playoff picture. But before you think they are back to their old self, there were also on a roll at this time last year, and practically went winless down the stretch.
Once again, JS Giguere carried the Avs. He has been on fire, and as much as I don’t like to say it, he has earned the starting job. I really can’t complain as long as the Avs keep winning though.

The Avs came out flat in the first period. From the third period of the Blues game, to the first period of the Lightning game, the Avs looked terrible, and had a combined 6 shots. The Avs were lucky to only be down 1-0.

The second period was the Avs best, in my opinion. They came out and kept the puck in the Lightning’s zone, and outshot them in the period. The goal was a very nice one by O’Reilly, to have to concentration and coordination to get the puck in the net.

The third period was decent for the Avs too. I thought they kept the offensive pressure going, and only allowed three shots in the whole period, but missed two powerplay opportunities to give them the lead, and took a horrible penalty late in the period that easily could have resulted in a goal, and zero points for the Avalanche.

The Avs did look great in overtime. There were two times during the OT period where fans, myself included, thought the Avs scored and the game was over. Ryan O’Reilly bounced one off the post, and from the angle where I was sitting at, it honestly looked like it went right into the net. It was amazing to see the replay, to see that it didn’t go it, because I was sure of it.

The second attempt was funny, because O’Reilly again, just threw the puck off of Mathieu Garon, literally, and into the net. I didn’t know this rule, and was talking with some friends about it, a few days ago, because I could see both sides: It did bounce off of a Lightning player, but it still was just a throw. Either way, it was a disappointing “no goal” result.

But then Matt Duchene, on the worst of the 3 chances, just puts the puck towards the net, from behind the goal line, and bounced it off of Garon, and into the net. New Avalanche home win streak record…complete.

There still were some problems with the game, the biggest one was only scoring 1 goal in 60 minutes against Mathieu Garon. He is hardly a great goaltender, and Tampa Bay ranks tied 30th out of 30 teams in goals against average with over 3.3 goals against a game. This just goes to show, that the Avs still have the same problems as before, but the defense is currently masking them. I’m still pretty worried about their offense.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. Hope you had a good Christmas.

The Avs next game is Monday against the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul. The game starts at 4 p.m. mountain time.

  1. Jeff says:

    I was disappointed (again) at the Bolts but the Avs defense played solid and of course O’Reilly has played solid all year in defense. I believe his takeaway stat still leads the NHL.
    If they can beat the Wild tonight it would give them some mo mo into the New Year.
    By the way, I am about to give up on the Bolts this year but I recall the run deep into the playoffs last year when things didn’t look all that good mid season.

    • ppajak says:

      Boy, has Tampa ever been disappointing so far. I’m not ready to give up yet though. I think if they can made a trade for even a decent goaltender, like a Sergei Bobrovski, or how great would it be to see Khabibulin in a bolts jersey again, then they can make a deep run again. The Lightning still are only 8 points back, and have played two less games, so we’ll see, but I’m not counting them out. As for the Avs, they have 2 very winnable games coming up, that could really boost their momentum into 2012.

      I can’t tell if you’re a Lightning fan, or an Avs fan, but hey, anytime you want to talk about both or either, I’m always up for it.

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