Game 39. Avs-Coyotes. Landeskog plays Roadrunner, beats Coyotes

Posted: December 29, 2011 in Avs vs. Phoenix Coyotes, Game Thoughts

A huge win for the Avs tonight, as they continue to play well in December. The game got pretty chippy after Jan Hejda was hit in the head, and there is no sweeter revenge than to win the game, and that’s what the Avs did.

I thought Varlamov played very well in the third period, and came up with some huge saves to keep the Avs in the lead. He deserves to start the next game, but from the sounds of things, Sacco is going to give Giguere the start against his former team.

Kevin Porter continues to play well for the Avs, and scored a huge goal, the first one of the game. It was important to get that first one, because Phoenix is a team that is very solid defensively, and are much tougher to score against, when they have the lead, but Porter kept that from happening.

I thought the Avs played a very solid game defensively, and I don’t know if there was a time during the game where the Avs had a bad turnover that lead to a chance for the Coyotes, and that was nice to see. But they didn’t stop Mikkel Boedker from firing one past Varlamov about 5 minutes after Porter scored.

The Avs bounced back surprisingly well though, and on a 4-2 rush, Stefan Elliott beat Labarbera blocker side. It was a big goal in the game, because once again it meant the Coyotes would not be able to sit back, but also it was a big goal for Stefan Elliott.

When he was called up, he scored that first night, and then the next one, but I have seriously been questioning if he should even be playing, because since his hot start, he has not done much offensively, and is terrible defensively. I will give him a pass for a little bit though, because it was a big goal tonight.

And how about TJ Galiardi tonight, talk about having a great but terrible game. He had chances left and right to score goals, he was working hard all night, and came up with nice offensive and defensive plays the whole game, but had ablosutely nothing to show for it. If he could have capitalized on just a few of his chances this game would have been a blowout.

But instead, late in the second, Boedker fired another nice shot past Varlamov, and tied things up heading into the third period. But once again I thought it was a better play by the Coyotes than a bad play by the Avs.

For the first nine minutes of the third, I did not feel good about the Avs chances. Too many times this year I have seen them lose games in the third and I thought tonight would be another one. Give some credit to Chuck Kobasew for working hard and sticking with the puck and passing to Landeskog, who wound up with the goal. Kobasew changed that play from a good break up by Phoenix, to a great goal by Landeskog.

After the goal that put the Avs up 3-2, is when Varlamov played his best. He made 2 or 3 great saves with scrums in front of the net that kept the Avs ahead. He won the game for the Avs with his play in the final 10 minutes.

But onto the big story of the night for Avalanche fans: Matt Duchene’s injury. I hope I’m wrong here, but with it being a knee injury, I think he’s done for at least a month, and it could be an ACL. I really hope I’m wrong, but with a situation like this I think the smart thing to do is expect the worst and hope for the best. The Avs will go nowhere this season without Duchene, so hopefully the team was being cautious by holding him out.

The Avs next game is Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center. The game starts at 6 p.m. Mountain time.

  1. Advenstor says:

    Varlamov must be looked at as the #1 goalie; JSG is a very good #2 and hsi pressence really helps Varlamov; I hope Sacco doesn’t mess with either of those guys heads (more concerned about Varlamov’ shead then JSG)

    • ppajak says:

      I completely agree. Varlamov deserves to start tomorrow’s game after how well he played yesterday, but I doubt he does. Then what if JS plays a good game against the Ducks? If Sacco goes to him again, it is playing favorites because Varlamov had a good game and does not start, but Giguere has a good game and does start the next game. I think Sacco is starting a down slippery slope if he starts JS tomorrow.

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