Avalanche Play 30 Minutes, Lose to Red Wings - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Avalanche Play 30 Minutes, Lose to Red Wings

The Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings mix it up in the 2008 NHL Playoffs
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
You cannot play 30 minutes against the Detroit Red Wings and expect to win the hockey game.

Unfortunately that's what Jose Theodore and the Colorado Avalanche tried to do tonight.

Strike first, strike un-often
Although the Avalanche got on the board first, it felt like it was only a matter of time before the Wings broke out. And break out they did. The Wings went on to score 4 straight goals as they chased Jose Theodore from the net.

The team was confused, disoriented and appeared shocked that they were involved in a hockey game. It was hard to watch and I found myself turning away from the tv, giving my head a little shake, turning back and hoping that things had changed.

Theodore takes his pads and goes home
Theodore ended up heading back to the hotel in street clothes and was reported as having the flu. I hope so because he did not look very good tonight. Sure, the Avalanche weren't helping at all but he just didn't seem to be in his groove at all.

Given that Tyler Weiman dressed as the backup for the third period, I would say it's legit that Theodore has the flu. Or a broken leg. Who knows in the playoffs.

Put the remote down and back away from the tv
After the fourth goal went in I had that brief moment that I'm sure all Avalanche fans had. My hand slowly went towards the remote control as my other hand cradled my head. My mind and body started an intense battle.

My thumb was itching to hit that glowing power button. My mind was telling me to hold on and see this one through. Or it was trying to punish me for all the brain cell killing I did as a youth. In the end, my brain won the day.

I kept the TV on and hoped that the team would wake up on the heels of the goaltending change.

Game lag
And wake up they did. Four minutes after Budaj came in, John-Michael Liles flew down the wing, took a feed from Cody McLeod and buried a shot past the short side on Osgood. The Avs were back in it!

At that point, I started to wonder if the Avalanche had a case of "game lag." It's similar to jet lag except a bit more annoying - for fans anyways. You see, all the previous Avalanche games started at 7:00 or 8:00 MT rather than 5:30 as today's game did. And when did the team wake up? Right around 7:00 MT.

They better cure that right quick as Saturday's game is at 1:00pm MT.

Rally picks up
The rally continued late in the second period. The Avalanche had finally been applying some pressure and making this look like a hockey game. But if they wanted any chance of getting back into it, they needed to get within one goal before the third period.

The newly reunited RPM line got it done. Breaking in on a 3-on-2, Ryan Smyth fed the puck up to Paul Stastny who displayed some excellent patience and fed Milan Hejduk who potted it over an outstretched Osgood's left pad.

Rally falls short
Unfortunately the rally didn't produce any goals in the third period. It did produce one heart wrenching *CLANK* off of the iron on a Milan Hejduk shot. Oh, if only that had been a few centimeters to the right, we might have been headed to overtime.

But the hockey gods don't take kindly to teams who don't play a full game so the Avalanche were denied the full comeback.

Lessons learned
Early on in this game, I had horrible visions of the 4-0 rout in the regular season. Would we be destined to sit idly by while the Avalanche played on their heels and were content simply trying to "stay close" and snag an OT point?

The Avalanche answered those fears with some solid play throughout the last half of the second and most of the third period.

The Avalanche defensive unit, with the exception of Liles and Leopold, are not the most mobile unit in the NHL. With that being said, they can still be effective by having proper positioning.

Letting Zetterberg sneak past you while trying to decide whether to block a shot - come on, Foote - is not proper positioning. Driving Datsyuk into the ice as he tries to break wide past you - thank you, Liles - is proper positioning.

In the end, the Avalanche put in a terrible 30 minutes followed by an above-average 30 minutes and lost by one goal.

The potential was there for a blowout but the team woke up, dug in and showed that they're going to make a series of it.

Notes
- the Avalanche scored first for the seventh straight time this playoffs
- Wojtek Wolski left the game with an injury after taking a hip check from Ruslan Salei (no, that isn't a typo)
- Nik Kronwall had a hate on for David Jones
- Tyler Arnason was a man on fire late in the third
- Datsyuk is a freakin' magician with the puck
- Budaj faced 2o shots and didn't give an inch
- but they should still come back with Theodore if he's healthy Saturday
- Cody McCormick drew in to the open forward slot
- Hejduk, Stastny and Smyth were +2, +2 and +1 with 2 points each
- Pierre McGuire wants to marry Mike Bacbock
- did the Wings find their anthem singer at the bottom of the discount porn barrel?
- throwing octopuses is a retarded tradition

Related Links
NHL.com Event Summary
ColoradoAvalanche.com Recap
Jerseys and Hockey Love Recap
Denver Post Recap
RMN Recap
On the Wings Recap
Medical worries haunt Colorado
A sickening feeling in the Motor City
Wolski injured against Wings
Franzen's goal shows he's not foreign to success
The deal with the devil

6 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Theodore did have the flu, he even missed the morning skate because of it. If it were the reg season, he wouldn't have played.

Says so here:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news?slug=chasingstanleytheodoreis&prov=tsn&type=lgns

tapeleg said...

Anon - if that's the case, and I am not questioning your knowledge here, why did he play?

Shane - They have better learned the lesson. And the lesson may be, play Budaj!!!

Jed said...

Shane I finally got a chance to upload some pictures:
http://s270.photobucket.com/albums/jj94/azazael13/hockey/

If you want to see the high res originals give me an email address to send to.

As for last nights loss, :( Lets hope that it was just game lag.

Shane Giroux said...

But in the playoffs, were every game matters, they decide to let him play? I understand it's a tough decision to scratch your #1 goaltender b/c of the flu but the flu can sap the strength from the toughest of folks. He should not have played if he was sick.

If Theodore does have the flu, it might not be a bad idea to sit him on Saturday afternoon.

It's barely 24 hours from puck drop at the moment and I don't see him recovering completely by then based on his performance last night.

jed, thanks for the pics! I like the overhead shots. They may not look as action-filled as ice-level shots but they really let you see what was happening on the ice.

Jibblescribbits said...

I don't find it weird that Theo played while sick. Players are always trying to minimize symptoms in order to stay in the game.

I find it utterly bizarre that he left the arena. That just makes no sense to me at all.

Shane Giroux said...

jib, while true there is more riding on a goaltender to perform at peak capacity. The announcers were noting instances where Theodore would normally snag a puck but he didn't get his arm up in time. It makes perfect sense now if he actually did have the flu.

As for leaving the arena and dressing Weiman, that was certainly out of the ordinary. Weiman looked good on the bench though. I've got high hopes for him now ;)

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