Game 67. Avs-Wild. McGinn’s Two Goal Night Leads Avs to Victory

Posted: March 4, 2012 in Avs vs. Minnesota Wild, Game Thoughts

Well, after not having much of an impact in his first two games with the Avs, Jamie McGinn showed what he is capable of tonight.

The Avs got off to a perfect start tonight. They needed to start strong to get the momentum early and they did. Only 1:42 into the game, Jamie McGinn found a rebound after it hit his skate, and chopped it into the net for the early lead.

After getting blown out the night before, that was exactly the start they needed. The Avs got a little lucky on the bounce off of McGinn, but all of those tend to even out over the season.

Before the period was half over, McGinn added another one. This time it was on the powerplay when he found his own rebound in traffic and beat Matt Hackett high, stick side. Huge goal for the Avs. A two goal cushion after playing the night before sounds a whole lot better than a one goal lead. The Avs continued to apply the pressure in the first, and finished the period up by two.

In the second period the Avs started to show signs of fatigue. Minnesota controlled the play, but the Avs did hold their own and had some decent chances to go up by three.

The story of the period was Semyon Varlamov. He faced 11 shots and stopped all of them. He killed off two penalties the Avs took. You could tell the Wild players were getting frustrating with Varlamov and he continued to keep the puck out of the net.

By the third period the Avs were in full defense mode. The period was filled with a lot of dump ins for the Avs and sustained pressure for the Wild. To be fair the Avs did have a couple chances in the period, but for the most part they were hoping that two goals would be enough.

The game had a chance to change halfway through the period when Matt Hunwick took a delay of game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass, but Varlamov was able to keep Minnesota off of the score sheet. After the penalty expired, the Wild seemed to lose some momemtum and confidence that they were going to get back into the game.

The Avs did a very good job from between 5 minutes left to a minute left of not letting the Wild get into the zone, and mostly kept the puck on the Wild’s half of the ice. They won the game here, by shutting down any of Minnesota’s chances.

Big win for the Avs considering everything else that happened around the NHL. The Flames and Stars had a 3 point game with the Stars winning, which was the worst case scenario for the Avs, but they managed to keep pace with the Stars to remain three points back. The San Jose Sharks are actually the team in the 8th spot, but they have played 2 less games than the Stars, and 3 less than the Avs, so I think think the Avs are chasing Dallas.

The first half of the home and home series went to the Avs. Now getting two more points on Tuesday will be huge for their playoff race, and would pretty much eliminate Minnesota.

The Avs next game is Tuesday against the Wild at Pepsi Center. The game starts at 7 p.m. Mountain time.

*The blog post will be very late on that game, because I am going to the game, have to drive back to town that night and have a full day of school the next day.


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