Avalanche On a Roll, Down Stars 5-4 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Avalanche On a Roll, Down Stars 5-4

Milan Hejduk of the Colorado Avalanche scores on Marty Turco of the Dallas Stars
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
The Avalanche capitalized on a sloppy Stars team this afternoon and embarked on a 2-game winning streak, downing the Stars by a score of 5-4.

The two teams came out with good energy to start the game but it was the Avs who had the upper hand after one period thanks to goals by Milan Hejduk and Darcy Tucker. On an overeall bad night for Turco, I thought he looked particuarly weak on the Tucker goal.

The second period went even better than the first. After an early goal by the Stars, the Avalanche fired back wiht three straight goals by Hejduk, John-Michael Liles and Tyler Arnason. Don't worry, Arnason's goal was a gimme. It's not like he's decided to try again.

But what looked a commanding 5-2 lead dwindled down quickly in the third period.

The Stars scored two goals within the first seven minutes and had many Avs fans firing up the torches and grabbing their pitchforks.

Luckily for Andrew Raycroft, the Stars then had a goal called off followed by Brendan Morrow taking a most untimely slashing penalty and the Avalanche skated away with a nail-biting win.

Sakic and Stastny lead the way
Joe Sakic nabbed two assists and Paul Stastny had three as those two continue to tear it up this season.

Has there been any player more under the radar than Stastny? He puts away three assists tonight, giving him 9 points in 5 games. That pace won't last but he certainly seems to be ramping up for a 100-point season.

If only we could get him to stop doing Lasik commercials...

Wolski winning over critics
Has Wojtek Wolski won over some critics with his play thus far? I'd like to think so. 

He had two more assists tonight, one of them coming off a great effort against Trevor Daley. He outskated and outmuscled Daley to the puck, feeding it back to Tucker who banged it home. Tucker got the goal, but it was all Wolski on that one.

Powered up
The Avalanche converted on 2 of their 8 powerplays for a 25% success rate. That's enough to make me shut my trap about playing forwards on the point. For now.

Like the drunk girl at the bar
The Avalanche again took advantage of opposition turnovers and made the most of it. The forecheck and backcheck weren't as dominating as they were against the Flyers but it was enough to cause havoc with the Stars breakouts and neutral zone plays.

Paul Stastny's steal leading to Milan Hejduk's first goal was a perfect example of keeping your stick on the ice and in the passing line.

The McCody's plus one
The line of Cody Mcleod, Ian Laperierre and Cody McCormick have been as good a checking line as any this season. 

As much as I like Guite, McCormick has outplayed him and with Granato using youngsters like Jones and Wolski on the PK, Guite's usefulness is limited.

All three player had fights tonight and they were decent bouts. Lappy's fight against Ott was particularly good and though Lappy was taken down three times, I still felt he landed more shots.

And no, let's not start calling this line The Punch Line. I've never been a believer in naming lines, particularly when they're forced.

Dry those eyes, Brendan
I love Brendan Morrow. I love his heart, his passion and his desire. But man does he look like a baby a lot of times. 

Late in the game, he took an unsportsmanlike penalty followed by a slashing penalty where he broke his stick but still whined about the call. A captain shouldn't be taking those penalties at all, let along late in a game when your team is down by one goal.

You're better than that, Brendan. Or at least I thought so.

Poor Marty
What is it about the Avs and Marty Turco? It seems nearly every time they meet, the Avs have his number.

At least Turco can take solace in the fact that he's let in 4+ goals against most of his opponents this year. He's an equal opportunity goaltender.

Budaj will be in next game
Andrew Raycroft did not play well enough tonight to "earn" his third straight start. He actually regressed as the game went on. For the first 20 minutes, he looked decent. Not great, but decent. He was square to the shooters, he was gobbling up pucks and looking like he would help the team win.

In the second period, things got a bit worse. The early goal aside - I'll explain that in a second - he looked out of position and became over-aggressive.

In the third period, he looked like he wanted to take the game to overtime just to get more ice time. You could attribute a bit of his troubles to the Stars outplaying the Avalanche in the third period, but he just looked sloppy out there.

On the early goal in the second period, it seemed that he actually got stuck on the wet ice when trying to slide across, ending up wildly out of position. Or my brain is trying to shield me from the awful truth: Raycroft completely lost his net and had no idea where he was.

Either way, Peter Budaj should be back in net on Monday. Let's hope the Avs make it three wins in a row or the goalie carousel will really start to pick up.

Stats
Paul Stastny was the ice-time leader with Milan Hejduk and Joe Sakic close behind. Adam Foote led the defenders in ice-time with 21:28.

A lot of the other forwards ice-time is skewed due to the big three plus Ryan Smyth being out for an average of 8 minutes in powerplay time. 

David Jones had a team low 7:22 in ice-time as he regressed from last game and didn't seem to have as much pop tonight.

Next game
The Avalanche are in Los Angeles on Monday to take on the Kings. The east coast fans aren't going to like this one as game time isn't until 10:30 ET, 8:30 MT. 

It's time to measure Kopitar up to Stastny, because you know Stastny's agent will be.

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4 Comments:

Jay Veaner said...

Morrow/Selanne/Pronger/etc. there are few guys that just get in that mood and they end up not being good for their team or themselves. As a fan you always like the passion, you'd just want them to apply it in the right direction.

Not quite sure why Morrow was so upset, even after the game. That was the right call. He tried to say it wasn't intentional, but I'm sure that Bertuzzi didn't mean to do what he did to Steve Moore either. Or, "I didn't intentionally kick that puck in the net with a 'distinct kicking motion', it just kinda happened that way."

A win is a win though, and our Avs will take it.

Ryan said...

We clearly won the game vs Dallas, It was obvious that Morrow hit the puck in the net with his hand.

Also, maybe Dallas needs a new captain if Morrow can't contain his hurt feelings. He had 2 penalties in the last 10 minutes of the game....That's not leadership type qualities. Modano has always been the face of the stars and should rightfully be their captain but frankly I could care less about their team...

I believe the Flamers were announced as the Avs new rivalry this year, I think the match up with Dallas is quite intense with fierce fights and high scoring games! Dallas is on the hit list as far as I'm concerned...

Kevin said...

That goal on the 2-on-1 fast break from Stastny to Hejduk was absolutely filthy! I hoped to see more of that this season!

Shane Giroux said...

Three solid fights with blood being drawn on at least one of them. You're right about Dallas being on the hit list.

kevin, absolutely. Those two should keep clicking all season long, as long as Granato leaves them together.

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