Avalanche Downed by Canucks, Lose 4-2 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Monday, March 16, 2009

Avalanche Downed by Canucks, Lose 4-2

When your team goes down 3-0 by the end of the first period, what is there to say? "They were tired"? "Vancouver was rested"? "It was a late game"? I don't buy any of that.

The Avalanche just weren't prepared to play in the first 20 minutes. When you play the night before, you actually need more of a warmup the next day to get your body ready to fight. Instead, it appeared that the Avalanche woke from a nap that ended about 5 minutes before puck drop, just in time to toss on the pads and skates and see who their opponent was.

John-Michael Liles in particular was looking quite dreadful to start the game. After Alexander Edler ran Chris Stewart face first into the boards, the Avs had what the announcers called a "power play." It was anything but.

Liles had the puck at the point and tried to make a pass with Alexandre Burrows stick a mere inch away from his own. Shockingly, Burrows intercepted the pass, streaking in on surprise starter, Andrew Raycroft with about ten steps on Liles. Lucikly, Burrows got denied by the post but not to worry, the fun wasn't done.

Liles picked up the puck, carrying it along the left boards where he was then rubbed out by Ryan Kesler. Kesler then broke into the Avs zone but was knocked off the puck by Milan Hejduk. The puck ended up in Liles skates and in classic comedic style, he couldn't get a handle on it. Kesler centered it to Burrows who was initially denied by Raycroft but thanks to Wojtek Wolski forgetting he was playing defense, he was able to grab his own rebound and put it into an empty net.

That put the Canucks up 2-0 on the backs of a powerplay goal and a shortie. Taylor Pyatt then completed the trifecta with an even strength goal while Avs fans everywhere picked up the "Tavares or Hedman?" debate.

Luckily, Vancouver came out looking a bit listless - overconfident perhaps? - in the second period and the Avalanche were able to put one past Bobba Lou, on the powerplay no less! And then thanks to a miscue by Lou to start the third period, Darcy Tucker was able to bang home his eighth goal of the season. It was an interesting goal as Tucker shot it from behind the net while Luongo was racing back in. The puck ended up sticking to Luongo's outside skate and as he rotated to find it, he swung it into the net. And we had a one-goal game and renewed hope!

Alas, it was not to be. A phantom hi-sticking call on Ben Guite put the Canucks on the powerplay with a little over two minutes left in the game. In other words, the Avs needed to score a shortie or they were done. And done they were as Alexander Edler nabbed his ninth of the year to make it a two-goal game.

I think the best part of the phantom call to seal the game came this morning from Tony Gallagher (via Kukla) who complained that the referees kept Colorado in the game by parading the Canucks to the penalty box after they went up 3-0. Yeah, that seven second 5-on-3 was a bitch, wasn't it? And Henrik Sedin getting called for a pretty obvious trip at the tail end of a Canucks powerplay was a horribly biased call. And when Edler put the puck over the glass? What kind of crap call was that? Bad referees. Bad, bad, bad.

Random thoughts
Wingers still go deep in our zone, leaving the points open to keep the cycle going. I'm not even a friggin' coach, let alone a defensive coach, and I can see that as a problem.

Marek Svatos hasn't looked too hot playing with Stastny the last couple games. He's been pretty soft on the puck and has actually been trying to carry it too much. He's not a stickhandler, he's a sniper.

AD mentioned that Peter Budaj would get the start but I guess Tony G was trying to trick the Canucks as he went with Andrew Raycroft instead. Interesting strategy. If only the name "Andrew Raycroft" struck fear in opponents hearts rather than inducing laughter.

After last night, I now believe that Scott Hannan is incapable of scoring. He simply can't do it. He had two chances tonight, the second being a wide open cage and he couldn't put it home. Don't feel bad, Scott. We don't expect you to score. Even if it's an empty net. But it would be nice.

From the Announcers
I had the Canucks feed tonight and had the announcers tuned out about five minutes in. But I did catch a couple notables.

Darcy Tucker is 34 but the way he's playing this year, could be 44
Sad but true. Though he has looked much better playing on a grind line rather than a scoring line.

...taken away by Stastny who was in perfect position
Just say "taken away by Stastny", the rest is redundant.

Related Links
MHH Canucks-Avalanche Game Recap
Early errors cost Avs in road loss (Denver Post)

6 Comments:

horbayj said...

so i guess there goes my dream of going undefeated to try and get a playoff spot...

Shane Giroux said...

I admire your optimism but yes, hope has no abandoned this team. For this season anyways ;)

Jibblescribbits said...

Tony Gallagher... hmmm... that name sounds familiar. Where have I seen it before.....

Oh right he has a special place in Jibblescribbits blog lore.

Shane Giroux said...

Ah, so Gallagher is just an all-around douche, eh? Good stuff.

Jibblescribbits said...

Well not only was he an inaugural Total F-ing A-hole, but he'd be the chief justice on that committee

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