Game 21. Avs-Coyotes. Weird Game Ends With Avalanche Success

Posted: November 23, 2013 in Avs vs. Phoenix Coyotes

Phoenix is such a unique team, that games at arena always wind up being quirky. Certainly that was the case in Thursday night’s game, with Colorado skating off the ice as 4-3 winners in overtime.
Avs Goal
The first period was awful. Not only was Colorado severely outplayed, but it was one of the most boring periods of hockey that I have watched in a long time. It was like the first quarter of an NBA game. There were no goals, no great chances, and a lot of boring neutral zone play from the Coyotes.

As awful as the first period was, the second and third were very entertaining. Right off the bat John Mitchell netted a goal 32 seconds into the period. The Avs drew a penalty just seven seconds earlier, and immediately threw out Nathan MacKinnon on the opening powerplay faceoff. I thought that was a terrible decision, and MacKinnon did lose the draw, but good forechecking and a couple bounces, and a rebound off a MacKinnon shot, brought the puck right in front of the net and Mitchell lifted it over the glove of notorious flopper Mike Smith.

The offensively challenged Coyotes found themselves in a 2-0 hole after “Mr. Clean” Andre Benoit fired a slapper from the point that rang off the post, off of Mike Smith’s back, and across the goal line.

That should have been the game. Phoenix can’t play the trap down by two, opening up the ice for Colorado, but a fluke goal from Michael Stone with about three minutes left in the period, meant that the third was going to be a tightly fought period.

The Coyotes had a goal waived off early in the third, thanks to the “intent to blow the whistle” rule. Phoenix (of course) was not pleased, but I thought the whistle was late and the puck was under Varlamov’s left pad for a looong time.

Not long after, another Phoenix goal was waived off, this time due to goalie interference. While the intent to blow call was the correct call, I definitely think this one could be argued either way. If I was a Phoenix fan, I would be furious with the call. It looked like Colorado defenseman Jan Hejda bumbed David Moss into Varlamov, but as an Avs fan, sometimes your team gets the breaks.

Phoenix, in a rage of anger, came back to take the lead on Martin Hanzal and Antoine Vermette goals, leaving the Avs down 3-2 with 5:54 left in the third. Everyone could feel it coming. When you have questionable calls against your team, it can either make of break the rest of the game. The Coyotes focused that anger on scoring, and it paid off.

Once the Coyotes took the lead, I gave Colorado a -10% chance of tying the game. Never tell Cody McLeod the odds. He found a rebound in front, and managed to tie it with 3:14 left in the game. His second goal since his baby Emma was born.

The Yotes took a horrible penalty late in the game, with Martin Hanzal going off for charging with 27 seconds left. The Avs couldn’t muster a goal in regulation, and didn’t capitalize on the 4-3 in overtime. Phoenix continued undisciplined play, and Tyson Barrie gave his best sales pitch on a Keith Yandle slash at the 3:25 mark in overtime, giving Colorado a second 4 on 3 powerplay of the extra frame.

It was a different story this time. Ryan O’Reilly got a pass from PA Parenteau in the far circle, and wristed one past Smith for the winner. An in an ironic note, called the win a “character victory” in his postgame interview.

It very well could be the luckiest victory Colorado will have all season, but a win is a win, giving Colorado the most wins in the league, and the fewest losses in the league…yet they remain fourth in the west.


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