Post-game vs Dallas - Dec 27, 2006 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Post-game vs Dallas - Dec 27, 2006

I suppose I spoke too soon. I thought the Avs had a great shot at winning tonight against a depleted Dallas team but they couldn't get it done tonight. That tends to happen when you get 5 goals scored against you. The D needs to clear better, Theodore needs to control rebounds better and that's about all that can be said about that. Well, all that can be said for a couple paragraphs, then I'll jump back in.

Let's got some good out of the way first. Wolski was amazing out there. He looked exactly like what was expected of him this season. If you ask me, a bit much was expected of him right off the bat but tonight, he lived up to those expectations. His moves were great, his awareness was great, his speed was there and he got on the board with a couple hits as well to go with his goal and 2 assists. I'm glad Q kept him on the line even when it seemed like he wasn't working. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will a rookie be turned into a veteran in a day. Give Joe and Andrew time to build the kid up and he'll be a superstar soon enough.

4 goals on the board is always good to get. The fact that it didn't lead to a win somewhat muddles that a bit though. The Wolski and Sakic goals were both off of great work by Wolski. Liles was a great shot from the point and I actually didn't see Brunette's goal but I'll assume it was nice. There was never a lot of sustained pressure on the Stars though from the bits I saw as I was unpacking. The Stars D did a great job of giving them a shot or two and then clearing the zone. Maybe our D can take a lesson or two from that.

Where were Hejduk and Arnason? I don't think I heard their names more than once or twice all night long. They didn't have a ton of ice-time but those guys were on fire the last few games. Today, they fell off the radar for some reason. Granted, I wasn't watching the game with eagle eyes but I heard Wolski, Sakic, and Brunette all night long. They were a force tonight and it's great to see that line gelling (man that word looks stupid, maybe I spelled it wrong).

Now to the bad. 5 goals against on 22 shots on Theodore. That sounds terrible. However, 3 of those were on the PP. I don't like blaming a goaltender for goals on the PP unless they were terribly weak goals. I'm sure there are those who blame Theodore though so I'll break down my thoughts on the 5 goals.

1st goal: PPG off a rebound - he needs to control rebounds better and D needs to clear them better.

2nd goal: Even-strength goal off a rebound - again needs to control rebounds better and this is where I get the feeling that he is not 100%. On the first save, he fell over backwards and not in a "Where's the puck I can't find it" way. It seemed in a "Ouch, that hurt" kind of way. Then the D couldn't clear and we gave a call-up his first NHL goal. Aren't we nice.

3rd goal: PPG on a wraparound. Now, people complain that Theodore overcommits. People (myself included) also chastised Budaj for the Edmonton goal where he want down and an Oiler walked right around him and scored. So in this case, Theodore stays up and doesn't overcommit on a wide-open Dallas player who proceeds to whip around and bury it 5-hole. I guess if you have a player wide-open right in front of your goalie, it's damned if you do and damned if you don't no matter how you commit and which goalie you are.

4th goal: Even-strength screened shot. And a hell of a shot. Nobody said Zubov wasn't one of the smartest D-men around and he showed it. Pulled the puck in and played the screen beautifully. Going high on a butterfly goalie off a screen puts the possibility of the puck going in into the stratosphere.

5th goal: PPG on a rebound. Started off by making some key saves on a rush, then made the initial save but couldn't stop the rebound shot. And I want him to make that save. He was there but it just got by him. Sure, it was a good shot but I expected that save.

So in all, it looks terrible on the scoresheet but I won't go so far as saying he was "rancid" as the Stars announcer did. He certainly wasn't great and was definitely below average tonight. But to put this loss strictly on him is ridiculous. Remember this is a team game and a team should be clearing rebounds, not taking penalties and not giving up odd-man rushes. I've been berating the PK all season and I'll continue to do so. Until that smartens up, this will be a .500 team at best. And until we get consistent goaltending from someone, we won't be atop the division for longer than a game or two, if ever again.

The Good
- 4 goals scored
- Sakic going 10 for 11 in the faceoff circle
- *shrugs*

The Bad
- Theodore getting yanked...again
- giving up a 2 goal lead
- giving up a 3rd period lead...30 seconds in

The Ugly
- losing to a farm team

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