Pre-game vs Nashville - Jan 30, 2007 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pre-game vs Nashville - Jan 30, 2007

The Colorado Avalanche open a five-game homestand tonight as the Nashville Predators make their way into town. The Predators are on a 4 game winning streak and have won 9 of their last 10. The Avalanche are on a 3 game losing streak and are 5-3-2 in their last 10. That record is not reflective of their play as they are more deserved of a 3-7-0 record but I'll take it! The Avalanche are within 4 points of Minnesota and have 2 games in hand. Some quick math says that a 2 game win streak puts the team right back in the hunt.

After the teams performance against Detroit, many players, including Joe Sakic, were highly critical of how the team played. Sakic called it their worst game of the year and I can't say I disagree with that. Arguments about the high-stick goal aside, the Avs did not deserve to be anywhere in the same league as Detroit. They were out-muscled and out-hustled and that has to change. Especially coming up against a speedy team like Nashville.

Peter Budaj gets the start in goal tonight, much to the chagrin of folks who thought Jose Theodore put in a solid performance against the Wings. I agree that he put in a great performance against them but if Q is trying to send a message that Peter Budaj is the starter and Theodore is the backup, then this is the way to do it. Budaj had a shaky game so he got one game off to relax and gets put right back into it, no matter how well the backup played. I want Theodore to play as I'm a big fan of French-Canadian goalies, but I have to trust that the coach knows what he's doing. And lately, that does seem to be the case.

Patrice Brisebois is now officially out for the season and Francois Giguere will be applying for long-term injury relief to gain back some of his salary under the cap. Given that he is looking to do that, I think we will see a deal happen before/at the deadline. There's no reason to free up cap room if it isn't to give some wiggle room to make a deal. It wouldn't surprise me if the Avs are still just barely out of a playoff spot come the trade deadline so a good pickup might push them back into the thick of the race.

With the absence of both Brisebois and Liles, it leaves an offensive hole on the blueline which is sorely needed. The teams breakout skills at the moment are horrendous. It all starts with that first pass out of the zone and, as much as people deride him, Brisebois was good at starting rushes. Liles is also no slouch and it sounds like he should be back in slightly over a week. He's been practicing with the team already and hopefully he'll come back wearing extra padding on his skate. I think all defensemen should look at wearing those as they're in the line of fire a lot.

Injuries
Brisebois - back, IR (out for season)
Liles - foot, IR
May - shoulder, IR

Zidlicky - flu, day-to-day

Hot
Stastny has 11 in 11, Sakic has 8 in 7, Brunette has 7 in 7, Laperriere has 3 in 3, Clark has 3 in 2.

Legwand has 7 in 3, Kariya has 7 in 4, Dumont has 12 in 12, Erat has 6 in 3, Arnott has 3 in 2.

Cold
Svatos has 0 in 6, Hejduk has 0 in 3, Arnason has 0 in 3.

Hartnell has 1 in 4.

Goaltenders
Peter Budaj - 15-10-3, 2.58 GAA, .909 save pct.
Tomas Vokoun - 15-4-1, 2.44 GAA, .918 save pct.

Standing
Colorado - 24-21-4, 4th in NW, 9th in West
Nashville - 36-12-3, 1st in Central, 1st in West (and 1st in the league)

2 Comments:

Mike Thompson said...

As a goalie and a goaltending fan, I can unequivacably say that Budaj should be the starter for the Avs. The mistakes he makes tend to usually fall in the 'inexperience' category, while Theodore's problems all stem from a lack of positional discipline and confidence. He plays small in net and doesn't use his natural reflexes and instincts to challange shooters or force plays. He sits back alot and waits for the play to come to him, which given his size and tends to do more harm than good.

Glad to see the Avs pull out the W against a VERY good Preds team.

Shane Giroux said...

It's too bad our choices for starters are either an inexperienced goaltender or an experienced goaltender who lost his game. However, no way to get experience other than making saves!

I think Theodore is slightly off position and also is a bit off balance. He fell down a couple times in the Wings game where I thought "Why did he fall over?". That being said, he seems to be working hard and regaining some confidence.

He was quoted after the Detroit game as saying (para-phrasing here) "After the second, I didn't give a ****, I just did what I had to to stop the puck".

So yeah, quit thinking about stopping the puck and just stop the damn thing. He has tremendous reflexes when he shuts off the conscious part of his brain and just goes with the flow.

If he can get his positioning and balance figured out, he'll be a very good goaltender once again.

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