Post-game vs Minnesota - Jan 6, 2007 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Post-game vs Minnesota - Jan 6, 2007

The Avs and Minnesota continue their extra time ways as this game was decided via shootout giving Colorado the 2-1 win and a valuable 2 points in the division. My eager eyes now turn to CBC as I cheer for Dallas *shudders* as they take on the Flames. The Avs unfortunately stay planted in 4th in the division. If they had won in regulation, they would have tied with the Wild and taken 3rd place via tie breaking rules. But that's neither here nor there as it is what it is and the Avs are now headed into a tough schedule that pits them against Detroit 3 times as well as Calgary, Anaheim, San Jose and Nashville.

Tonight was our first night to check out fresh AHL recruit Ben Guite and he played a solid game. It seems that coach Q already has confidence in him as he put him on the ice to take a key face-off at the end of the first and he was part of the PK unit killing off the untimely Svatos penalty towards the end of the third. He ended up with 11:26 in ice-time and 3:39 of that was on the penalty kill. Was it coincidental that Guite was in the lineup on the same night that the PK unit turned aside all 6 powerplay attempts?

And in the story of another AHL recruit, Kyle Cumiskey potted his first NHL goal tonight. It was a classic pinch as he took a feed from Brunette behind the goal line and buried it up high on Fernandez. He ended up with 13:40 in ice-time and had a +1 rating. He nearly played as much as Liles did. Looking at the shift chart, Liles hardly played in the third period. I can't remember when he took the puck to the foot but I think it was in the first so I'm not sure why Liles ended up getting virtually benched in the third. I guess Q didn't like what he was seeing from Liles. Or, to be extremely paranoid, the team got concerned after he took the shot to the foot as they're currently shopping him around to clear room for Leopold to come back and Cumiskey to stay on the roster. But that's extremely paranoid as I said.

The Avs went with 7 d-men tonight again but as mentioned, made a slight change to the lineup by inserting Guite and Laaksonen and taking out Mclean and Turgeon. I can see why Turgeon was sat down for a game. He was on a cold streak and looked a bit out of place. As for Mclean, either his back is hurting again or Q is rotating Mclean and Guite for a little while. Tough to tell but the next game should give more indication of what the current roster situation is. If Brisebois comes back soon, it will make the situation even more interesting but the likely bet is that Cumiskey and Guite will get sent down again once the roster is healthy.

As expected by most, Peter Budaj got the call tonight and put in a first start performance against an explosive Wild team (I think I've used that "explosive Wild team" line enough). He made some key saves at the start and shut the doors after giving up a bit of a weak goal by Koivu. So with 9 starts in 12 games, it seems fairly safe right now to say that Budaj is the #1. Of course, a new #1 could be crowned next week for all we know but Budaj has put in some solid performances as of late and as I said, it's best not to change a winning lineup.

Paul Stastny, though held off the scoreboard, put in a solid performance. He was a force on the PK, spent a lot of time on the power play, logged a ton of ice-time in general and fired off 4 shots in the 3rd. He was absolutely robbed on one of those shots by Fernandez who continued to be a thorn in the Avs side. He's a good goalie but he really seems to pull out his best saves when playing the Avs.

On a bad note, Marek Svatos phoned in a pretty mediocre performance tonight. He did get 12 minutes of ice-time but didn't get any shots off in that time. He did manage to take a very untimely penalty towards the end of the third. Thankfully the Avs killed it off and Svatos didn't see the ice again. He certainly has hig his sophomore slump and better break out of it soon if his agent wants to secure him a long-term, multi-million dollar contract.

The Good
- Cumiskey's first NHL goal
- good pressure-filled PK

The Bad
- mediocre PP
- penalty parade in last half of 2nd

The Ugly
- Walz taking a puck to the face


Mike Thompson said...

I enjoy reading your blog, as I sometimes can't catch every Avs game, even with Center Ice. Nice concise posts with good info.

I'm like you and hope the possibility of a D-man trade is small. Aside from Breeze-by, there are some good young blueliners in the system, and moving Liles or Skrastins would be a mistake, IMO.

Keep up the good work.

Shane said...

I'm glad you enjoy reading. It's admittedly fun writing as it forces me to analyze the game a bit more in-depth once it's over.

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