Post-game vs Detroit - Jan 9, 2007 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Post-game vs Detroit - Jan 9, 2007

When you speak of a nail biting game, this one should immediately come to mind. However, it wasn't really nail biting in a good way. It was nail biting accompanied by hair pulling and foot stomping. The Colorado Avalanche got completely dominated tonight by the Red Wings but, thanks to Peter Budaj, were at least able to come away with 1 point out of the debacle. Judging by the score you'd think the game was close but the Red Wings near outshot the Avs 2-to-1 and most definitely out-chanced them. If not for some heroics from Peter Budaj, it could easily have been a blowout.

It would be easy to pin this one on the depleted defense but that's certainly not the entire story. What was it that gave away this game? Everybody say it...Penalty Kill! Yes, the Avs gave up 2 goals on 6 chances and that was the difference again tonight. The weak side is so wide open and the quick puck moving of the Red Wings powerplay was easily able to exploit it on both of their PP goals. Budaj isn't the quickest on side-to-side movement yet but it's hard to fault him on cross-ice passes with a screen in front. The PK unit needs to keep their head on a swivel. The players who aren't attacking the puck need to keep an eye on what's happening away from the puck.

That being said, you can certainly make a case that the depleted, and young, D was taken advantage of tonight. When you give up 43 shots, 39 in regulation time, you're certainly doing something wrong. The one thing they did was right was blocking shots. The Avs ended up with 16 blocked shots which I guess means that the Wings actually got off 59 shots, 43 of which made it to Budaj. And since Budaj was a wall tonight, the Avs won't be welcoming the Flames on Thursday with a horrible loss on their shoulders.

Fairly big minutes were given to Sauer, Cumiskey, and Vaananen tonight. Sauer showed his appreciation by taking two penalties, including the one that gave the Wings the opening lead. I'm not sure why there are people who are so adamant that Sauer deserves more ice-time. He showed what he does with those minutes tonight and ended up with the least ice-time of all Avalanche defenders. Yep, less than Kyle Cumiskey, the AHL call-up playing in his 4th NHL game.

Even with extra minutes for those three, Clark, Klee, and Skrastins still got a boost in ice-time with 26, 25 and 23 minutes respectively. Clark played a great game and Skrastins came away with 6 blocked shots, which I'm sure Budaj will be thanking him for. Klee dished out 3 "official" hits and hopefully those stats include when he absolutely levelled Dan Cleary in the Avs zone. That's how you deal with invaders in your zone! You obliterate them!

Now, although I continually point out how bad the penalty killing is, Ben Guite did manage to score his first ever NHL goal while the team was shorthanded. Right off the faceoff he batted a puck out of mid-air and past the Wings defensemen. He proceeded to barrel in on Hasek and bury it 5-hole. He was also very solid in the faceoff circle as he won 8 and lost 5 for an excellent 61% winning percentage. Yes, 61% in the faceoff circle ranks as excellent.

Lappy was nice enough to grab the puck for Guite after he scored so he can frame it for all posterity. How can anyone not love Lappy? He's always looking out for his teammates and does a lot for the community as well. It's unfortunate that tonight saw his cold streak continue with no points. However, he also dished out 3 hits, registered 3 takeaways, blocked 2 shots, and put in some big minutes on the PK. Although he's not scoring, he's still getting things done when he's on the ice.

So Wojtek Wolski was sitting alone having dinner one night and someone came up to him and whispered into his ear "You're 6'3" and weigh 200 lbs." After finding out that exciting fact, he decided it was time start throwing that big frame around a little bit. He registered 4 hits on the night and his goal was a goal that he got through determination, speed, a never give up attitude, and a little bit of force. He plowed through 4 Red Wings, nearly gave up the puck, but fought back for it and fired a wrist shot past a surprised Hasek who could only assume that his D had saved him once again. Not tonight Dominik. Not against Wolski. That would probably have a better ring if the Avs had won tonight but...

The Good
- Budaj putting in an A+ performance
- Wolski getting physical and being rewarded
- Guite getting his first

The Bad
- PK again...and again...and again
- giving up 43 shots
- getting dominated in OT

The Ugly
- Kris Draper*

The Crazy
- Lidstrom putting in 34 minutes of ice-time

* would have went with Chelios but he's had a bad run lately - luckily there are many to choose from on the Wings


Mike Thompson said...

You're right, brutal PK.

I agree with the Vs commentators, what happened to 50-goal scorer Hejduk. Not the same player since the lockout.

My question: What does Klee bring to the table that he gets ANY PP time? Any opponent watching tape of the Avs PP would instantly see that Klee never even looks at the net, much less thinks about taking a shot. What's the point of being on the point if you aren't going to rifle one on net on occasion just to keep the D honest? His turnovers in the neutral zone and the defensive end led to at least 2 or 3 quality chances by the Wings.

Being a goalie, I also feel that Wolski's and Hejduk's shootout attempts were both pretty weak, considering that they were shooting on Hasek of all people.

Anonymous said...

As a Canadian working overseas I'm depressed at the lack of hockey coverage over here. It is very refreshing to see that a girl like you takes such an interest in hockey and provides such an in-depth analysis. I wish my wife was the same way. I look foward to the oppourtunities when I can actually get online and check your blog. It fills in the numerous gaps in hockey coverage that we have over here. How long does in take to put your analysis together? Have you always been into hockey or did your boyfriend get you into it? I'm trying to get my daughters interested, but them seem to be resisting. Do you have any suggestions?

Shane said...


I think the only reason Klee got PK time is that there was really nobody else. Clark got most of the time out there and Klee and Cumiskey filled in the rest along with Sakic on D. I'm not sure why Cumiskey wasn't on for the Lidstrom penalty though I'd guess Q chose to go with experience. He even had Vaananen out at one point on that one.

Hejduk's shootout try seemed very...whimsical. Wolski's moved worked once so I think he just assumed it would work again :)

Thanks for reading!

Shane said...


I'm glad you enjoy reading however I must admit my darkest secret...I'm not female :)

I'm not sure where I caused the confusion but if you found somewhere that said I was a woman, let me know and I'll see if I can get it changed!

It takes me about 30 minutes to pull together the pre-game and another 30 for the post-game depending on how much writing my brain feels like doing.

And I have been doing my duty by getting my girlfriend a bit more interested in hockey. I've been overwhelming her by having NHL Network on in the background, a live game on another tv, and a radio broadcast through the computer. It's all about wearing down the resistance ;)

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