Post-game vs Phoenix - Jan 17, 2007 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Post-game vs Phoenix - Jan 17, 2007

I was stuck at work until now but rest assured I was listening to the game! I just got home, caught the highlights and I'm ready to write up a storm. The Avalanche came out ready to play today and it paid off with a 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. It appeared to be a fairly complete game except for the whole "almost giving up the lead" thing they did towards the end of the third. If you have a 4-1 lead and there are 7 minutes left, you expect to comfortably win the game. 2 goals in a minute and a half made it a nail biter!

Tyler Arnason decided it was time to show himself again and he did a wonderful job. He came away from the game with 3 assists and all 3 were some pretty nice plays. The first was a great pass to Stastny who tipped it in. He then gave a gorgeous feed to Andrew Brunette who had a year and a day to bury it in the empty net. And just for good luck, he fed Stastny one more time for the eventual game winner. It's about time he popped his head up again. He came out flying at the start of the season, tailed back to acceptable and then became mediocre for a little while. Hopefully he doesn't remain this streaky but everyone is entitled to a slump.

Unless, of course, your name is Joe Sakic. He ended up with 2 assists tonight to keep right on trucking on the pace he started from the first game of the season. On his first, he connected with Hejduk after Brunette fed Sakic a pass on the break-in. Can you smell chemistry forming between Sakic and Hejduk? Or is it just that anyone playing with Sakic, ie Wolski, magically becomes a better player?

Ben Guite was recalled today and inserted in the lineup as both Mark Rycroft and Pierre Turgeon sat in the press box. He ended up with 14 minutes in ice-time, 4 1/2 of that on the PK, and won 61% of his faceoffs. I'm not sure if it gets much more solid than that. This is the second time that he's been inserted in the lineup and the PK has broken out of a slump. I asked last time if it was a coincidence. Now it's twice. I don't let it pass 3 times without calling it a reason.

Marek Svatos is in a huge slump right now. He got 8 minutes in ice-time tonight which is barely more than Brett Mclean got. Ouch. In the last 15 games, he has 5 points and only 1 goal. That's hardly what was expected of our prized 30-goal scoring rookie of last season. It appears that the management was right in only signing him to a 1 year, 1 mil deal. I'll leave it to other armchair coaches to figure out how to fix him but off the cuff, I'd say he needs to get stronger on the puck. Seems his shoulders may be troubling him.

Peter Budaj put in a solid game. Not spectacular, but solid. That first goal...well I'm not sure what happened there. After his last few performances though, I'll give him that one. He also got saved by the post a few times. And no, they weren't "but he only gave them the post to hit" post saves. They were "thank you post b/c my *** was beat" post saves. I counted 3 post hits in the highlights shown so Budaj better have given them mucho thanks when the game was done.

And since I deride the PK so much, I should give it kudos when it's working. The PK had a 100% success rate tonight which is a vast improvement from last game when they were under 50%. Since I couldn't see the game, I can only speculate on the reason but I'd say that practice on Tuesday concentrating on the PK helped. Maybe they should have done that sooner. It also sounds like at one point, our own Chuck Klee basically killed a penalty all by himself. I can only go by comments people make on that one but knowing Klee, he's got it in him. Nobody *bleeps* with Chuck.

The Good
- win!
- 100% PK
- 50% PP
- Arnason waking up

The Bad
- lots of penalties

The Ugly
- nearly coughing up a 4-1 late 3rd period lead


AvsFan2142 said...

I really enjoy your analysis of the Avs’ pre and post games. Keep up the good work! Bye the way have you read Adrian Dater’s book on the Avs – Wings’ rivalry?

Shane Giroux said...

Thank you very much AvsFan2142. It's been a pleasure writing them.

I haven't read Dater's book though I keep hearing that it's quite good. I always love inside-type books. I've read a bit of Ray Scapinello's book and it was very interesting.

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