Archive for the ‘Avs vs. Dallas Stars’ Category


Colorado have struggled in the past couple of weeks, going 2-2-3 over the past 7 games, but thanks to Minnesota’s struggles of their own, the Avs remain in playoff position.
Cody Mc
Starting with the second half of a home and home with Dallas, the Stars were able to rebound to collect 2 points thanks to a late third period goal. Dallas is 6-2-2 in their past 10 games, and might be more of a threat to the Avs than Minnesota at this point. The Wild have lost Zach Parise to a foot injury, and Dallas is really started to gel. The Avs have 5 points on Dallas, but no games in hand.

Next was a rare win for the Avs against Devan Dubnyk. Colorado doubled up the Oilers 4-2, dominating special teams with a powerplay and shorthanded goal in the game. Max Talbot notched his 16th career shorty, giving the Avs a 3-2 late in the second period and Colorado never looked back. Matt Duchene added a late empty netter, securing the win.
Avs Goal
A string of four straight losses halted any momentum Colorado was building. First was a shootout loss to Los Angeles, followed by another shootout loss to San Jose. The Sharks game was bizarre. Erik Johnson fired a slapper to tie things up at the 18:09 mark in the third period. 12 seconds later, Jamie McGinn through a puck on net that happened to find its way though, giving Colorado a 4-3 lead, and absolutely stunning the Sharks. A couple of above average Joe’s did some stunning of their own. Joe Thornton made an amazing pass to Joe Pavelski in the slot, with just 20 seconds left in the game, and the big Pavelski took advantage and sent the game to overtime. Colorado lost their third staright shootout after Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon couldn’t find the back of the net, while both Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture netted goals for the Sharks. I still am not sure if I should be happy or sad with getting 1 point out of that game.

The Avs followed that up with a couple of disappointing losses in a couple of different ways. First was a 7-2 blowout loss at the hand of the Blackhawks, including a Patrick Sharp birthday hattrick. The Avs followed that up with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Colorado allowed a goal with just 2 seconds left in overtime, which prevented getting Semyon Varlamov and Co. into a shootout.

Colorado got out of their funk with a huge 5-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The new line of Jamie McGinn – Matt Duchene – Ryan O’Reilly all netted a goal.

The Avs have lost PA Parenteau 4-6 weeks with a knee injury, hence the above line for the Blue Jackets game.

Paul Stastny, but somehow not Erik Johnson, was selected to the USA Olympic National team.

Advertisements

Behind Paul Stastny’s four points, and a big second period, Colorado was able to cruise to a 6-2 victory at home over Dallas.
IMG_3171
In honor of the lady sitting behind me last night who, in the first period, yelled the first name of every Avs player when they touched the puck, I will be referring to every Avs player by their first name for the opening third of the post.

The game got off to a grim start for Colorado when Cory was called for tripping just 18 seconds into the game. Historically, Dallas has struggled on the powerplay at the Pepsi Center, and again couldn’t net a powerplay goal despite 5 penalties from Colorado.

Nathan tallied the first of the night, and his seventh of the year with an absolute snipe from the left circle. Very similar to the goal he scored against Josh Harding and the Wild earlier in the season, but to the opposite corner. The kid has patience with the puck, and once he can start getting shots off on the rush, is going to be a force.
Paul Stastny
Late in the first Dallas tied it up on Kevin Connauton’s first career NHL goal thanks to Tyler Seguin. The former Bruin circled all the way around the offensive zone, eventually making his way down the right side and throwing a great pass right in front to Connauton for a tap in even Tiger Woods could make.

The powerplay continues to stuggles for the Avs, who couldn’t capitalize on 5 Starts penalties, including a couple of 5 on 3 attempts.

The Avs killed off a early Tyson Barrie high sticking penalty in the second period and never looked back. From the 8:29 mark to the end of the period Colorado netted 4 goals, including a pair from Paul Stastny and Erik Johnson netting his third of the year with just three seconds remaining.

To give Dallas credit, they easily could have called it a night after the second period; they were down 5-1, playing the same team the next night, but they didn’t. They came out and got an early goal from Tyler Seguin. I’m not hearing Seguin’s name for team Canada a whole lot, but with the season’s he’s having he deserves a shot. He was by far the best Stars’ player on the ice last night.

After the Seguin goal, Colorado became much less focused on getting Paul Stastny his hattrick, and became much more focused on winning the game. Dallas made a push, but goaltender Semyon Varlamov and the defensive core did a great job shutting down Dallas. The team is completely different defensively with Jan Hejda in the lineup. For Colorado, they added one final goal coming off Tyson Barrie’s stick, his first of the season. Barrie has a heck of a shot, but defensively couldn’t stop the 6-year-olds who play during the intermissions.

Colorado will wrap up the home and home series in Dallas at 6:30 p.m. Mountain time


After losing to Detroit in game 7 of the season, Colorado has bounced right back, and won 6 in a row, for the second time this season.
Johnson
The Avs returned home from the east coast, and faced off against Carolina. Erik Johnson got the scoring started on a nice coast to coast goal, also getting the monkey off his back from last season, where he didn’t have a single one. Another game, another highlight reel goal from Matt Duchene. This time he worked his way from behind the net, spun around turning his back to the goal, worked his way out from behind the goal line, and roofed a wrister. Colorado led the game 4-1 early in the third after another Matt Duchene goal, but Carolina quickly answered and controlled the rest of the period, however Varlamov was solid, and the Avs got the 4-2 win.

Next up are the Jets. Unlike last year, the team showed passion and determination here, coming from behind in the third to win. Jan Hejda blasted a slapper past goalie Al Montoya to tie things up, but credit to Alex Tanguay for setting a nice screen to let Hejda to get to the puck. Later in the period, Gabe Landeskog made a beautiful cross crease pass to Paul Stastny who was able to tap it in for the winner. The Avs were outplayed by Winnipeg, but they fought hard to get 2 points; something you rarely saw out of a Joe Sacco coached team.

The Avs made their way down to Dallas, after a nice four day break, to take on the Stars. Colorado came out strong, and took a 2-0 lead into the third period, but for the first time this year, they had a sloppy period, and let Dallas force OT. Varlamov was well out of position for the first goal (although he was screened heavily), and then Tylet Seguin struck late in the third, which can’t happen in a one goal game. However, Avs fans went to bed happy, after Paul Stastny went toe drag, top shelf for the OT winner.
IMG_2995
Twenty four hours later, the Avs were back in Denver retiring Adam Foote’s number, and taking on the Montreal Canadiens. After a scoreless first, Gabe Landeskog gave Colorado the lead on a perfect snapshot from the left circle, beating former Avs great Peter Budaj. Montreal came out in the third and quickly tied things up on the powerplay, but about 5 minutes later, Nathan MacKinnon found a rebound off a Landeskog shot and knocked it top shelf over Budaj’s glove. The Avs never looked back. Ryan O’Reilly added a goal, and PA Parenteau topped it off with an empty netter for the 4-1 win.

Despite all the Avs success, the biggest story of their season happened off the ice. Semyon Varlamov was arrested for a misdemeanor assault charge, and a class 4 felony (the least serious type of felony) for kidnapping his girlfriend. We have not heard Varlamov’s side of the story, but he maintains that he is completely innocent. I’m not really sure what to think, but I will say, right now his girlfriend’s story sounds a little fishy. Her injuries are not that consistent with what she said he did, and the charges are not as serious as what she is saying he did. It’s a bad situation regardless.

On top of that, a few hours later the Avs traded Steve Downie to Philadelphia for Max Talbot. I didn’t like the trade at first, but if having Talbot means MacKinnon doesn’t have to come off the ice for defensive zone faceoffs, I’m for it.


Colorado continued to rip through their early NHL schedule, with a convincing 5-1 victory over the Washington Capitals, and avoiding a classic trap game at home, edging out the Dallas Stars on Tuesday 3-2.
127
Semyon Varlamov returned to Washington for the first time since he was traded to Colorado in the summer of 2011, and backed up a solid 5-1 victory. I feel given that Colorado was playing in Washington, during the government shutdown, that I need to work as many puns into the recap as I can. The Avs just Cruz’d (1) to a 5-1 victory, from beginning to end, controlling the game. Alex Tanguay caught a break in the first, when his pass? deflected off a Washington stick, and between goalie Michal Neuvirth legs. Without a doubt the highlight of the game was Matt Duchene blowing past Karl Alzner for a beautiful goal. Duchene is making these types of goals look commonplace at Avs games, but it really is something special.

From there, Washington just couldn’t make up the deficit (2) as the Avs were able to shut down Washington (3). In the second period, it was Nathan MacKinnon notching his first NHL goal, beating Neuvirth on the powerplay on a feed from Paul Stastny. If MacKinnon keeps his play up, he’s going to challenge incumbent Paul Stastny for the second line center spot (4-ish).

Surprisingly, it was Colorado and not Washington who found one of their players on doing their job in the third period (5), when Erik Johnson was in the penalty box for holding, but Alex Tanguay overcame adversity, and buried a shorthanded (I know there is a joke in there somewhere) goal to give Colorado a 4-0 lead.

Somehow, Washington found a goal in the budget (6) and Eric Fehr was able to yank a shutout away from Varlamov, but Washington couldn’t add to it. At the time, it looked like Washington was proposing a comeback, only to have Jamie McGinn race in and immediately shoot it down, or up…into the left hand corner of the goal, scoring the last of the game to make it a 5-1 final. After a performance like that, they should be calling for new management in Washington (7).

Varlamov for President (8).

Onto the Dallas game, where the Stars were shooting early on, specifically on the breakaway. Ok, ok, that was a stretch, but Rich Peverley did give Dallas an early lead with a breakaway goal, with assists going to the stars of the Dallas team, Tyler Seguin, and Jamie Benn. Two of Dallas’ first five shots were breakaways, but Varlamov was able to stick out his right pad, to deny the other.

Matt Duchene continued his scoring ways, when Sergei Gonchar whiffed on a pass in his own zone, which Duchene grabbed, and quickly launched past Dan Ellis for the goal. And with just 7 seconds left in the first, Jan Hejda was able to pin ball a slap shot off of a couple of Stars, and into the net.

Dallas tied it up in the second on the powerplay, their first powerplay goal in Denver since 2009, but again, it was Matt Duchene who came flying (almost literally) into the Stars zone 3 and a half minutes later, and fired a laser past Ellis’ glove for the 3-2 lead.

The Stars ultimately went out with a bang, or should I say supernova? They came up short, but fought til the very end, winning a faceoff with 1.8 seconds left in the third, and somehow got the puck to Alex Chaisson right in front of the net, for an uncontested point black chance, but Varlamov was a black hole, sucking up the puck, and securing the victory.


The Avs were unable to capitalize on many chances Monday night, and ultimately fell to the Dallas Stars by a final score of 3-2.

Photo from nhl.com

Photo from nhl.com


Milan Hejduk celebrated his 1,000th NHL game on Monday, and did so in grand fashion by scoring his first goal of the year, but the Avs couldn’t find a way to get the win for him. All things considered, classic Avalanche hockey tonight. They win a couple of games, and suddenly all the urgency goes away. They relax, they don’t have the passion, they make boneheaded plays, because they know they can get away with it, after all, they just won a couple in a row.

The Avs have played 9 games this year, and in games where the other team has scored a goal, the Avalanche have only scored the first goal of the game once- which was the first game of the year, which they lost. That is unacceptable. They can’t continue to play from behind EVERY. SINGLE. GAME.

The Avs should have won this game. Dallas took some terrible penalties, didn’t capitalize on their powerplays, and didn’t have many great chances in the game all together, but the Avs still found a way to lose. Even though Colorado did score a powerplay goal tonight, the powerplay looked terrible. They statistically have the worst powerplay in the league, and it showed. At this point in time, getting a powerplay isn’t even exciting, because you know they’re not going to score.

And on top of all that, in the last six minutes of the game, down by one goal, the Avs take TWO penalties. You’ve got to be kidding me. Two bad, lazy penalties. But it’s okay, because they won a couple before tonight…at least, that’s probably what they’re telling themselves.

Photo from nhl.com

Photo from nhl.com


And hey, I’m as big of a Matt Hunwick fan as anyone, but what a horrible game. He practically handed the puck over to Jamie Benn (after what was a all time bad pass from Erik Johnson), who proceeded to go on a breakaway and score the first goal of the game. Then, later in the period, after the whistle blows and he knows the Avs are going on the PK, he decides to go after another Stars player, and take a penalty, giving them a 5-3 for 2 minutes. However, one of the few bright spots for the Avs tonight was that they killed off those penalties.

Milan Hejduk gave the Avs some life by scoring late in the first, and good for him, in his 1,000th game. People say this is going to be his last year, but I don’t know why. He’s been one of the most consistent players for the Avs, and has 4 points in 9 games. If he wants to come back, the Avs would be crazy not to keep him.

The Avs were all set to go on their first powerplay of the game, just a few seconds after Hejduk made it a one goal game, but about 3 seconds after the puck was dropped PA Parenteau took a hooking penalty, killing a chance for a huge momentum swing. Great work there.
After going down 2-0, the Avs managed to tie the game up in the second period, when PA Parenteau whacked one out of mid-air on the powerplay. Apparently that’s the only way the Avs can score on powerplays- luck. But then at 15:29 of the second period, on a delayed penalty, the Avs let Jamie Benn score his second of the game on another horrific play. There was no urgency to touch the puck and get a whistle. The Stars probably controlled the puck on the 6-5 for 45 seconds, with the Avs just assuming that someone else would touch it for them, and then somehow left Benn wide open in the slot and didn’t even make it challenging for Derek Roy to get him the puck. Horrible play. Horrible.

And that’s where the game ended. Of course, naturally the Avs had chances in the third, including a powerplay off of a delay of game penalty from Jaromir Jagr, which was a terrible penalty to take, but couldn’t muster any decent chances.

Other than that, great game for the Avs.

The Avs next game is Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks at Pepsi Center. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. Mountain time.


Huge win for the Avs today. They are right next to the Stars in the standings, so beating an opponent fighting for a playoff spot as well is big. But also because everyone other game did not go the Avs way: San Jose won, The Blues and Wild had a 3 point game, Nashville won, and at the time of the writing of this it looks like the Kings will win too. The only teams in the western conference who played today and didn’t get a point were Dallas, Columbus and Calgary, so while the Avs didn’t gain any ground today, if they would have lost it would have been detrimental to their playoff standing.

I’ve been as hard as anyone on Paul Stastny this year, but I have to give him credit for his game today. He made some great offensive plays that lead to the goals.

His first play was halfway through the first period. The game was tied and he intercepted the pass from Kari Lehtonen behind the net, and got it to David Jones who made a nice backhand shot high left into a near empty net. The play was great by Stastny, but it was no simple shot from Jones. He deserves credit too.

I liked the Avs chances after this goal, only because I didn’t see them blowing two games in a row after getting an early lead, but the game was much more stressful than I thought.

Maybe it’s because it’s late and the game was in the afternoon, but I can’t remember much that happened in the second period, so I’ll use this time to talk about how great Erik Johnson was today.

He played a complete game today. One of the best games of the season for him. He was a force defensively. He was playing physical and never let the Stars get a decent chance during the game. 4 hits and 2 shots for him is a very good game. But it was much more than the stats.

He also pretty much sealed the win for the Avs with his powerplay assist. I have to give Stastny a lot of credit because his tip was perfect, but Johnson made a few nice plays to keep the puck in the zone, and then get it on net so Stastny could tip it. I’m very excited to see if he continues to play this well.

The Stars tied it up early in the third, on a fairly weak goal. I thought Giggy could have been in a little better position for the wrap around, but overall he played well, so I can’t complain. I’d take him stopping 21-22 every game.

I was thinking that the Nashville game was happening all over again. I thought after the Stars scored the Avs would be lucky to get it into overtime, but they came up with a huge goal on the powerplay to retake the lead.

They killed a penalty for the last 1:18 down 6 on 4 with the empty net to secure the win. The did have a bit of luck on their side during the penalty kill when the puck bounced hard off of Michael Ryder’s stick when he had an empty net dangling right in front of him. He should have scored, but didn’t, and the Avs won.

Bottom line is the victory was huge today, because they would have lost a ton of ground on a lot of teams in the Western Conference if they didn’t.

The Avs next game is Monday against the Coyotes in Phoenix. The game begins at 2 p.m. Mountain time.


Was that Tim Thomas in goal for the Stars tonight, or did the Avs just make Andrew Raycroft look like a Vezina candidate? I understand that Raycroft played good tonight, but the Avs have faced four backup goalies in a row, and are now 1-3 in those games. I’m pretty sure that if I was in goal for the Stars tonight, I could have won the game.

I miss when the Avs used to score goals

But, the one bright spot for the Avs offensively was Kevin Porter! First goal of the season, and at the time, it was a clutch one. Typical Kevin Porter, always doing things right, and never getting credit. Don’t worry Kev, I got your back.

Another person who had a very good game was Varlamov. 32-34 and some very nice saves, you certainly can’t blame Varly for this one. I knew that the rest would be good for him, and he has been nothing but very solid since returning.

Who I can blame it on is Stefan Elliott. On the first goal, he is just skating in no mans land. He guy is skating into the zone and he gives him WAY too much room, and it actually is an easy pass to Nystrom for the goal. WATCH it here, but don’t want the puck, just watch Elliott and you will see what I’m talking about.

Then, right when the Avs have some momentum, late in the third, with an empty net, Elliott makes a bonehead play and shows very little effort, hustle, and then actually gets to the puck and lets Ryder take it right away. I have not seen defense like that since Matt at the floor hockey game this afternoon. I win the draw, and an immediate turnover leads to an goal. But that is what should happen with a bunch of college kids playing for fun, but certainly not in the NHL. I only wish I could talk to all the people who were saying Elliott is better than Johnson after the Edmonton game, but I’m sure none of them will come out tonight.


Think positive everyone. Think…there is a chance Sacco will be fired. Not likely, but there is a chance. What really makes me angry about Sacco being the coach is, I think the only reason he is still around is because Kroenke is too cheap to fire him and pay another coach. Tell me if I’m wrong about this, but the coach also has a guaranteed contract, no?

But really, the Avs are in trouble. They are 2-3 on this home stand, and even if they finish 4-4, it would be bad. They need to win the next three for there to be any chance of success over the past couple of weeks, and really even the season. So hopefully we have Columbus, Anaheim, and Winnipeg right? Well, turns out it’s a solid Devils team, a streaking Blues team, and the Red Wings. Does that sound like 3 more losses to anyone else as well?

The last time they won back to back games, was the five game road trip at the beginning of the season. I’m not sure the Avs will win 5 games the rest of the season, none the less in a row like they did before. But that reminds me, where is David Jones? He scored that ot winner in Toronto, but after that he never seems to contribute with goals anymore? He has 3 goals since then. The Avs need more out of him.

The Avs next game is Wednesday against the New Jersey Devils at Pepsi Center. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. Mountain time.