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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Avs Nearly Get Past Sharks, Lose 1-0

Peter Budaj clocked a shutout tonight against the San Jose Sharks but the Avalanche still came away with just one point. One meaningless yet exciting point. Because no matter how badly I want Tavares or Hedman, I can't diminish my excitement when the team puts up a fight against one of the top-3 teams in the league.

But did anyone find it weird that the Avs hung in as well as they did? Sure, Budaj carried them into and through OT, but the Avs seemed pretty even with the Sharks tonight. Well, I might have come across a bit of insight as to what was up with the Sharks tonight.

On the way home from work yesterday, which takes all of 5 minutes, I was listening to the Drew Remenda Sports Show as I often do. Drew brought up a conversation he had with Todd McLellan Sunday evening.

On the plane ride back to San Jose following the Sharks 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks, McLellan asked Remenda what he thought of the game. Drew told McLellan that he thought the Sharks looked like a different team. A different, less explosive team.

McLellan's reply was "It's playoff hockey now, Drew! There'll be no more three-wide rushes into the zone. We're tightening up and getting ready for the push." To which I ask "If wide open has worked so far, why change it up?"

Obviously I'm no NHL coach and given what McLellan has done at that level already, I'll have to trust him. But I'll tell you what, I expected the Sharks to destroy the Avalanche tonight. I mean obliterate them. Like what the Hurricanes did to the Islanders.

Random Thoughts
I'm really liking Michael Vernace. Sure, he's had some stumbles along the way, but he looks very calm and collected out there. Late in the third, he fell on his back in front of Budaj but he got up quickly and immediately raced over to pick up a man in front. He didn't look for the puck, he looked for an open man. Hell yeah.

And related to that play was a game saving stop by Budaj. With Vernace on his keester and Ian Laperierre whiffing on a clear, Jeremy Roenick found himself wide open with the puck on his stick. But Budaj quickly closed up shop which left Roenick looking skyward. I woke up the neighbours on that one. Budaj put in one hell of a performance tonight once the Sharks started pressuring.

We know Jonathon Cheechoo won the Rocket Richard trophy. Once. He's scored progressively less goals every year since then. Can we say "outlier"?

Did anybody catch the 'stache on the guy in the visitor's penalty box? Am I the only one who was reminded of Snidely Whiplash? It was awesome.

Jay Vean caught an interesting thing at the end of the game. Dave Barr and Todd McLellan shook hands at the end of the game. Usually you don't see that until the playoffs and even then it's only at the end of a series, not every game.


ELPOU said...

I didn't saw the game tonight but I saw the game against Vancouver and I know it's only a couple of games but I like the young defence, add Shattenkirk to the mix and it could be interresting

Dario said...

Shane, I'm going to find a ticket to the last game. Where's your email on this site? I want to give you my cell so I can hit you up with all my Canadian jokes at the game. My email is Ronzone at Gmail dot com. If I win sakics jersey at fan appreciation night you can witness me screaming like a little girl. That's worth the price of admission.

Draft Dodger said...

I didn't see McLellan and Granato, but I did see McLellan and Barr shake hands. I did think that was a little odd.

Shane Giroux said...

elp, definitely showing a spark of promise. But I'm trying not to get too excited. I've been hurt before ;)

Shane Giroux said...

dario, good stuff! I keep imagining that by some cruel twist of fate, I'll get Arnason's jersey.

I'm thebatlab at gmail dot com. I'll fire you an email later today in case you haven't checked back here.

Shane Giroux said...

dd, fixed. And it makes a bit more sense. Barr and McLellan worked together with the Houston Aeros and won an AHL championship together.

AHL Championship teams

AvsHockeyPodcast said...

The handshakes started with Barr and McLellan, then Granato came over and shook McClellan's hand as well. I thought it was odd, but cool. Granato also shook the Sharks' trainers hand as well. It looked like a guy that had been there for a while so I imagine that they knew each other when Granato played there as well.

Shane...Agreed man. It was fun to watch our team be competitive last night. That never gets old, no matter how poorly the season is going.

And strong words by Granato last night when someone asked him if he wanted to be back next season. Granato replied, "Yes" and the reporter then asked, "Why?" Here's the rest:


I have to say that I like his fire. It's easy to see why he was so well liked and respected as a player. We'll see about next season. Maybe with Lacroix back as GM Granato will actually have something to work with. You never know I guess.

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