Archive for the ‘Avs vs. Edmonton Oilers’ 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.
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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.


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.

The Avs played like a team that wanted to go to Vegas Friday night, and Edmonton took advantage by dominating the full 60 minutes on route to a 4-1 victory.

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The Oilers, who were on a six game slide, came out and scored early to take control of the game. Just 2:33 into the first, Taylor Hall found the back of the net. Hall took a shot from the far circle, had it blocked in front, got it back on the side of the net, and lifted it over Varlamov’s left pad. Colorado struggled all night to play defense in front of goalie Semyon Varlamov, who stopped 20 of 24 on the night.

Colorado fought back, and tied things up 5 minutes later on a PA Parenteau one-timer backhand. John Mitchell deserves some credit for getting the puck to Parenteau with an impressive pass, but Parenteau stunned everyone by being able to one time a backhand up and over Devan Dubnyk’s right shoulder, off the crossbar, and into the net.

From then on, one team was playing hockey, and one team was thinking about playing the slots.

Justin Schultz gave Edmonton the lead on the rush, by skating perpendicular to the goal and having a Jordan Eberle backhander glance off him and into the net. Maybe the bad break deflated Colorado’s moral, but either way Edmonton never took their foot off the gas.

The second period came and went with the Oilers adding a couple of more goals. First was Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who was set up (wide open) in the slot by Eberle, and then Eberle added his third point of the night with goal of his own. Eberle was making his way to the front of the net when defenseman Mark Fistric took a shot from the point, which was blocked, and landed on Eberle’s stick who was able to backhand it over Varlamov’s right pad. Varlamov was reacting to the Fistric shot when Eberle got the puck, which led to an easy goal for Edmonton.

The third period was exactly what you would expect out of a team with a 3 goal lead. Edmonton made sure to get the puck deep into the Avs zone, and were solid defensively. The Avs looked like a team tonight, that was trying to win the jackpot….the draft lottery jackpot.

Colorado will next host St. Louis on Sunday in a nationally televised game. The game starts at 6 p.m. Mountain time.

Just when you think the Avs are turning things around, they never fail to fall short of expectations.
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I couldn’t watch the game, but I’m glad I didn’t. I surely didn’t miss much. Just classic Colorado Avalanche hockey. They win a couple of big games, everyone (myself included) is saying how great they are, and so they don’t show up for a game or two because they know that no one is going to give them too much grief for a loss. I’ve seen it before, and I’ll see it again. I’m not sure this team is capable of going on a 5 or 6 game win streak because I’m not sure they have the proper mental mindset.

The Avs struggled out of the gate, allowing 2 goals in the first period. I was watching scoring updates for the game, and even down by two I gave them a chance. They’ve pulled off some big periods, and have rallied before, but Magnus Paajarvi scored for Edmonton halfway through the second to give the Oilers a 3-0 lead, and the game was essentially over. Things don’t get any easier for the Avs, but they need to find a way to win 5 in a row, or 8 of 10 if they want to get back into the playoff picture. But at this point in time, I don’t think many people think they’re capable of that.

The Avs will next play in Wild, in Minnesota on Thursday. The game starts at 6 p.m. Mountain time.

After allowing the first shot of the game go in, Semyon Varlamov stopped 25 in a row to propel the Avs to a 3-1 victory Saturday afternoon at Pepsi Center.

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It was a worrisome start for the Avs, as lackluster defense led to a Nail Yakupov goal just 58 seconds into the game, but the Avs responded, and went toe to toe with the Oilers the rest of the game, scoring 3 unanswered to finish the game.

Varlamov kept the Avs in the game early, as Edmonton had a number of decent opportunities to take control early, but couldn’t beat the Russian. Edmonton was having success throwing the puck on net on the rush, and looking for a tip on the way there, but Varlamov was solid.

The Avs outworked the Oilers, which shows up by their 6 powerplays in the game to the Oilers 3. The Avs continue to stuggle on the powerplay, as they didn’t have any goals, and kept the puck on the perimeter too often, but they also held the Oilers powerplay scoreless, and for the most part, without any quality chances. The Avs were starting to look discouraged when PA Parenteau tipped in a Ryan Wilson shot from the point to tie things up halfway through the second. Avs fans were expecting points from Parenteau when he was signed, but I don’t think anyone expected him to be carrying the team offensively like he is. Parenteau now has 6 goals in 8 games.

With less than 5 minutes left in the second period, and killing off a DVG penalty, Matt Duchene grabbed the puck and fed it to Jamie McGinn in front to finally got the puck into the net on a deflection. McGinn has hit the post 8 times this year, leading the NHL. 15 players were tied for second, with 4 hit posts, so hopefully McGinn’s big goal today will help turn his fortune around.

The one criticism I have, is that the Avs had a chance to close out the game in the third with 2 powerplays, but was unable to get the puck in the net. The powerplay has been woeful this year (2 for 27, a salty 7.4%). But they were able to make up for the lousy powerplays by killing off a Paul Stastny penalty in the last 3 minutes of the game. Stastny came out of the box with 1:20 left in the game, promptly got the puck at center ice, and smoothly slid the puck into the empty net, securing the victory.

Other notes:

The Matt Hunwick/Erik Johnson pairing was solid today. Hunwick on the powerplay was as good as anyone else for the Avs.

Duchene keeps on rolling. He is creating many offensive chances, and continues to draw penalties in the offensive zone from his aggressiveness.

Stastny really hasn’t been as good as the 3 goals in 2 games would say; but, it’s better than nothing.

The Avs next game is Monday against the Dallas Stars at Pepsi Center. The game starts at 7 p.m. Mountain time.

The Avs couldn’t stay out of the box for the second straight game, and 2 powerplay goals in the first period doomed the Avs to their second straight loss, this time by a score of 4-1

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The Avs have been the most undisciplined team in the NHL so far this year. How in the world they don’t learn from their mistakes in San Jose is beyond me. For the second straight game the Avs had penalty troubles in the first period, and could kill the penalties which cost the Avs the game.

The Avs took a penalty less than 3 minutes into the game, managed to kill it off, but took 2 more penalties late in the period that lead to powerplay goals from Ales Hemsky and Jordan Eberle. It needs to be said, but Semyon Varlamov was the only reason the Avs were in this game for as long as they were. Neither of the goals in the first were his fault. The Avs also had as many shots in the first period as they did penalties. You can’t make this stuff up.

Edmonton added yet another powerplay goal in the second period to put the game out of reach. Once again it was a powerplay goal, and Varlamov had no chance as it was deflected twice before it found it’s way into the net. It was the San Jose game all over again.

The Avs did pick up a goal (Parenteau) halfway through the third to keep me semi-interested in the game, but everyone knew the game was over. The Avs did have a very solid third period, getting a lot of shots on goal, but Devan Dubnyk was solid and the Avs left empty handed.

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Erik Johnson, Matt Duchene, Varlamov, Parenteau, and Matt Hunwick all had solid games for the Avs…other than that, it was not pretty. The Oilers scored 4 powerplay goals, which was all of their goals, and made the Avs look bad. Why can’t they play Columbus every game? Excluding the Blue Jackets game, where the Avs were playing a tired, bad team, the Avs have “lost” 9 of the 12 periods they’ve played in my opinion. Maybe not on the scoreboard, but just how the teams played…and that’s sad.

One more thing…I don’t want to be that guy, but the Avs never seem to get the calls. Definitely some questionable penalties against the Avs tonight, and never seem to get obvious calls that would put them on the powerplay. There have been at least 2 high sticks that were missed, and tonight, Parenteau was checked head first into the boards (without the puck, I believe), from behind, and there was no call. It’s frustrating.

Now the Avs season hangs in the balance on the next 2 games, as they face a tough Vancouver team, and a Calgary team that the Avs really struggle with, and both games are on the road, and they are back to back. If the Avs lose both of those games, and drop to 2-5, it will be VERY, VERY tough to fight their way into the playoffs.

The Avs next game is against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. The game starts at 8 p.m. Mountain time.

I didn’t get to see the game today, but it looks like I missed a good game. The Avs now sit in the top 8 in the Western Conference, but it will still be an uphill battle to the playoffs.

The Oilers got the first goal of the game with under a minute left in the period when former Av Ryan Smyth was able to find a rebound and pound it past Varlamov. I’m not sure how it went in because it didn’t look like Smyth lifted the puck and Varlamov was laying on the ice, but regardless, it went in.

The Avs had a strong bounce back in the second period however, and Cody McLeod tied the game up less than 5 minutes into the period. McLeod one timed the puck past Khabibulin after fighting hard in front of the net. But the forgotten hero will be Kevin Porter. He assisted on the goal after sitting out the last 9 games. He will get no credit, but he deserves a lot more. At least for his attitude and work ethic while sitting in the press box.

Milan Hejduk used his silky soft hands to put the Avs up 2-1 later in the second. He didn’t score the goal, but he left Peter Mueller with a tap in after Hejduk used strong skating, and a Peter Forsberg like move, which Khabibulin stops, but couldn’t get Mueller’s attempt.

The Avs were less than 5 minutes away from winning when Taylor Hall made a nice play to somehow get the puck into the net. I say it was a nice play because I have no idea how this goal went in either, but I thought Hall was out of the play and he managed to score.

The OT period belonged to Semyon Varlamov. From the highlights I have seen, it looks like he made some big saves in overtime to give the Avs a chance in the shootout. And of course the Avs won the shootout. It is practically a lock with Varlamov in net. I’m pretty sure that Varlamov has not lost in a shootout as an Av. I have not seen the shootout yet, but from the box score it does not look like there was much drama.

I’m out of town for the next week, so I will not be able to watch the Avs, but I will write about what I am able to see from the games.

The Avs next game is Monday against the Anaheim Ducks at Pepsi Center. The game begins at 7 p.m. Mountain time.