Game 12. Avs-Wild. Avs enter the twilight zone, beat Wild

Posted: February 14, 2013 in Avs vs. Minnesota Wild

Where to start? Minus all previous injuries, and throwing Erik Johnson into that mix, the Avs still managed to pick up 2 points in Minnesota, winning 4-3 in a shootout.

Photo from nhl.com

Photo from nhl.com


I’ll give the nod to the veteran as the first one to be talked about, as Milan Hejduk scored his second goal of the season, giving him 800 points in the NHL. Hejduk must have a flair for the dramatic, scoring his two goals on big nights, at big times.

Now, how about Tyson Barrie? He picked up his first NHL point tonight, assisting on the Hejduk goal. But he was great tonight, great defensively, aggressive offensively, dare I say…Kevin Shattenkirk-ish? I thought he was the Avs best defensemen. It brings up the question though, who gets the puck: Hejduk for his 800th point, or Barrie for his first?

I feel like I’m in the twilight zone, as the Avs seemed to accomplish things they NEVER do tonight. For only the third time this year (and the second time against Minnesota) the Avs scored the first goal of the game! It didn’t come until the second period, but it was Aaron Pulashaj who beat Niklas Backstrom for the first of the game. Pulashaj has to be the front runner for the Hart now, right? The play was a beauty; Stastny made a nice pass off the boards to David Jones, who made an equally nice pass to Pulashaj, who proceeded to one time the puck into the top right corner. Finally!

But leave it to Jean-Sebastian “I’ll get over to that other post eventually” Giguere to let the Wild tie it up on a Zach Parise wraparound. I’ll say Giguere played solid…not great…but solid, but seriously, he continues to amaze me with his slow lateral movements.

The second reason I’m in the twilight zone is because the Avs scored a powerplay goal! I forgot that could actually happen. Leave it to Hejduk, who found a Jamie McGinn rebound and those silky smooth hands did the rest, one timing a shot over Backstrom’s shoulder, and under the bar for a goal. Not only a powerplay goal, but a huge goal, putting the Avs up 2-1.
Avs-Wild 3-6-12 115
Minnesota scored twice in the third to take a 3-2 lead. First was Mike Rupp, who banged one home from the side of the net. It was a weak goal, and Avs fans are probably going to complain that Giguere was pushed into the net, but I don’t think so. If the Avs scored a goal like that, fans would be praising Rupp for his hard work, so I really have to fault Giguere there. The third Wild goal was a Mikko Koivu backhand off a rebound. Koivu pulled the puck from his forehand to his backhand and beat Giguere over the glove. I can’t tell if I’m overreacting because I’m not a huge Giguere fan, but once again, I thought he played the angle terribly here.

But what do you know, just 46 seconds later, Matt Duchene banked one in off of a diving Jarad Spurgeon’s skate. No doubt it was a lucky goal, but the Avs are due for some good karma, at least from all their injuries. And credit should also go to Shane O’Brien, who made some slick moves at the blue line to eventually get the puck down low.

And the last reason I feel like I’m in the twilight zone, JS Giguere made not one, but TWO shootout saves. That never happens! It’s about time the Avs start having some 3 point games, I mean, everyone else in the West is. Hejduk and Duchene both scored, Parise and Koivu were both denied, and that’s all she wrote. I honestly think the Avs kept their season alive tonight by picking up the 2 points.

Other notes:

Greg Zanon is terrible. I feel like I’ve not mentioned his bad-ness enough.

Chuck Kobasew has actually been decent for the Avs recently. He’s not showing up in the box score a lot, but he’s effective on the ice.

Duchene is EARNING a huge contract *Clears throat*

Hejduk can still play, I see no reason he should retire after the year.

Stastny and Jones were solid tonight too. I’m not saying that as often as I should be though.

The Avs next game is Saturday against the Oilers in Edmonton. The game starts at 8 p.m. Mountain time.

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