Game 49. Avs-Kings. Giguere, Mueller and Co. Overthrow the Kings

Posted: January 22, 2012 in Avs vs. Los Angeles Kings, Game Thoughts

Another big win for the Avs tonight. Even though the Avs are 3-0 against the Kings this year, LA seems to always have the Avs number, and play very well against them. Tonight Mueller and Stastny got the job done and the Avs beat Jonathan Quick 3 times on his 26th birthday.

Stastny has really pick up his game lately. He has 6 points in the last 4 games and is meshing very well with Peter Mueller. Everyone is calling for Mueller to be paired with Duchene when he comes back, but I don’t think the Avs should mess with the Stastny-Mueller combo.

Not too much happened in the first period of note. There were a couple bothersome penalties the Avs took in the first. Jan Hejda took a penalty 1:18 into the period, which simply cannot happen. Nothing disrupts your game plan like an early penalty when the other team scores, and the Avs were lucky to kill it off.

The Avs drew a double minor from Dustin Penner’s high stick, and did not have the best powerplay and halfway through the second penalty, Kyle Quincey took a penalty of his own that ended the Avs chance. The Avs can’t take penalties when they are on the powerplay, there is just no excuse for it, especially the kind of penalty Quincey took.

The Kings scored early in the second to take the lead, when Giguere could not control a rebound and left Anze Kopitar an empty net from point blank range. Every game it seems like the Avs are giving up the first goal. They are dealing with it for the time being, but they can’t continue this pace the rest of the year.

For those of you who had Cody McLeod in the first Avs goal pool, please tell me your address and I’ll send you your prize. It’s a certificate that says “I’m a liar.”

McLeod still did a great job getting the puck in the net. He also kept his distance from the Kings defenders, which was surprising and impressive. It was not the prettiest breakaway goal I’ve seen, but who really cares?

With just over a minute left in the second, Peter Mueller tipped one passed Quick to give the Avs a lead. Huge goal to get the lead going into intermission. Without that goal I think the Kings probably win the game in the third period, but because he scored, both teams had completely different strategies going into the third.

The Kings missed a big opportunity early in the 3rd when Dustin Brown hit the post off of a backhand, when most of the net was available. Giguere was at his best in the third. He stayed very calm in net, and after the Brown chance, the Kings didn’t have too many great opportunities in the game.

Landeskog iced the game with a powerplay goal with just under 2 minutes left in the game. He made a great play at the blue line to get past a defender, made a nice pass to Stastny, who gave it right back to him in the slot and fired it passed Quick’s blocker. Back into the 8th seed.

I do want to take a moment to mention what a disgraceful display of refereeing we saw tonight. I don’t like to ever criticize officials in any sport because from first hand experience it is a very tough thing to, but there was no excuse for it tonight. They missed 3 EASY calls on the Kings, and were calling everything against the Avs. They missed a too many men penalty on the Kings in the first, where the Kings had 6 men on the ice, and skating, for a couple of seconds before any of the Kings realized they had 6 men on. The refs missed an elbow to Daniel Winnik’s head when the puck was right next to him. Terrible. They also missed a slash that broke Hejda’s stick when the puck was right next to him. It was obvious to the casual fan they were pulling for the Kings.

I also want to mention that Jonathan Quick should be suspended, or at least fined for his slash on Winnik. Daniel Winnik did clip Quick’s skate late in the game, and I thought it would be a penalty, but the ref was watching, and didn’t make the call. As the puck was in the neutral zone, Winnik had fallen behind the net and was the only player in the Kings zone. As he got up and started skating out of the zone, Quick went out of his way, out of the crease, took his stick by the nob at the top, and one handed, full out swung at Winnik’s torso. If that does not deserve a suspension, I’m not sure what does. But I guess the Avs got the last laugh by winning.

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

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