Archive for the ‘Avs vs. Winnipeg Jets’ 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 roller coaster ride continues for the Avalanche with a couple of shootouts, but one thing remains steady, their struggles in Vancouver.
Avs-Wild 3-6-12 130
Remember that great moment when Matt Duchene was a rookie? You know, he scored the shootout winner against Vancouver to clinch a playoff spot for the Avs. Well, that was the last time Colorado won a game in Vancouver. This time was no different. From beginning to end, the Canucks dominated the game. In fact, the only reason Colorado didn’t get shut out was because the Vancouver announcers jinxed it.

The Avs came back from the road trip and had a golden opportunity to get back on the right track against Phoenix. Phoenix started backup goalie Thomas Greiss, which should have boded well considering Mike Smith’s domination over the Avs, but Greiss picked up right where Smith left off. For the second straight game Colorado managed only a single goal, and they certainly didn’t deserve it. A clearing attempt by Phoenix deflected off Patrick Bordeleau’s leg, off of Greiss’ leg, and into the net.

The struggling Jets were the next foe Colorado was up against, and early on it didn’t look like it was going to be much of a game. Winnipeg scored less than 30 seconds into the game, and added another 5 minutes, much to the pleasure of the home crowd. The Manitoban fans saw exactly what Matt Duchene could bring to the Canadian Olympic team, starting with a goal late in the first to cut the lead in half. The Avs came out and dominated the second period, adding a pair to give them a 3-2 lead heading into the third and once again putting their undefeated record when leading after 2 periods on the line.

Blake Wheeler tied things up exactly halfway through the third on a scramble in front, but that was all the scoring fans were going to get. The game went to a shootout, and a couple of slick moves from Duchene and PA Parenteau gave Colorado the victory.

Finally, the Avs went head to head with division rival Minnesota. The Wild, thanks to a late third period goal were able to end Colorado’s streak of winning games when leading after 2 periods. Nino Niederreiter scored with under four minutes left in the game to force the game into overtime. For the second consecutive game, and for the second consecutive matchup against the Wild, the game would go to a shootout. Unfortunately for Colorado, only Matt Duchene found the back of the net, while both Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu fired shots past goaltender Semyon Varlamov for the win.

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.
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.
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.

There are some nights were watching the Avs play is painful. Tonight was one of those nights.

Tonight was just awful. It is bad enough that it is a Sunday night, but when it is a Sunday night and the Avs play like they want to get onto the golf course as much as I do, it makes for a bad ending of a week. On top of all of this, I watched the Winnipeg feed- and they were awful. I have never heard people complain so much when their team is up 4-1. There was a brief time late in the game when the Avs had 6 skaters on the ice that the refs missed. But according to the Jets announcers, the refs just missed a Todd Bertuzzi sucker punch in overtime of game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. Jets fans booed Duchene and O’Brien in the third period for no good reason. All O’Brien did was have a clean hit on Evander Kane and then took some punches from him, unprepared. And at the end of the game the fans cheer like they just won the Stanley Cup and drafted Sidney Crosby at the same time. I get it, you can be excited your team won, but really, everyone knew the game was over halfway through the third. Maybe this is just Sunday night talking, but wow, I don’t have much positive to say about Winnipeg right now.

As for the game, things were not much better. The Avs came out just how I expected. Slow, uninterested, and probably still coming down off of the high of winning a division game. They actually did a decent job of keeping the Jets from scoring, and left the first period tied at zero. Unfortunately, that was as good as it would get for the Avs.

The Jets came out, and 1:45 into the second period scored. But the story is how they scored. Evander Kane got the puck in the corner, circled behind the net, skated out to the high circle and shot a backhand that somehow beat Varlamov. Semyon was screened on the play, but the defense was just awful. No one touched Kane all the way from the corner to the opposite far circle. 0/1 on goals that are Varlamov’s fault

Ok, but the Avs normally allow the first goal, they can still come back, right? Nope. Less than two minutes later a miscommunication between Erik Johnson and Varlamov let to the puck bouncing off of Varlamov’s pad, right to Bryan Little who shot it into the wide open net. 1/2 on Varlamov

But the Avs did temporarily fight back, and Johnson made up for his mistake with a very nice play, where he used his body well, while carrying the puck up the ice, and made a nice pass to Landeskog for a goal. I now have no doubts in my mind that Landeskog is the Avs best player. He is by far the most consistant player, he is tied for the team lead in goals, and is leading them in shots and hits. Can anyone argue for anyone else?

But the Jets quickly came back and scored 46 seconds later when a shot deflected off Varlamov, off the glass, and straight to Kyle Wellwood who was right beside the net, and barely beat Varlamov’s pad to the post. It was not the best goal, and Varlamov just lost sight of the puck after the weird bounce for a second which resulted in the goal. Just to prove a point I will still put this one on Varlamov. 2/3

Onto the third, where 5:40 seconds in, Andrew Ladd sniped a corner to give the Jets a 4-1 lead. The play started on one side of the net, then behind the net, then to Ladd, who one timed the puck right in the corner, very quickly. The goal was on the powerplay, and a great shot, so there is no way Varlamov can be blamed. 2/4

The last goal, also came on the powerplay, when Dustin Byflglien rocketed a high slapshot towards Varlamov’s mask. He jumped to make the save, the puck hit him, fell straight down, where Bryan Little eventually found it and put it in the net. Shane O’Brien didn’t do a great job getting a stick on the puck, or tying up a Jet, which eventually led to the goal. Once again, not Varlamov’s fault. 2/5.

This picture cheered me up a bit

So two of the five goals were Varlamov’s fault. I say this because I know over the next couple of days all I am going to read about Varlamov is how terrible he is, and should not be starting, and how people can’t wait til Jiggy is back, and I just want to point out that this loss is not on Varlamov. No one will point out the Avs 6 penalties, or the Avs 5 powerplay opportunities, of which they only scored on one. Bottom line is, this loss is not Varlamov’s fault, but rather the whole team’s poor effort.

Other things I noticed:

-If Matt Duchene switched numbers without me knowing, I would have had no idea he was playing tonight. He was totally invisible in his first game back.

-Erik Johnson continues to play well. Four points in the last four games.

-Peter Mueller needs to get back on the ice. He is the Avs only decent goal scorer.

With wins from Minnesota and Anaheim today, the Avs are now only 2 points out of 13th in the west, and 3 points out of 8th. However all other teams have played 59 games, and the Avs have played 60.

The Avs next game is Wednesday against the Kings at Pepsi Center. The game starts at 7 p.m. Mountain time.

The Avs had a very disappointing game tonight, and while it is frustrating, I can understand why they lost this game. In the past 36 hours, the Avs have had to get up early, fly to St. Paul, play a game later that night, fly back to Denver, and play the next night, all after having 2 days off for Christmas. Very tough to win both games during a stretch like that.

The Avs just looked slow tonight. They looked tired and not as focused as they should be. It seemed like they knew no one would be mad if they lost because they had just won 5 in a row.

The Avs got off to a decent start I thought, and I was hoping they would get through the first period tied, to get there legs going, and that would help the team get going, and really give it their all. But on a 2-1, Evander Kane made a nice shot, and beat Giguere over the glove.

I have a problem with the goal though, and that is Erik Johnson ALWAYS sliding when there is a 2 on 1. I can’t stand it, and he always does it. What really drives me crazy about this play is, if you go watch the replay, Gabriel Landeskog is hustling back, and points to non puck carrier, as if signaling to Johnson that he had Blake Wheeler, and EJ should get Kane, but Johnson did not make the same play.

I still felt decent about the game though, because the Avs had given up the first goal the last 3 games i believe, and still won, but a bad defensive play on the penalty kill lead to another Jets goal, and I pretty much thought the game was over. I felt like Giguere did very little to try and get back into the play. I don’t think you can blame Johnson for this one though, because we was outnumbered 3 to 1 when the puck was down low, before it went in, he took 1 man, and the other Avs couldn’t get back and help in time.

The next two goals were just lucky bounces for the Jets. Giguere made a nice save on the Evander Kane breakaway, which I thought might give the Avs a little momentu, but the puck ended up behind the net, and took a weird bounce off of Erik Johnson’s skate, directly sideways, right to Kane for an almost empty net goal. Certainly you can’t blame anyone here, just a bad bounce.

The fourth goal was a crazy one. I will say that Giguere is terrible playing the puck, and comes out of the net way too often, so certainly he needs to improve on that, and this play was no exception. He was lazy with his pass, not even looking back for quite some time, but the puck did take a weird bounce and Giguere didn’t know where it was, and kicked it out for another near empty netter. It’s Giguere’s fault, but it was a crazy/lucky goal.

But the Avs did end the game with a positive when the great Kevin Porter found a way to get the puck past Pavelec. You probably are not noticing, but Porter has played very well for the Avs lately. The next couple games, just be aware of when he is on the ice, and good things happen. Tonight, he was the only player to finish with a positive +/-.

I will also mention Shane O’Brien, because his physical game has been very good lately. He stands up for other players, and once again got into a fight, hoping to give the Avs a little boost, after the Jets had been hitting hard once the game was out of reach. The fight might cost him a game, because it did happen with less than 5 minutes left in the game, but I like to see that kind of work ethic, no matter the score, and tonight was a night I did not see that from many players.

Just quickly, it is also amazing that Kyle Quincy is a healthy scratch, when he is the Avs leading scoring defenseman, while Matt Hunwick is playing. That is all.

The Avs next game is Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes at Pepsi Center. The game starts at 7 p.m. Mountain time.