Game 47. Avs-Coyotes. Avs Fall Flat, Get Blown Out 6-1.

Posted: January 16, 2012 in Avs vs. Phoenix Coyotes, Game Thoughts

What an awful game for the Avs. I was really looking forward to watching some good hockey on a day off from school, especially with the Avs playing, but it was so bad, I didn’t even watch the third period. It was an awful game.
I thought Erik Johnson was one of the few bright spots for the Avs today. He has really played well the last few games, and today was no different. Anytime you don’t have a negative +/- when your team loses 6-1, only giving up 1 powerplay goal, you had a pretty good game, and that’s what EJ did.

Oddly enough, the game got off to a pretty good start for the Avs. They had some good chances early and were playing with a lot of energy and tempo. But Paul Stastny took a penalty 5 minutes into the game and Phoenix capitalized with a nice powerplay goal by Gilbert Brule. Nothing Varlamov could have done to stop it.

I thought it was a good sign that the Avs were feeling it today when they came back and scored two minutes later. It was a great play by Jay McClement along the boards, getting the puck to Johnson, and a great tip by Kobasew for the goal. They were controlling the pace and were getting a lot of quality chances, but Mike Smith seems to have the Avs number so far this year.

The Avs had some chances to get a lead in the first, but Smith was solid in net, and the momentum changed to the Coyotes when Shane Doan scored on a breakaway late in the period. That goal was an eye opener for me, because I had been getting used to Varlamov stopping every break away that I no longer was worried when he faced one. That seems like the first one he has let in, during a game, this season.

That goal must have really demoralized the Avs, because they came out pretty flat in the second. Peter Mueller had some nice chances, but I think he still needs to shake off the cobwebs before he starts capitalizing on all of his good chances.

Doan scored again on a deflection, halfway through the period, and the game was over. The Avs seemed to concede that they were not going to win. Phoenix added another goal late in the second to remove any doubt that they were going to lose. Terrible defense by the Avs, as Boyd Gordon was able to get the puck in the high slot and carry it in all the way to the goal.

I will admit that Varlamov should have stopped the 5th goal. It was a weak wrap around, and it’s really not sure how it went in. At that point though, it didn’t really matter. The Coyotes added another goal in the last five minutes of the game, and finally the game ended.

People are going to look at the 6 goals and say that Varlamov had a bad game, and Giguere should be the starter, but aside from the 5th goal, no goalie would stop the other five. The Avs defense was awful today. They are to blame for the loss, and I think that Varlamov should start on Wednesday. I don’t know what it is, but the Avs keep to play better defense with Giguere in net. Maybe it is because they know his is not as athletic and only makes the saves that he should, but the defense seems to let Varlamov down a lot more often.

The Avs missed out on 2 big points today. Most teams in the conference will have a shot at 2 points of their own before the Avs play again, which makes the game on Wednesday very important.

The Avs next game is Wednesday against the Florida Panthers at Pepsi Center. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. Mountain time.


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