Game 46. Avs-Stars. Stastny, Johnson, Giguere lead Avs to Big Win.

Posted: January 14, 2012 in Avs vs. Dallas Stars, Game Thoughts

Huge win for the Avs today. They are right next to the Stars in the standings, so beating an opponent fighting for a playoff spot as well is big. But also because everyone other game did not go the Avs way: San Jose won, The Blues and Wild had a 3 point game, Nashville won, and at the time of the writing of this it looks like the Kings will win too. The only teams in the western conference who played today and didn’t get a point were Dallas, Columbus and Calgary, so while the Avs didn’t gain any ground today, if they would have lost it would have been detrimental to their playoff standing.

I’ve been as hard as anyone on Paul Stastny this year, but I have to give him credit for his game today. He made some great offensive plays that lead to the goals.

His first play was halfway through the first period. The game was tied and he intercepted the pass from Kari Lehtonen behind the net, and got it to David Jones who made a nice backhand shot high left into a near empty net. The play was great by Stastny, but it was no simple shot from Jones. He deserves credit too.

I liked the Avs chances after this goal, only because I didn’t see them blowing two games in a row after getting an early lead, but the game was much more stressful than I thought.

Maybe it’s because it’s late and the game was in the afternoon, but I can’t remember much that happened in the second period, so I’ll use this time to talk about how great Erik Johnson was today.

He played a complete game today. One of the best games of the season for him. He was a force defensively. He was playing physical and never let the Stars get a decent chance during the game. 4 hits and 2 shots for him is a very good game. But it was much more than the stats.

He also pretty much sealed the win for the Avs with his powerplay assist. I have to give Stastny a lot of credit because his tip was perfect, but Johnson made a few nice plays to keep the puck in the zone, and then get it on net so Stastny could tip it. I’m very excited to see if he continues to play this well.

The Stars tied it up early in the third, on a fairly weak goal. I thought Giggy could have been in a little better position for the wrap around, but overall he played well, so I can’t complain. I’d take him stopping 21-22 every game.

I was thinking that the Nashville game was happening all over again. I thought after the Stars scored the Avs would be lucky to get it into overtime, but they came up with a huge goal on the powerplay to retake the lead.

They killed a penalty for the last 1:18 down 6 on 4 with the empty net to secure the win. The did have a bit of luck on their side during the penalty kill when the puck bounced hard off of Michael Ryder’s stick when he had an empty net dangling right in front of him. He should have scored, but didn’t, and the Avs won.

Bottom line is the victory was huge today, because they would have lost a ton of ground on a lot of teams in the Western Conference if they didn’t.

The Avs next game is Monday against the Coyotes in Phoenix. The game begins at 2 p.m. Mountain time.

  1. Advenstor says:

    Who’s the #1 Goalie ??

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