Game 45. Avs-Predators. Avs Quit Playing After 20- Lose in OT.

Posted: January 12, 2012 in Avs vs. Nashville Predators, Game Thoughts

What a joke. The Avs should be ashamed of that performance. I’ve seen better hockey during the intermissions than I saw in the 2nd and 3rd period. There is absolutely no reason they should have given Nashville a single point, none the less two.

The Avs got off to a great start tonight. 6 minutes into the game Pekka Rinne tried to play the puck right up the middle of the ice, but Ryan O’Reilly intercepted it, took a quick shot and scored to give the Avs the first goal. They could not have asked to start the game any better. They are not going to get a much better break from a goalie this year than they did from Rinne on this play.

But 6 minutes later, it happened again. O’Reilly bounced the puck off of the board and into the Preds zone, where from a very sharp angle Landeskog took a slapshot that beat Rinne short side. Two times in the same game Pekka Rinne gave the Avs goals. Credit to Landeskog because it was a nice shot, but there is no reason it should have gone in.

At this point in time, I thought the Avs had the game in the bag. I was getting excited to write about Peter Mueller’s return and how well he played. My thoughts were only strengthened when Daniel Winnik took a stick to the face and drew a 4 minutes double minor late in the period. With 3:40 or so left in the period, and 4 minutes of powerplay, I was sure the Avs would get another goal and close the door in the first period like Nashville did on Tuesday. Nope.

The Avs never had another great chance in the game. Mueller almost scored on a crossing pass from Stastny, I believe, but Rinne made a nice save. Past the halfway mark of the 2nd period, David Legwand beat Giguere low glove side. Watch the replay HERE and you’ll notice that all 5 Avalanche players were not moving their feet at all, standing around the goal, as Legwand scored. Terrible defense by all 5 of them, but Especially Kobasew because that was probably his man.

The Avs came out in the third, playing to win the game 2-1. They could not have cared less about scoring another goal. It was so bad that for the first 5 minutes of the period I honestly thought the Predators were on the powerplay and Altitude forgot to put up the powerplay graphic.

At the 8:48 mark of the 3rd, the Predators tied up the game with a very nice shot over the shoulder of Giguere. Sometimes you have to give the other guys credit, and that certainly was one of the times.

After the tying goal, the Avs were lucky to even get the game into overtime. Nashville had 3 or 4 very good chances and just couldn’t finish. It was not even a case of the Avs making a good play to break up the action, they just couldn’t get the puck into the net.

The game was quickly over once the game got to overtime. Legwand made Stefan Elliott look like a 6 year old on the ice, skated right past him, and beat Giguere. Terrible play by Elliott, it reminded me of this…skip to the 50 second mark for what it reminded me of.

That is exactly what Legwand did. He made a left turn. Who knew that is all is took to beat a defender in the NHL? Typical Stefan Elliott.

In some ways, that Avs were lucky to even get a point because the two goals were 100% Rinne’s fault, but at the same time there is no way they should lose that game. It was unbelievably frustrating to watch the last 40 minutes. They better come out for their next game and have a ton of passion and effort.

On a complete opposite of the spectrum is Peter Mueller. Talk about having total passion and effort for the game of hockey. Great to see him out there. So many times it would have been so easy for him to give up and retire as a 23 year old who has already made millions, but he did not. He stuck with it, through all the frustration and symptoms, and after having played only 18 games for the Avs in the past 3 years, he finally got back out on the ice tonight. Hopefully he can remain healthy for the rest of his career, but not just for the Avs, but for him. I honestly think his next goal for the Avs will be one of the franchises best on ice moments in a long, long time.

The Avs needed 2 points tonight, but with the effort I saw the last 40 minutes, I will be thankful for getting one.


The Avs next game is Saturday against the Stars in Dallas. Puck drop is scheduled for 1 p.m. Mountain time.

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