Avalanche Bottle Up Lightning - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Avalanche Bottle Up Lightning

Jeff Finger celebrates the game winning goal as the Colorado Avalanche shut out the Tampa Bay Lightning
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
The Avalanche their first shutout of the season in a game that almost put me to sleep. I thought this game would possibly have some high-flying action from both sides but scoring chances were few and far between tonight.

Both teams put up a decent amount of shots, particularly Tampa in the final period, but there was no real zip to this game. No punch. No pizzazz. No "Je ne sais quoi." They just couldn't pull me in and get me excited.

Fisticuffs
The game got off to a bang as Cody McLeod tangled with Kyle Wanvig followed up seconds later with Ian Laperriere facing off against Shane O'Brien. After the wrestling match where O'Brien landed one punch, he did the ol' gunslinger bit made famous by Tie Domi.

Psst, Mr. O'Brien, you landed one punch against a middleweight fighter. You didn't exactly take down Bob Probert or anything.

Paint Drying
The next note I wrote down was "BORING" followed by "Why did they change lines to get Arnason on vs Lecavalier?" Yes, it was that exciting.

Offense
The Avalanche broke through in the second with a couple power play goals. In a shocking twist, running counter to all known laws of the universe, both goals were the results of shots from the point. I'm just...my mind is boggled. First Jeff Finger blasts one right past Ramo and then Stastny banged home a rebound off a Brett Clark shot.

I wonder if they should maybe take shots from the point more often? I mean, I know it seems crazy but it appears to work for some bizarre reason so they might as well stick with it.

Milan Hejduk sealed it with an empty netter late in the third and then the most exciting part of the game started.

Goaltending
"Will he get the shutout?" became the name of the game. You could see it in the way the Avalanche players defended their own zone. Very tentative to make sure they didn't make a mistake, no trying to rush out of the zone risking giving up an odd-man rush.

It all worked out in the end as, even with the Lightning peppering him for 22 shots in the final frame, Jose Theodore got the Avalanche their first shutout of the season and his first since February of 2004. That's a long time to go without a goose egg!

Lines
Brunette-Stastny-Hejduk
Wolski-Arnason-Svatos
McCormick-Guite-Laperriere
McLeod-Hlinka-Parker

Not much different this game other than Brunette starting on the top line rather than ending the game on it. Hlinka was again stuck on the 4th line with Parker and McLeod but he had shifts with other linemates throughout the game.

Notes
- Cody McLeod had Jan Hlavac lined up for a punishing hit but Hlavac fell and McLeod let up (were you watching Mr. Clark?)
- Tortorrella burned his timeout late in the 1st as he was obviously unimpressed with Tampa's efforts
- was it just me or did it seem like nobody - players and fans alike - cared about this game?
- the Flames and Canucks lost tonight with Edmonton likely to go down to the Kings
- and the Wings got smoked 5-1 by Atlanta
- in Detroit

Related Links
ColoradoAvalanche.com Recap
Denver Post Recap
In the Cheap Seats Recap
Jibblescribbits Recap
Bolts Blog Recap

7 Comments:

Azazael said...

I am really hoping that all of this playtime for Theo is to showcase him to a possible team for a trade. Boots was doing awesome when he got the bench.

And man did ATL look awesome against the Wings.

Under two weeks until the All Star game, I can't wait. Got my tickets already :)

Draft Dodger said...

I will say that you can see the player's confidence in Theodore is building. They are playing better in front of him. On my feed, they interviewed Clark during the 2nd intermission and you really got the sense the guys think he's turned it around. I've heard it before, but never felt they meant it.

I don't know if that makes sense or not - it certainly did in my head.

Shane Giroux said...

azazael, when I switched to the Detroit game to check the score, it was 4-0 and I started laughing so hard my girlfriend thought I'd finally lost my mind!

Kovalchuk almost made it 5-0 on a breakaway too but missed the net. Of course, to the Detroit announcers it was a fantastic save by Hasek.

dd, yeah, it does seem that they're less apprehensive with him in net. As much as we all slag on Theodore, if he's able to turn it around and get a bunch of wins, I'm all for it.

I'm still a bit nervous with him in net as he always seems one bad goal away from a mental meltdown.

I mean, does he have to throw his head back on every goal he lets in? It makes him appear to be saying "Oh man, how bad do I suck that I let that in."

Azazael said...

I didn't get to watch much of either game, something about my wife having control of the TV most of the night and neither game was on SUN sports or VS.

The players do seem a little less apprehensive with him in net, but at the same time you can see how scared they are when the game is close. They don't have the faith in him to make that one game changing stop.

The players had just started to get that confidence in boots when Q made the change.

Mike at MHH said...

Speaking of showcases, there's a chance that Hossa was trying to get the Detroit management to notice his skilz so they'd snag him from the ATL.

Perhaps Theo was thinking the same thing in Tampa...

Shane Giroux said...

Good call on Hossa possibly being jazzed up to show his mad skillz, Mike.

I still just don't see Theodore getting traded but anything we could get for him would be gravy.

Jibblescribbits said...

I could see Theo getting traded, teams are always desperate for a goalie.

Sometimes I expect Mike to get a call from Tamp, or Q

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