Avalanche Sting Blue Jackets - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Avalanche Sting Blue Jackets

Jeff Finger celebrates his fourth goal of the season
(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Avalanche have claimed 1st place in the Northwest division after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 at the Pepsi Center.

It was a solid game from start to finish, even though the finish was quite boring. At about the 15 minute mark in the third, I started fast-forwarding towards the end as it seemed pre-destined to be a 3-1 contest.

Jose Theodore got his 8th straight start in goal and allowed just the one goal while posting 26 saves including a HUGE glove save on Rick Nash in the second period to maintain the two-goal lead

Theodore is now 4-0-1 in his last five games while allowing just 9 goals, including one shutout. Those are some respectable numbers and you can certainly see the difference in Theodore's game. He's less jittery when their is a lot of action around him and he appears much more calm, composed and confident in net.

Who knew that giving a goaltender a run in net and sticking with him, even if he gives up more than 2 goals in a game, would be a formula for success.

The Avalanche again had an early scrap in the game as Cody McLeod took on Ole-Kristian Tollefson. These early fights have been a recipe for success lately so there's no reason to stop now.

It's certainly not goonish play on the part of the Avalanche but it is their way of saying they won't be pushed around and it's always a good way to get the team adrenaline flowing.

The offense obviously came through this game and they used the gamut of styles to get it done.

The first goal was a big blast from the point by Jeff Finger which got a helpful redirect off of Mike Peca in front. It was good to see Finger get a goal like that as he put up one heck of a game tonight.

The second was the result of some hard work by recent call up David Jones and finished off by a fearless Ben Guite. Jones drove hard to the net, made a nice move to get some space for a shot and then Ben Guite directed the rebound underneath Pascal Leclaire who actually knocked the puck into the net with the knob of his stick.

And finally, the Wolski-Arnason-Svatos line came through with a nice passing play to top it off. John Liles led the breakout, fed Svatos on the right-wing who put it to Wolski as he cut to the middle. Wolski then fed Tyler Arnason who had nothing but net as Leclaire bit on Wolski's shot fake. Just a classic goal.

Jeff Finger led the team in ice-time with 24:51, scored a goal and was +2 on the night leading Terry Frei to name him as the first star of the night.

I loved Finger as soon as he was called up last year and he has rarely disappointed since. He's the most physical defenseman on the team and has really upped his defensive awareness and composure this year.

Scott Hannan was also a +2 as he has continued to play some solid defensive hockey. He's been silently rubbing people out on the wall as they try to set up in the zone and has been making better breakout decisions lately. The puck is no longer the ticking grenade he thought it was.

Johnny Boychuk was dressed as the 6th defenseman but but only saw 8:27 in ice-time. When the game first started I don't think I saw him for at least 5 minutes while noting that it appeared Jeff Finger had yet to leave the ice.


In a bid to appease DD from In the Cheap Seats, Q starts with Brunette on left wing on the 1st line. And then in what appears to be a shameless attempt to gain brownie points, he also keeps the two Cody's on the same line.

TJ Hensick found himself sandwiched between the Cody's as he obviously impressed Q with his speed last game. His speed was still there tonight but he seemed less of a threat.

Davey Jones found himself on a line with Ben Guite and Ian Laperriere and didn't look out of place at all. He laid out some solid hits, got himself an assist and ended up +1 with just under 10 minutes of ice time.

- Rick Nash was effectively neutralized most of the night
- Hlinka continues to perform well on 1st line duties\
- Ben Guite won 10 of his 12 faceoffs as he's doing a good job scrambling on the draw
- Q had a solid suit on tonight though I'm not a fan of that shade of grey
- who knew the Giants would beat the Packers!

Related Links
NHL.com Event Summary
ColoradoAvalanche.com Recap
In the Cheap Seats Game Notes


Jibblescribbits said...

If Q mkeeps it together, a HUGE If I know, but can we call it the McHensik line?

Mike at MHH said...

Me likey the new layout. Much more balanced layout.

Shane Giroux said...

I'm digging the McHensick name. Or should I say "Ba da da da da, I'm lovin' it"

Thanks Mike. I figured it was about time to update it since it's been over a year using that template. It was hard to add any new features without clogging things up.

Hopefully this gives more information in a similar amount of real estate.

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