Avalanche Thump Canucks - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Avalanche Thump Canucks

Ben Guite congratulates Jose Theodore after the Colorado Avalanche defeat the Vancouver Canucks 6-3
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Well that was the biggest win of the season by far. Tonight the Avalanche thumped the Canucks 6-3 - including 5 goals on Roberto Luongo - to jump into 7th in the West. The Avalanche are now 4 up on Nashville and 5 up on Edmonton in the playoff race. With a mere 4 or 5 games remaining between the teams gunning for the final spots, the Avalanche are all but assured a spot if they just keep the pedal pressed down.

Goaltending anti-duel
Roberto Luongo let in 5 goals which is the first time he's done that since February 9th against...the Colorado Avalanche. For a guy with a GAA below the 2.3 mark the Avalanche sure haven't had trouble scoring on him. Hey Gary, can you make an exception and let the Avs play the Canucks in the playoffs? Pretty please?

At the other end, Jose Theodore got the better of Luongo but still had some stumbling points. The first goal was a great goal by the Canucks and the 2nd goal was pure dumb luck. The third goal, however, could have turned the tide of the game in the Canucks favor. Sami Salo blasted a shot from the point and it beat Theodore cleanly on the short side. That's a puck that needed to be stopped as they were just 10 seconds away from taking a 3 goal lead into the third.

Forsberg and Hejduk together again
In what you could say is a brilliant coaching move, Joel Quenneville bumped Ryan Smyth from the RPM line and created the PPM line. And PPM stood for Point Per Minute for that trio tonight. Once those three were together they accounted for 3 goals and 9 points. Paul Stastny had a goal and two assists, Hejduk had two goals and one assist and Forsberg had three assist.

I think everyone well remembers the dynamite duo that Forsberg and Hejduk were back in day and Quenneville decided to give the duo a shot again. It payed off extremely well and I can't see why he'd bother breaking them up at this point. Of course next game they could come out flat for 5 minutes and Forsberg would find himself playing with Ben Guite.

Timeout while up?
In what I'd call another excellent coaching move, Quenneville called a timeout shortly after the Avs went up 5-2 after an icing call. Not only did it give the players a chance to catch a breather before a tough draw but it also settled the team down. They really started running around and loosening up a bit much so the timeout served to settle them back into their groove.

Smyth drops 'em?
In what I'd call a not so brilliant coaching move, after the Canucks had scored the late 2nd period goal Alain Vigneault put out a line including uber-pest Alex Burrows. Q, with last change, put out a line including Ryan Smyth rather than the grind line. What happened was Alex Burrows lined up next to Smyth and knocked his stick out of his hands off the draw. This apparently enraged Smyth and he chased after Burrows and the two dropped the gloves and fell to the ice (as Burrows was backpedaling faster than Dion Phaneuf)

Now, I think Smyth should have kept his cool and let it go but in his defense, he did get bumped down to the third line again so he may have been frustrated. But he never should have been out there at that point anyways. A 10 second shift to end the period after a momentum changing goal calls for the grind line of Guite, Lappy and McLeod.

"I really think Vancouver can come back"
In the only reference I'll make to McGuire - who wasn't that bad tonight I thought - he stated before the third period began that he really felt the Canucks could come back and take this game to OT. 23 seconds later Milan Hejduk made it 6-3 and we never heard mention of that comment again.

- Wolski had a great steal down low to lead to the 5th goal
- the Avs had 23 shots in their 4-goal second period
- Leopold left the game in the third with what appears to be another injury
- McLeod's goal was his first in 23 games and he keeps doing it against superstar goaltenders
- the fans were really into this game and it was great to hear the excitement
- that's the first 3-game losing streak for the Canucks this season
- Andrew Brunette continues to quietly rack up points with 2 assists tonight
- the Avs won the faceoff game (!!!) with 60%

Related Links
NHL.com Event Summary
In the Cheap Seats Recap
Denver Post Recap
ColoradoAvalanche.com Recap
How Luongo getting laid could help the Avs
Doing the dirty work, game in and game out


Jed said...

so wait another great game against the nucks? Gee one of the last great games they had was against that team. I really REALLY wish that I could have seen either of those games. I am glad there is no way they can play in the playoffs, (not right away anyway) because I am sure the games would only be on NHLnet, like all the rest of the games have been this year.....

Jibblescribbits said...

The Avs have to have Luongo's number right? And what a great game, I'm glad I actually got to watch it.

geoff said...

that was great! there's nothing better than owning the canucks, although i hate to get cocky with the avs as they have been less than consistent lately.

Shane Giroux said...

jed, yeah the NHL is really messing things up with their tv deals. I don't know why they can't see that it's a problem to restrict their broadcats.

jib, glad you headed out to the bar to catch the game. Nothing better than watching the Avs smoke the Canucks. Well, maybe watching them smoke the Wings or Flames :)

geoff, you've got that right. I'm cautiously optimistic that the last couple games could be turning points heading into the playoffs. But the Avalanche have proved me wrong before.

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