Archive for the ‘Avs vs. San Jose Sharks’ 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.


The San Jose Sharks scored 3 powerplay goals, and Thomas Greiss stopped all 24 shots as the Sharks blanked the Avs 4-0.

Photo from

Photo from

I didn’t get the chance to watch today’s game, but it certainly seems like I didn’t miss much. The Avs move to 2-2-0 on the season, and the theme with both losses has been penalties. San Jose had 6 powerplays in the game, and scored on half of them. The Avs were unable to capitalize on their 2 chances on the powerplay are are now 1 for 12 on powerplays this season.

I have seen the highlight of the hit Gabe Landeskog received from Brad Stuart…the initial contact was clearly to the head, so I would expect some sort of repercussion for that hit, but we’ll see. That was the play that seems to have changed the game, as Ryan O’Bryne fought Brad Stuart for the hit, and received 4 minutes worth of penalties because of the fight. 2 minutes for instigating, and 2 minutes for having a face shield in a fight…I didn’t know that was a penalty. It’s tough to say without seeing the game, but both of those seem like terrible calls, especially considering the hit he gave to Landeskog.

Those powerplays led to two goals for the Sharks and the game essentially ended there. I would imagine that the deflated feeling the Avs had of losing their captain to a questionable hit, and then getting 2 penalties for trying to defend him, and then giving up 2 powerplay goals, was probably too much to overcome mentally. I’m not excusing the play from the Avs, but I can at least understand it.

The other note I have is that JS Giguere replaced Varlamov for the third period, and stopped all 17 shots he faced. It will be interesting to see who get the start for the Avs on Monday against the Oilers, but I suspect Giguere will get it, which would be a mistake in my opinion. A fast, young team like the Oilers requires a fast, agile goalie, which Giguere is not.

The Avs next game is Monday in Edmonton against the Oilers, the game starts at 7:30 p.m. Mountain time.

Well, the Avs gave it a good run this season, but after tonight I do not think there is any chance left for Colorado to play in the postseason.

The Avs played the first period like it was a preseason game. I saw no urgency and they didn’t capitalize on what chances they had.

Surprisingly the period ended without a goal, but there was a lot of action. Semyon Varlamov stopped a breakaway from Patrick Marleau just 5 minutes into the game. I thought that save might wake up the Avs, but there was little change. The best chance for the Avs in the period came from Matt Hunwick who drew Antti Niemi out of the net, swooped behind the goal line, but couldn’t get the pass to the front of the net.

The heartbreak started early in the second period. Less than 4 minutes in, Joe Pavelski beat Varlamov to give the Sharks the lead. If Pavelski and Mike Smith ever end up on the same team, I don’t think the Avs would ever beat them. Pavelski owns the Avs.

Five and a half minutes later the Sharks added another. Andrew Desjardans fired a wrist shot from the faceoff dot that bounced off and then under Varlamov’s pad. Shane O’Brien did a pretty good job screening Varlamov on the play. I’m not really sure what he was doing. I thought the game was over right then and there.

But Shane O’Brien had a different idea, and made up for the screen two and a half minutes later by finally cracking Niemi. The credit should go to Ryan O’Reilly who made a great pass that set O’Brien up for the tap in. Suddenly there was life and for a while the Avs had a ton of momentum but couldn’t get the tying goal. Other than the goal scored, Shane O’Brien had an awful game.

The Sharks were not done with scoring either, and with just over 4 minutes left in the period Torrey Mitchell put the Sharks back up by two. This time is was Jan Hejda who was to blame. He fell down in the crease, blocking Varlamov from moving across to try and stop the shot.

At the end of the period, O’Brien lost the puck between his feet in San Jose’s zone, and took a penalty after he cross checked the closest man to him. This penalty led to a Joe Pavelski powerplay goal early in the third. The puck was just sitting between Varly’s pads for a while, but Pavelski managed to get a stick on it and put it in. This goal also led me to turning the game off.

I’m sure the third period was just as awful as the rest of the game, however. It looks like San Jose just added an empty netter with 3:30+ left in the game, which is an interesting move by Sacco.

Other notes:

-A win would have been huge tonight, with LA, Dallas, and what would have been SJ all losing.

-Matt Duchene is that kid on your 6th grade team everyone hated, but was good enough to make him needed. And by that I mean he is a bit of a puck hog. He holds onto the puck WAY too long and uses way more finesse than anyone should.

-This game easily could have been 8-1 or 9-1. The Sharks missed some gift wrapped chances and Semyon kept the Avs close for a long time.

The Avs next game is Wednesday against the Canucks in Vancouver. The game starts at 7 p.m. Mountain time and will probably be meaningless for both teams.

That game was a emotional roller coaster. The Avs came out strong, and to be honest, it looked like they had turned a corner. They were coming back into form, and could go on a bit of a winning streak. But in a matter of 4 minutes and 29 seconds, the Avs let the game get away.

Maybe I’m highlighting Erik Johnson because he is one of my favorite players, but he had a great game tonight. He led the team in ice time, had a great assist on the Stastny goal, and played good defense. That is the Erik Johnson the Avs traded for in February. 4 hits, 2 blocked shots. It was nice to see, because sometimes it has been hard to be positive.

I don’t normally like the blame losses on the goalie, because there are so many other factors in a game, but tonight, this one goes on Varly.

The Sharks first goal was terrible. Varly basically passed it right to the Sharks, and honestly was 100% his fault. The first two goals in the third period were both rebound goals, and both shots before the rebound could have been controlled a lot better.

The easy thing to do after this game is hang your head, and have no faith in the team, but oddly enough, I’m doing the exact opposite. The Avs were the better team for 55 minutes and 29 seconds tonight. It just so happens that the Sharks were a lot better in the other 4:29, but I loved how the Avs played tonight.

Very nice to see Stastny score a couple of goals, and get an assist. I have been as critical of Stastny as anyone, but if he can pick up his game, and play like he played tonight, the Avs might be able to climb back into the playoff picture.

Daniel Winnik had a great home and home series against the Sharks. Tonight was no different than Tuesday. He scored another goal, added an assist, and fought hard the rest of the game. He is very underrated in the role that he plays.

The Avs scored 4 goals, and Duchene only had 1 assist, and it was not even the primary assist. If the offense can continue to produce when Duchene is not on top of his game, things will start going a lot better for the Avs.

Varly was not at his best tonight, and I think he would be the first to admit it. He allowed 5 goals, and it should have been 6, if not for a nice play by Stefan Elliott late in the third, when he swept the puck off the goal line, with only a few centimeters at best between the puck and a goal.

The easy thing to do would be to play Giguere against the Capitals. It’s his former team, they would know him well, and Giguere has been very solid this year, but I really hope that Varly starts on Saturday.

Look at new members of the Avs, against their former teams this year. Jan Hejda had a great game against Columbus early in the year. He had a great game against the Blue Jackets, and had an assist on a late tying goal. Don’t believe it was that good? Go back and read my post on that game, and I’m pretty sure you will see a lot of positive.

J.S. Giguere against Toronto. Stopped 27-29 and let the Avs to an overtime victory. That stats should look even better now, seeing the years that Kessel, Lupul, and the rest of the Leafs are having.

Nothing sticks out to me about how Kobasew played against the Wild, but with only 1 goal being scored in the whole game, not a lot is going to stick out for anyone.

Varly is going to be amped to play his old team. He wants to show them more than anyone that they made a mistake trading him. Not playing him would be a mistake, because you know Varly is going to bring his A game. But I have a bad feeling that Sacco is going to give it to Giguere. Everyone has been ragging on Varly, and the trade, but I love Varlamov. He is going to be a great goalie for the Avs. I think right now, people need to cut him a little slack.

The Avs have a lot to feel good about, despite losing in a very tough way tonight. I look for the Avs to come out strong on Saturday.

The Avs next game is Saturday against the Washington Capitals at Pepsi Center. The game starts at 7 p.m. Mountain Time.

What a game! Sorry this is going up so late, but I went to the game last night and this is the first chance I’ve had to write about it. It was a great game. I thought the Avs showed heart and energy, and that was something I had not seen from them in a couple games.
How about Landeskog coming up big in the shootout. It really makes me wonder what I’m doing with my life when a 19 year old, who is younger than me is scoring shootout winning goals in the NHL, and all that I’m doing is writing about it.

The Avs can’t be stopped in the shootout. They are amazing, and it is a lot of fun to watch when you know your team is probably going to win.

As for the game, it started off fairly boring I thought, but Stefan Elliott goes coast to coast and scored a beauty with 17 seconds left in the first. What I love about this goal was when it was. The Avs are usually the ones letting in the goals right at the end of the period, and it was nice to see the Avs finally get one.

The momentum didn’t last in the second period. It was by far the Avs worst period I thought. The Sharks scored early in the period to tie it up. It was a powerplay goal, so I don’t really think you can blame anyone. At the game, I could see the play developing, and I was just hoping that Dan Boyle would shoot the puck instead of making a pass for a deflection, but he made the right play, and they scored.

The Sharks scored later in the period, and I couldn’t help but think here we go again. Varlamov got a big piece of the puck, but just not enough. But once again, I thought is was a nice play by Boyle rather than a bad play by any of the Avs.

But Daniel Winnik came up with a huge goal early in the third. With how the Avs have been playing, you have to think that if they don’t get a goal in the first half of the third period, they don’t have the confidence to get one in the second half.

It was a four on four goal, and the Avs had some very close changes during the four on four, so it was nice to finally see one go in, because they had barely missed so many times, and I thought they might get discouraged if they didn’t score during the matching penalties.

Next, Matt Duchene picked a corner, and sniped the puck past Niemi. It could not have been a better shot, and Duchene knew it from how he reacted with his celebration. If he could be that consistent with his shot, he could be a 50 goal scorer.

After Duchene’s goal, I’m honestly not sure the Avs touched the puck over the next 8 minutes. San Jose dominated play. And they finally got one past Varlamov with only 22 seconds left. The bottom line is the Avs cannot let that happen. The Sharks had the puck in the Avs zone for what seemed like hours. I would have been a lot more upset about the goal if I was not at the game however. I was not rooting for the Sharks to score, but getting to watch more hockey, and potentially see a shootout is always exciting.

The Avs had some very good opportunities in the overtime. They dominated the 5 minutes, and there were a couple of times where I thought they were going to win it before the shootout. But once overtime started, I was rooting for a shootout. Partly because the Avs are great in shootouts, and partly because they are fun to watch.

The shootout was not stress free though. After Hejduk scored the first goal, and Avs really didn’t have any quality chances on their next 3 shooters, and they were one save away from winning but Joe Pavelski found a way to beat Varly, who has been unreal in shootouts. I don’t know why Sacco decided to put Jones out there. He has not been an offensive asset all year pretty much. But the decision did not backfire because Landeskog came up big.

While I’m glad they won, it appears Sacco’s job will be safe again for a while, which is disappointing, but if they can keep winning despite Sacco, it does not really matter.

The Avs next game is Thursday against the San Jose Sharks in the second half of the home and home series, at HP Pavilion. The game starts at 8:30 p.m. Mountain Time.

So off and on I have mentioned how when the Avs go down by one, it feels like the game is over. Tonight was no different. So I did a little research, and when the Avs opponent scores a goal to go up by one, the Avs are 6/15 for scoring the next goal. Not bad right? Yeah I was surprised by that number too, but upon looking a little closer I noticed that it has not happened since OCT 22. The Avs have gone a month without scoring the next goal after going down by one. That is unreal. No wonder they can’t win games.

After a very nice goal by Duchene (boy, I seem to be saying that every game now) the Avs could not get the puck in the net, and let in 4 unanswered goals to the Sharks. Duchene’s goal was a pretty play, and it is worth it to WATCH. Honestly, I’m not really sure who to blame here, I didn’t think the defense was bad, except for Erik Johnson. I hate to say it, but I thought he had another poor game. He goes down to the ice way too often, and I think he needs to use his size more, but other than the first Marleau goal, none of the goals were really his fault. And even that one was borderline. He stopped moving his feet and put his stick down, and I’m not sure that was the right play.

Giguere didn’t play bad, but I suspect that Varly will be in net for the next game. The thing about Giggy that I don’t like compared to Varlamov is Giggy just stops the ones he is suppose to. Rarely does he make a great save, and I think Varly had a better chance to keep a goal or two of San Jose’s goals out. I don’t know, but I suspect this three game absence will be a very good think for Varly

I have to give Thomas Greiss credit, because he had a very good game, but the Avs just can’t get the puck into the net, and it is baffling. They have opportunities, but just can’t convert. Even our best players can’t get the job done very often. I think part of it is Sacco, but right now, I think the Avs need to make a move, a big move, and there is one player who I think needs to go in order to get some scoring in return.

Stastny has to go. I like the guy, but he is to the Avs what tabloids are to grocery stores. A lot of people want them, and they contribute to the profit, but you’re not going to reach your goals if they are you rely on them too much. Stastny has 13 points in 21 games. At that pace, he would have 50 points at the end of the year. Lets face it, that is not good enough. But a lot of team are going to want him, because he can be a very good center, especially with someone on a wing who can score. Here is what I propose: The Avs trade Stastny, Galiardi, and the second round pick we got from Toronto for Zach Parise. Stastny could be a great center with Kovalchuk on the wing to score goals. Plus they don’t know if they will be able to keep Parise in free agency, and tell me you would not be elated to see Parise in an Avs uniform. I’m just not sure that Galiardi is enough to get Parise, and as much as I would don’t want too, I think a more realistic team would be Stastny and David Jones and maybe a fourth.

The Avs are still only a few games away from being too far back to have a realistic chance of making the playoffs, which I think they have to do to justify the Varly trade. But I guess all they can do right now, is take it one game at a time and focus on Vancouver.

The Avs next game is Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks at Pepsi Center. It starts at 7:30 p.m. Mountain time. No reason not to go with getting the next day off anyway. Lets get the Pepsi center sold out.