Game 57. Avs-Blues. OT Sinks Avs, But 1 More Point than I Expected

Posted: February 11, 2012 in Avs vs. St. Louis Blues, Game Thoughts

I unfortunately was not able to watch the game tonight, and after looking at the box score, it looks like I missed a great game. Semyon Varlamov looks to have carried the Avs tonight, stopped 41-44 in over 60 minutes of play. But tonight’s Avs star has to be Erik Johnson. Scoring a goal against your former team, especially after having only 1 goal this year, has to be sweet.

I really wish I could have watched this game, if for no other reason than two see Varlamov and Johnson shine. I certainly was not expecting any points tonight, so I will gladly take 1 and run out of St. Louis.

I don’t think having defenseman scoring all of the team’s goals on slapshots from the point happens very often, but it did tonight. Exactly half way through the first period, David Van Der Gulik won a offensive zone faceoff back to Shane O’Brien, who slapped one past former Av Brian Elliott, on the glove side. To get the first goal after playing the night before is huge. That alone probably saved the Avs from losing in regulation.

Of course, in typical Avs fashion, Jay McClement took a penalty less than two minutes later. It is bad enough to take a penalty, but when your best penalty killer takes the penalty, it really puts the rest of the team in a tough spot. The Blues took advantage when David Perron banged the puck in, through Varlamov’s 5 hole. I just realized that without knowing hockey at all, that last sentence probably sounds incredibly dirty.

St. Louis added another powerplay goal four minutes later on a 5-3. Certainly Varlamov cannot be blamed for this one. It’s really tough to put the blame on anyone, except Kobasew and O’Byrne, who were in the penalty box. At least the Avs killed off the rest of O’Byrne’s penalty to minimize the damage.

But for the third time in four periods, the Avs scored a late goal and on the powerplay! I don’t know what is harder to believe, the Avs scoring on a powerplay, or the fact that they actually drew a penalty.

But this bomb was from Erik Johnson. Gotta love it. Earlier in the day, I suddenly got the feeling the Johnson was going to find the back of the net tonight, and what do you know–he did!

I can’t say yet, because I have not seen the highlights, but I would imagine that Varlamov carried the Avs over the next two periods. Anytime one team more than doubles the other teams shots on goal, and the teams are still tied after 3 periods, it is probably safe to say that Varlamov did a bit of standing on his head.

I have stuck with my opinion that Varlamov should be this team’s starter, and nights like tonight give me hope that it can still happen.

The OT goal just looked like a good tip. Most of those are nearly impossible to stop if they do not just hit the goalie’s equipment, and it appeared to be a nice tip, over the glove. From Varlamov’s reaction, it looked like he didn’t know what even happened. Sometimes the other team just makes a nice play and you have to give them credit.

There is good news and bad news around the NHL for the Avs. The Kings only got 1 point, and the Wild lost to the lowly Blue Jackets, but The Coyotes shut out the Blackhawks (who have lost 8 in a row now) and the Flames are currently beating the Canucks. It looks like the Avs will end the night 10th in the conference.

There is worse news, and that is the Avs have played more games than anyone in the western conference. The Avs next game is Wednesday, which gives Dallas the potential for 4 points before the Avs play again, and Calgary, Minnesota, Phoenix, and Los Angeles 2 potential points all before the Avs play again on Wednesday. So it will be very interesting to see where exactly the Avs are in the standings come Wednesday night.

The Avs next game is Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks in British Columbia. The game starts at 8 p.m. Mountain time.

  1. Advenstor says:

    Varly was great in this game; huge game in Vancouver

    • ppajak says:

      Yeah, I really wish I could have watched. The Avs next two games are huge! Their division record is awful and they have to play VAN and EDM this week. 3 points would be amazing.

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