Avalanche Shut Out Flames - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Monday, March 24, 2008

Avalanche Shut Out Flames

Jose Theodore pokes the puck away as he posts up a shutout in the Colorado Avalanche's 2-0 win over the Calgary Flames
(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
In the immortal words of Al Pacino...Hoo-ah! This was a game the Avalanche definitely needed to win and they ended up shutting out a divisional opponent to maintain a hold on the 8th playoff spot in the West.

It was a hotly contested games as both teams stormed the opposing goaltender, tossed some heavy checks and got a little lippy. In the first period there were more entertaining sequences during stoppages than there were entertaining sequences during actual play. Of course Ian Laperierre figured into most of those interactions and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love how animated he gets when he's really riled up.

Theodore Shuts the Door
Jose Theodore played a solid game although I don't think he played superb. He made a couple excellent saves late in the third when it mattered but up until that point he was tossing out some interesting rebounds. Fortunately, the Flames were more concerned with steamrolling Theodore than burying the rebounds.

This game should go a long way to restoring Theodore's psyche to what it was before the 1-4 run he was on recently. And lets not forget that he was yanked against Edmonton after giving up 3 goals on 8 shots. You've got to give Q props to having the balls to go back to Theodore and not jump the gun and switch to Budaj this late in the season.

Forsberg Returns
Peter Forsberg returned...again. After missing a few games with a sore groin (pssstt...don't tell anyone but it was actually his ankle) he stepped back into the lineup on home ice again. I'll be honest, he wasn't all that noticeable out there. He was part of the great rush that led to the first Avalanche goal but that was about it.

Leopold Punishes Former Team
Jordan Leopold was in the lineup again as Adam Foote continues to rest his injured hip and he made his former team pay. Leopold trailed in off a great rush into the Flames zone and blasted the puck home. Oh, and it was on a powerplay. With Phaneuf in the box. Does it get any sweeter?

Phaneuf talks but doesn't walk
Well, maybe that's not an entirely fair heading. Phaneuf did walk...away from any scrum or challenge that Avalanche players issued. He and Ian Laperierre spent a good portion of the first period jawing with each other but Phaneuf appeared to not want to back up his tough talk by dropping the gloves. Because you know Lappy would have done it at the drop of a hat.

And just for that, let's all remember when Phaneuf was completely owned by Jarko Ruutu.

Iginla off his game
Jarome Iginla was off his game all night. He spent more time running around yipping and bitching than he did concentrating on the game. In fact, it was Iggy who put the icing on the cake by firing the puck wide on the far side in the final seconds which sent the puck out of the zone and sealed the deal. It was a shot out of frustration and anger, not strategy, in my estimation.

Often times you don't want to fire up Iginla but the Avalanche did a great job in pressuring him and really getting under his skin. Again, he and Lappy did a lot of yapping in the first and Iginla was visibly angered, not just fired up. Any time you can take a Hart candidate off his game, you're doing something right.

Botched call?
On the game clinching second goal, you could make an argument that the play should have been whistled as icing. And from what I, and the announcers, could tell you'd be right. The puck was fired from the Avalanche blueline and never touched any other player until Phaneuf got to it. I'm not sure how both linesman let that one go and I know I'd be a bit ticked if I were a Flames fan. But thankfully I'm not a Flames fan.

The lines stayed solid throughout (and the team won) with Wolski rejoining Sakic and Brunette. Peter Forsberg found himself on the third line (and the lines stayed solid) with Tyler Arnason and David Jones which kept his ice-time down. Hopefully the 15 minutes he played wasn't too much for his foot (and the team won) and we'll see him back in the lineup on Wednesday.

The grind line of McLeod-Guite-Lappy were a spark plug all night (and the lines stayed solid) long and though I tend to prefer McCormick over McLeod, there isn't much complaining to do when the team wins, right?

Oh, did I mention that the lines stayed solid and the team won? I'm going to send some data over to NASA so they can look for a correlation.

Flames Announcers
Seriously, do I ever get to make a post without these two? I'm sure they're not bad people but their blatant homerism is just frustrating to listen to. When an Avalanche player knocks down a Flames player he "tackles him" but the exact same play in reverse is a "great defensive play" It's just too much to handle sometimes.

Hell, when Theodore got run over and bent in half, they actually said "Jose Theodore is allegedly injured..." once the play was stopped. Really, they actually said "allegedly" as Theodore lay in pain after performing a Cirque de Soleil-style stretch.

Oh, and to top it all off, they said Lappy was "an interesting choice as a leader" And they didn't mean that in a good way. They meant it in a way that questions the mentality of a team that would give Lappy an A on his jersey. Anyone who watches him play should know why he's chosen to be a leader but watching the game would be asking too much of those two.

- Jeff Finger was the ice-time leader for the Avs with 23:49
- the Avs pushed back against a physical Calgary team and showed some testicular fortitude
- the Avalanche won the faceoff game with a 55% win rate
- Ruslan Salei saw a ton of PP time but only ended up with 1 shot on the night
- Cody McLeod saw some PK time

Related Links
NHL.com Event Summary
ColoradoAvalanche.com Recap
In the Cheat Seats Recap
Phaneuf's Judgement Cometh Soon
Late game observations from Dater
Theodore takes charge
Leopold scores on recovery
Phaneuf's tactics fail to pay off


Draft Dodger said...

"But thankfully I'm not a Flames fan."

best line of an excellent recap.

not only did the lines stay concrete and the team won, but the team also had a 3rd period lead and yet outshot the other team. I'm sure it's happened before, but not often.

Millions and Simmer...wow. The way Millions makes those little underhanded swipes is unreal. You mentioned a couple (I mention the Lappy 'A' thing in my recap as well). Another great one was early in the 1st, when Millions mentioned that the Avs were outshooting the Flames "or so they say". Because the scorekeeper has some sort of anti-Calgary bias. Unbelievable. When they complained about an actual valid issue - the non-icing call - it was difficult to separate if from all the other incessant whining that these two (mostly Millions) makes.

Simmer is less annoying to me. Maybe I respect him more because he once was married to a playmate of the year. When they show him in the booth, I absolutely cannot reconcile his face with the big brown mustache guy who played with the Kings. That can't be the same guy, can it?

Shane Giroux said...

Thanks, DD. I got concerned when I saw Forsberg on with Sakic and Wolski down with Arnason. I believe what I wrote down on my note was "Oh f*!k me" But Q may have done that to toss off Keenan which I have to say was...a good coaching decision. Wow.

Millions and Simmer raise my blood pressure so much with their little jabs that I actually get upset that they can affect me like that.

And then they did get it right on the icing call, I doubted my own eyes just b/c I didn't feel I would ever agree with them on anything.

Draft Dodger said...

heh - yeah, I had to back up the icing call a few times myself.

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