Wild Beat up Avalanche 4-1 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wild Beat up Avalanche 4-1

D'oh! This has been a brutal roadtrip so far. However, you could make an argument that it's getting better. 6-1. 4-1. Next game may end up 2-1. Then it's shutout time!

Unfortunately, the next couple games are against the fiery Flames and the cocky Canucks. So some important divisional points are at stake.

First Period
It wasn't looking too bad in the first. There was some end-to-end rushes by both teams and it looked like it might be an exciting game.

Wyatt Smith took a hooking penalty and the team killed it off even though the Wild had some good puck movement going. Budaj chipped in with a couple nice saves.

At this point, the tables started to tilt a bit. After some initial open-ended play, the Wild tightened up a bit on defense but kept their offense going. Through the first half of the period, shots were 8-3 for the Wild.

A Liles miscue deep in the defensive zone led to a great chance for Stephane Veilleux but Budaj made a supreme toe save. Actually, it might have been his skate blade that caught the puck a bit to keep it out. Great flexibility and reach shown by Budaj there.

With just under 5 minutes left, the Wild were able to crack through. Matt Foy (who?) tried a wraparound and in the ensuing scrum, Aaron Voras (wha?) corralled the loose puck and put it in the back of the net. Scramble plays in front of your goaltender are tough ones but it would have been nice to not see a Wild player wide open at the side of the net.

Shortly after this play, the crossbar denied Belanger off of a nice feed from Gaborik. The first line then put some pressure on the Wild leading to a late powerplay. With Harding slashing Smyth in front, the Avs got a great chance on their own scramble in front but Belanger was able to clear it.

Second Period
The Avs start with 46 seconds left on their powerplay but don't get anything done against Harding and the Wild.

Hannan put in a weird pinch outside of the Wild offensive zone and he had no legs to get back. So it was a Wild 2-on-1 but again Budaj came up big against Belanger. Where's my bottle of Tums?

The aforementioned Matt Foy then broke very wide down the left side, fired off an average speed wrister which somehow eluded Budaj. That's one Budaj would like back as he appeared to be trying to punch it to the corner but mis-timed it.

The Avalanche then got their second powerplay of the night. The PP unit looked decent but not deadly. They had another in tight chance but Harding was up to the task.

Tyler Arnason had a great breakaway opportunity and made a nice move. Unfortunately Harding made a nicer save. Even more unfortunate, the puck was fired down the ice to Stephane Veilleux who found himself uncontested as the Avs looked a bit sluggish on a line change. He made no mistake and buried it shortside on Budaj who may have been distracted by Marian Gaborik streaking down the wing.

And 42 seconds later the Avalanche get back into the game with a flukey goal. Milan Hejduk was circling the net and then tossed a backhand across the crease. Harding went down at just the right moment for it to go under his right pad, then bounce off his left pad and in. Could the Avs be poised for a comeback?

No. Brian Rolston took control of the puck down low, Tyler Arnason lazily poked at the puck, then Rolston fed a pinching Brent Burns for a very nice goal. That made the game 4-1 going into the third and the writing was writ on the wall.

Third Period
About 5 minutes in to the third I realized that this game was available in HD so I switched over. The Avs looked even worse in HD. So did their powerplay which failed to convert on a Dominic Moore hooking call.

As the Riders had just finished putting a beatdown on the B.C. Lions, I wasn't paying much attention to the game. Not that it mattered as it was well out of reach.

The Avalanche and Wild then traded powerplay opportunities but there were no more goals to be had.

Odds and Ends
- Richardson was in on the 3rd line and played very well
- Budaj looked very sharp aside from the 2nd goal
- Josh Harding is a hell of a "backup" goaltender
- Wolski had a shift on the PK during the third period
- the Avs again took just 2 penalties on the night
- Arnason tripped and fell at the very end of the game which seemed an appropriate ending

Hannan and Clark were the ice time leaders with 22:33 and 22:03 respectively. Wyatt Smith only saw 5:41 including zero minutes on the PK as Richardson took his spot in that department. He's looking to be the odd man out once Lappy is back.

Tyler Arnason got off 7 shots tonight. Sakic had 4 and Hejduk had 3. And they had a grand total of 1 goal between them. Wolski had no shots tonight but had 3 attempts blocked.

The Avalanche registered 14 hits tonight which isn't bad at all. Finger, Svatos and Smyth each had 2.

The team went above 50% on faceoffs (55%), again proving that faceoff wins don't always correlate to points in the standings.

Final Note
The RoughRiders are off to the Grey Cup against the Blue Bombers who just lost Kevin Glenn to a broken arm. In other words, the Grey Cup is coming back to Saskatchewan next week! The Grey Cup will be broadcast on Altitude so all you Denver area folks, be sure to check it out.

Related Links
ColoradoAvalanche.com Recap
In the Cheap Seats Recap


Post a Comment