Game 38. Avs-Jets. Avs Grounded by Jets

Posted: December 27, 2011 in Avs vs. Winnipeg Jets, Game Thoughts

The Avs had a very disappointing game tonight, and while it is frustrating, I can understand why they lost this game. In the past 36 hours, the Avs have had to get up early, fly to St. Paul, play a game later that night, fly back to Denver, and play the next night, all after having 2 days off for Christmas. Very tough to win both games during a stretch like that.

The Avs just looked slow tonight. They looked tired and not as focused as they should be. It seemed like they knew no one would be mad if they lost because they had just won 5 in a row.

The Avs got off to a decent start I thought, and I was hoping they would get through the first period tied, to get there legs going, and that would help the team get going, and really give it their all. But on a 2-1, Evander Kane made a nice shot, and beat Giguere over the glove.

I have a problem with the goal though, and that is Erik Johnson ALWAYS sliding when there is a 2 on 1. I can’t stand it, and he always does it. What really drives me crazy about this play is, if you go watch the replay, Gabriel Landeskog is hustling back, and points to non puck carrier, as if signaling to Johnson that he had Blake Wheeler, and EJ should get Kane, but Johnson did not make the same play.

I still felt decent about the game though, because the Avs had given up the first goal the last 3 games i believe, and still won, but a bad defensive play on the penalty kill lead to another Jets goal, and I pretty much thought the game was over. I felt like Giguere did very little to try and get back into the play. I don’t think you can blame Johnson for this one though, because we was outnumbered 3 to 1 when the puck was down low, before it went in, he took 1 man, and the other Avs couldn’t get back and help in time.

The next two goals were just lucky bounces for the Jets. Giguere made a nice save on the Evander Kane breakaway, which I thought might give the Avs a little momentu, but the puck ended up behind the net, and took a weird bounce off of Erik Johnson’s skate, directly sideways, right to Kane for an almost empty net goal. Certainly you can’t blame anyone here, just a bad bounce.

The fourth goal was a crazy one. I will say that Giguere is terrible playing the puck, and comes out of the net way too often, so certainly he needs to improve on that, and this play was no exception. He was lazy with his pass, not even looking back for quite some time, but the puck did take a weird bounce and Giguere didn’t know where it was, and kicked it out for another near empty netter. It’s Giguere’s fault, but it was a crazy/lucky goal.

But the Avs did end the game with a positive when the great Kevin Porter found a way to get the puck past Pavelec. You probably are not noticing, but Porter has played very well for the Avs lately. The next couple games, just be aware of when he is on the ice, and good things happen. Tonight, he was the only player to finish with a positive +/-.

I will also mention Shane O’Brien, because his physical game has been very good lately. He stands up for other players, and once again got into a fight, hoping to give the Avs a little boost, after the Jets had been hitting hard once the game was out of reach. The fight might cost him a game, because it did happen with less than 5 minutes left in the game, but I like to see that kind of work ethic, no matter the score, and tonight was a night I did not see that from many players.

Just quickly, it is also amazing that Kyle Quincy is a healthy scratch, when he is the Avs leading scoring defenseman, while Matt Hunwick is playing. That is all.

The Avs next game is Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes at Pepsi Center. The game starts at 7 p.m. Mountain time.

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