Archive for the ‘Avs vs. Calgary Flames’ Category

Forget the 7-3 drubbing St. Louis handed Colorado earlier in the year, Colorado had their worst game of the year, losing 8-2 against Edmonton.
The Oilers made Colorado look like a peewee team the entire game. Taylor Hall propelled the Oilers all night long. He got the scoring started just 3:44 into the period on a breakaway. Hall slipped the puck five hole, and the rout was on.

Despite the 8-2 loss, the worst part of the night for Colorado was Jan Hejda losing an edge and going hard into the boards in the first period. Hejda immediately grabbed his knee and stayed down. Hejda has been arguably the Avs best defensively, and while the extent of the injury is not known, any time Hejda misses is going to hurt the team.

Colorado kept the 1 goal deficit for most of the first period, but got into penalty trouble, leaving a dangerous Edmonton powerplay on the ice for a 5-3 powerplay. Hall netted his second of the night on a laser from the far circle. Edmonton wasn’t done. Just 15 seconds later, still on a powerplay, Ales Hemsky got a feed right in front, and was able to backhand the puck past Varlamov…and that is where I turned the game off.

Colorado made it competitive, scoring a couple of goals in the first ten minutes of the second. From there, it was all Edmonton. David Perron added a goal to give the Oilers a 4-2 lead heading into the third. The high flying Oilers netted 4 goals in the third period, including Taylor Hall scoring his third with just 12 seconds left. All eight came against goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who was 20-28 on saves for the night. Suddenly his season numbers are middle of the pack.

Colorado made the quick flight from Edmonton to Calgary and took on the Flames the next night. This game went better.
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Colorado, behind Max Talbot and John Mitchell, picked up two key points, but more importantly, looked much better after the embarrassing Oilers loss. Calgary scored the first goal of the game, at which point Avs fan were calling for everyone to be traded. Kris Russell scored for the Flames on the powerplay, which also resulted in another powerplay for Calgary after goaltended JS Giguere didn’t like a lack of interference call, and shoved the net off its moorings.

The Avs really started to turn things around and control the game halfway through the second period, but didn’t get on the scoreboard until the 18:00 mark of the second, after John Mitchell found Max Talbot wide open in front, with a near empty net. Flames goalie Kari Ramo misplayed the puck behind the net, allowing Mitchell to easily steal the puck and send it in front. Talbot’s first as an Av couldn’t have come at a better time.

Less than a minute later, that duo was at it again, setting up PA Parenteau in the slot for another goal and a quick 2-1 lead. The Avs poured it on in the third, when rookie Nathan MacKinnon added his sixth of the year. MacKinnon did a great job getting the puck to Gabe Landeskog on a touch pass, circled behind the net, and was right there for the rebound off the Landeskog shot. Landeskog did a great job setting MacKinnon up for a rebound. He now leads the Avs in scoring, and is playing all around great hockey.

The Flames added a late goal, with 1:55 left to make things interesting, but Colorado did a fantastic job killing off the last 115 seconds, with most of that time spent in the Flames zone.

Colorado will follow manifest destiny and head west to finish up the road trip in Vancouver on Sunday.


Colorado had their second 6 game win streak of the season snapped by Nashville, losing for only the second time this season, but Colorado rebounded nicely and picked up two more wins against Calgary and Washington.
The Nashville game was the first game where I thought Colorado wasn’t giving 100%. Coming into the game on a six game winning streak, playing Nashville’s backup goalie, it seemed like the Avs thought the game was going to be handed to them. Nashville consistantly got out to leads, and while Colorado fought back often, every time they re-tied the game, they sat back and thought Nashville was going to give up. Another game, another highlight reel goal from Matt Duchene. This time, he split the D with his speed and went backhand, forehand, over the blocker for a beautiful finish. What amazes me most about this goal is the little strides Duchene takes once he enters the Nashville zone and starts to protect the puck. You just don’t see that happen from other people. You’ll see them on the replay from roughly the 0:40 to 0:42 mark. It just gives him that extra burst up the middle.

After that disappointing loss, the Avs came out against Calgary, and got the job done. The Avs opened the scoring with a pretty passing play that eventually led to Ryan O’Reilly one-timing a shot from the slot into the back of the net. The Avs were able to take advantage of their first 5-3 powerplay of the season, giving Colorado a 2-0 lead when Paul Stastny lifted a shot over Kari Ramo’s glove. Erik Johnson took a shot from the point, missed wide, but bounced right to Stastny’s stick at the side of the net.

John Mitchell scored the eventual game winner for Colorado, but his goal was sandwiched by a couple of Mike Cammalleri goals, both coming off of pretty passing plays. Michell just set up shop in the slot, was untouched by any Flame, and let Nathan MacKinnon do all the work to get him the puck, but was able to wrist one over Ramo’s glove. Matt Duchene added an empty netter, sealing a win for the Avs.

Finally, the Washington game. From start to finish, the Avs were the better team. They killed off all penalties against the best powerplay in the league, including a 5-3, and there was never a doubt they were the better team. Here are the goal calls:

But the absolute goal of the night goes to Gabe Landeskog

Colorado actually picked up the first goal of the game, but it was Calgary who ended up winning 3-1. The story of the night, however, was in the post game.
Congratulations to Brad Malone for scoring his first NHL goal in the game. It was the Avs only goal, and it was a beauty. He tipped in a Tyson Barrie slapshot off the post, and into the back of the net.

For Calgary, Roman Cervenka tied the game at one, Mike Cammalleri gave Calgary the lead late in the second, and former Av Alex Tanguay added a shorthanded goal late in the third.

The big news from the game were the post game comments from JS Giguere. Giguere blasted the team’s effort and pride with a number of quotes, but non bigger than “Some of these guys are more worried about their Vegas trip at the end of the season than playing the games.” Bravo to Giguere for being honest and saying what’s on his mind. This team clearly has given up on the season, and Giguere doesn’t like it. And with a few exceptions of Matt Duchene, EJ, PA, and Varlamov, I’ve not seen any player give 100% every night. Right now it seems like there are only a handful of guys who want to win.

The good news from the game, was the Avs now have a comfortable 3 point cushion between them, and the Florida Panthers for the #1 pick in the draft. In some ways I know Giguere is right, but I can’t say I mind them losing right now, because I would rather see them get the #1 pick since the playoffs are out of the picture. Giguere said why wait until next season to try and fix things when you can start now, but honestly, I would rather see the Avs get the #1 pick than look great coming down the stretch and wind up with the 4th or 5th pick.

The Avs next game is Wednesday against the Ducks in Anaheim. The game starts at 8 p.m. Mountain time.

Pretty sure I could just substitute half of the recaps I’ve written in here, and just change the team name to Flames, and be good. Opponent gets up early, Avs fight back, score a late goal, but ultimately lose 4-3.

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The Avs managed once again to find themselves down 2-0 in the first period. First was Jiri Hudler on the powerplay, and four minutes later Steve Begin scored from a bad angle. Gotta blame Varlamov for the Begin goal, but his GAA, which is above 3 now, is certainly not his fault.

Jamie McGinn brought the game within one, in the second period, but that lasted for literally 12 seconds. Every time the Avs had a chance, or somehow made it close Calgary answered right back. Ultimately Ryan O’Reilly brought the game within one, with under 8 minutes left in the third, but Colorado once again couldn’t muster one more goal.

I think I’ve figured out their offensive problems. See, when other teams get the puck below the faceoff circles, they shoot, or try to get the puck to the front of the net somehow, but when the Avs get the puck below the faceoff circles, it either goes behind the net, or back to the point for a shot which gets blocked 95% of the time. They’re trying to score too many goals through the point in the offensive zone. Throw the puck on net when you have the chance.

Good news though, the Avs look prime for a top 3 pick. Please don’t take Seth Jones, please, please, please.

Colorado gets to lose another one on the road Thursday against Vancouver. The game starts at 8 p.m. Mountain time.

The fans booed the Avs off the ice after the first period, and that appeared to be the wake up call they needed, as they scored 5 goals in the final two periods, to win 5-4.
Let me start by saying I hate the Ryan O’Greedy, I mean O’Reilly, signing. I do not look forward to having to watch him for at least the next year.

Back to the game. The first period was rough. The Flames jumped out to a 3-0, including two goals in a 33 second span. The Avs really didn’t to anything well. The goals were breakdowns defensively, in which Semyon Varlamov had very little chance to stop any of them.

However, the captain said some words in the locker room, and the team responded in the second period. Ryan O’Byrne brought the Avs within two on a slapshot that deflected off a couple of people on it’s way too the net, and then David Jones made it a game again when he collected a rebound for a goal. It’s about time Jones and Paul Stastny get the job done. Hopefully that means Ryan O’Reilly gets stuck on the third line, and can’t produce.

Calgary’s own captain responded, and gave the Flames control of the game with just under seven minutes to play in the second period. The goal came on the powerplay after Patrick Bordeleau was questionable called for charging. The goal gave Calgary a 4-2 lead heading into the third.
Gabe Landeskog continued to spark the team, scoring just 23 seconds into the third, by going hard to the net and one handed the puck between goaltender Joey MacDonald’s legs. Getting the early goal seemed to really get the Avs going, and they knotted things up six minutes later when Paul Stastny “stopped” the puck into the net. Stastny was going hard to the net, looking for a rebound, and the puck deflected off MacDonald, off of Stastny’s skate, who was in the process of stopping, and into the net. After a lengthy review, the goal stood.

Tension in the building was still high, I think most fans were expecting another Flames goal, but the Avs capped off the comeback with a Matt Duchene goal, once again by going hard to the net. McGinn stung MacDonald with a shot off the mask, got the rebound and threw it in front for Duchene to bury it. It’s the third time this season, and the second time against the Flames that the Avs have scored 3 goals in the third. It’s also the first time since 11/10/11 against the New York Islanders (Another game I was at) that Colorado has come back to win from a 3-0 deficit.

The Avs now head to Columbus for a battle with the Blue Jackets on Sunday. The game starts at 1 p.m. Mountain time

John Mitchell and PA Parenteau got the game started for the Avs, and it was Paul Stastny who finished it, as the Avs end their road trip with a 6-3 win in Calgary.

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The game wasn’t pretty tonight, but those 2 points in the standings sure are. The Avs had every reason to lose this game, but a late surge from their stars helped seal the deal. The Avs appeared to be in trouble as Matt Hunwick made a TERRIBLE pass across the ice, that was intercepted by the Flames, and led to their first goal. Playing their second game in 2 nights, it would have been easy for the Avs to let up a little, but they never did- it large part thanks to John Mitchell who tied things up with less than a minute left in the first period. That goal really kept the Avs going into the second.

Colorado’s momentum didn’t last long in the second period, as Jiri Hudler scored his second of the game just 1:49 into the period, but the Avs fought back. It was Parenteau who knotted things up this time, with a backhand from the slot. It was a weak goal, but I don’t see anyone complaining.

It’s at this point in time where I would like to take full credit for the Avs win tonight. What did I say yesterday? I said the Avs need to get to high percentage scoring areas, and Paul Stastny needed to step it up…go look at the goals now: Both of Mitchell’s came from the slot, Parenteau’s backhander came from the slot, and Stastny’s first came from a wrap-around to right in front of the net. Oh, did I mention that Stastny needed to pick it up too? I’m going to assume the team checked the blog, and took it to heart. You’re welcome.

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The Avs even gave up a goal late in the second to Alex Tanguay, which meant a tie game going into the third. A period they were no doubt, very tired for, but came out, and got the job done.

Colorado and Calgary exchanged penalties early in the third, neither resulting in goals for the opposition. The key play of the third period was Matt Duchene drawing a penalty on a half-breakaway where he tried to split the defense, and drew a tripping call. Duchene (who apparently can’t score on a breakaway) had a solid game, but that was his play of the game. He also finished with 2 assists. But Matt, since I know you’re reading this, score some breakaway goals! It seems like he’s had 3 or 4 in the past few games, but can’t get the puck in the net.

Stastny converted just 8 seconds into the penalty Duchene drew, and gave the Avs the 4-3 lead with just 2:40 left in the game. Hopefully that got the monkey off of Stastny’s back, as he added an insurance marker a minute and 29 seconds later. PA Parenteau capped off the scoring with an empty netter, and the Avs picked up two big points. The game was much closer than the 6-3 score.

Other notes:

Chuck Kobasew had a quality game. Finished with an assist, and made a lot of smart plays out there tonight.

Sgarbossa…not really noticed.

Mark Olver also had a good game. He’s not afraid to take the puck to the net, which as of late, has been quite rare for the Avs.

Giguere…meh. He was decent, he was not the reason the Avs won. I look forward to seeing Varlamov back in net.

The Avs next game is Saturday against the Oilers at Pepsi Center. The game starts at 1 p.m. Mountain time.

It is probably too little too late, but the Avs can feel a little better about themselves after beating the Flames 4-1 on their final road game of the season.

Colorado got off to a perfect start tonight, showing a lot of energy and generating some good chances. Those chances were quickly rewarded when “Mark Olver” scored 3:21 into the first period. Jay Bouwmeester actually scored on his own goal, but after all the complete domination the Flames had over the Avs for a long time, they deserve a lucky break.

The shots kept coming, and just under halfway through the period, Erik Johnson made a great play with the puck circling behind Calgary’s net, bringing it back out to the point, and then got the puck to the net where David Jones was able to tip it past Kiprusoff. The Avs took thier foot off of the gas a little after this goal, but Varlamov was very solid in net to maintain the two goal lead.

At 8:29 of the second period, Milan Hejduk slapped one past Kiprusoff’s blocker making it 3-0. The Avs put their game on cruise control. The Flames however, did not. But once again Semyon Varlamov was SOLID in net, and kept the Flames off of the board.

You have to give Calgary a lot of credit for continuing to kick back. They easily could have called it a night and just make sure the score didn’t get out of hand, but they kept constant pressure on the Avs for most of the game.

The third period was all defense for the Avs. They were making sure that Calgary didn’t get any momentum, and they did a good job. In fact, the Avs probably took more momentum away from Calgary by having Varlamov frustrate them constantly.

The Flames ultimately ended Varlamov’s shutout with 38 seconds left in the game when Jarome Iginla buried one in the top left corner on a 6-4 powerplay. Disappointing to see Varlamov not rewarded with a shutout (especially for my fantasy squad) but it was a good shot.

The Flames kept Kiprusoff on the bench and five seconds later, Peter Mueller scored a backhanded empty netter.

All in all, it was good to see the Avs win, but with LA winning, and the Avs having only 2 games left…it is a meaningless 2 points.

The Avs next game is Thursday against the Blue Jackets at Pepsi Center. The game begins at 7 p.m. Mountain time.