Game 11. Avs-Coyotes. Avs show life, but die in OT

Posted: February 11, 2013 in Avs vs. Phoenix Coyotes

After four days off, the Avs were back in action and looking solid, though ultimately falling in overtime 3-2.

Photo from nhl.com

Photo from nhl.com


Colorado came out of the gate strong in the first period. They were controlling play, they were getting decent chances, but in typical Avalanche fashion it was Phoenix who came up with the first goal. Despite stopping 27-30, it would be one that Varlamov would want back. The goal was a Shane Doan wraparound that beat Varlamov 5-hole. While Varlamov has been solid, a theme of him allowing weak first goals is becoming all too common.

In another theme, the Avs powerplay is a joke. For what feels like the billionth straight game, the opponent scores early, then takes a quick penalty giving the Avs a chance to tie it back up. The penalty came less than 2 minutes later, and in another re-occuring theme, the Avs had an awful powerplay. Shouldn’t they have worked on this during their 4 day break?

And in yet another re-occuring theme, the Avs gave up another minute of a 5-3 powerplay for the opposition, in the second period. Once again, they did a good job killing it off, but they can’t continue to do that! The Avs actually dominated the second- they came out early, and got a goal from Mark Olver…but credit has to go to Milan Hejduk, who circled down low, took a big hit, stuck with the puck and found Olver in the high slot for a slapper that beat Mike Smith over the blocker.

Then 3 minutes later, in one final re-occuring theme, Matt Duchene had a breakaway…but this time he scored! He made a decent move, but I have no clue what Mike Smith was thinking, and just flopped around in goal, and Duchene slid it right underneath him.

Palushaj! Photo from nhl.com

Palushaj! Photo from nhl.com


The Avs were holding their own in the third, when Varlamov let in another soft goal for Phoenix to tie it up. This time it was Oliver Ekman-Larsson (What did I say about him?) who took a shot from a bad angle, that was not even going on net, but deflected off Varlamov’s arm, and into the net.

Colorado still had their chances to win, as Phoenix took a penalty with 2:26 left in the third, and then another one with just 19 seconds left in the third, the Avs scored on neither. Seriously, I should throw some skates and pads on, because I could be just as effective as those professionals right now on the powerplay.

And because when it rains it pours, the overtime goal for the Coyotes had the puck (which was being cleared) bounce off the ref, right to Kyle Chipchura, who quickly found a wide open Shane Doan in the slot who then beat Varlamov high glove. That one was not Varalmov’s fault.

Despite the loss, I saw a lot of things I liked:

Tyson Barrie had a very good game. He was aggressive with the puck, and took some quality shots from the point on the powerplay.

Aaron Palushaj was solid. Made some nice passes out there, looked like he had a decent shot. But maybe I just like players who have a last name that ends in “j” (See Budaj, Peter).

Duchene continues to be rock solid. Nice to see him finally score on one of those breakaways!

I didn’t see the injury, so I don’t know how bad it looked, or what it was on, but apparently Erik Johnson got hurt. That would be a devastating blow, and possibly the knockout punch for the Avs, so fingers crossed that it’s not too serious.

The Avs next game is Thursday against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The game starts at 6 p.m. Mountain time.

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