Game 78. Avs-Sharks. Playoff Hopes Drown in the Shark Tank

Posted: March 26, 2012 in Avs vs. San Jose Sharks, Game Thoughts

Well, the Avs gave it a good run this season, but after tonight I do not think there is any chance left for Colorado to play in the postseason.

The Avs played the first period like it was a preseason game. I saw no urgency and they didn’t capitalize on what chances they had.

Surprisingly the period ended without a goal, but there was a lot of action. Semyon Varlamov stopped a breakaway from Patrick Marleau just 5 minutes into the game. I thought that save might wake up the Avs, but there was little change. The best chance for the Avs in the period came from Matt Hunwick who drew Antti Niemi out of the net, swooped behind the goal line, but couldn’t get the pass to the front of the net.

The heartbreak started early in the second period. Less than 4 minutes in, Joe Pavelski beat Varlamov to give the Sharks the lead. If Pavelski and Mike Smith ever end up on the same team, I don’t think the Avs would ever beat them. Pavelski owns the Avs.

Five and a half minutes later the Sharks added another. Andrew Desjardans fired a wrist shot from the faceoff dot that bounced off and then under Varlamov’s pad. Shane O’Brien did a pretty good job screening Varlamov on the play. I’m not really sure what he was doing. I thought the game was over right then and there.

But Shane O’Brien had a different idea, and made up for the screen two and a half minutes later by finally cracking Niemi. The credit should go to Ryan O’Reilly who made a great pass that set O’Brien up for the tap in. Suddenly there was life and for a while the Avs had a ton of momentum but couldn’t get the tying goal. Other than the goal scored, Shane O’Brien had an awful game.

The Sharks were not done with scoring either, and with just over 4 minutes left in the period Torrey Mitchell put the Sharks back up by two. This time is was Jan Hejda who was to blame. He fell down in the crease, blocking Varlamov from moving across to try and stop the shot.

At the end of the period, O’Brien lost the puck between his feet in San Jose’s zone, and took a penalty after he cross checked the closest man to him. This penalty led to a Joe Pavelski powerplay goal early in the third. The puck was just sitting between Varly’s pads for a while, but Pavelski managed to get a stick on it and put it in. This goal also led me to turning the game off.

I’m sure the third period was just as awful as the rest of the game, however. It looks like San Jose just added an empty netter with 3:30+ left in the game, which is an interesting move by Sacco.

Other notes:

-A win would have been huge tonight, with LA, Dallas, and what would have been SJ all losing.

-Matt Duchene is that kid on your 6th grade team everyone hated, but was good enough to make him needed. And by that I mean he is a bit of a puck hog. He holds onto the puck WAY too long and uses way more finesse than anyone should.

-This game easily could have been 8-1 or 9-1. The Sharks missed some gift wrapped chances and Semyon kept the Avs close for a long time.

The Avs next game is Wednesday against the Canucks in Vancouver. The game starts at 7 p.m. Mountain time and will probably be meaningless for both teams.

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