Avalanche Defeat Sharks 2-1, Take 1-0 Series Lead - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Avalanche Defeat Sharks 2-1, Take 1-0 Series Lead

When Chris Stewart took a penalty less than 30 seconds in, you could hear the hockey nation say "Oh, here we go...". It looked like the Avalanche weren't even going to get their wheels under them before being crushed by the Sharks.

But that penalty ended up being the turning point of the hockey game.

It forced the Avalanche to calm down and focus immediately on a single task - kill the penalty. There was no time for nerves or shaky passes. There was no need to bemoan getting locked in their own zone early because now it was going to happen. All that mattered next was how they responded.

They were able to weather the storm, Craig Anderson got some early action to get into it, and the Avs walked away with the 2-1 win. So much for the sweep, folks.

The vast majority of Avalanche players played their part and then some today. I'm going to single out a few of them that I really focused my eye on, but that's no slight on the rest of the team.

Kevin Porter - Particularly in the first period, I really enjoyed Porter's play. He was physical, defensive and showed a bit of offensive flair on breakouts. He was credited with four hits but I think he had that many in the first period alone. Besides, I call BS on the hit numbers as there's no way San Jose laid more checks than the Avs did tonight.

Kyle Cumiskey - Some people thought Cumiskey should be out in favor of Clark. They wanted Clark's shot blocking and feared Cumiskey's size would be exploited. Tonight, Cumiskey showed that Joe Sacco made the right choice. He was quick, physical and extremely solid defensively. This could be his breakout series.

Craig Anderson - Playoff virgin? It sure didn't look like it tonight. He was calm, cool and collected from start to finish. But please, stay in the net.

Matt Hendricks - Eight minutes of ice-time and five hits? That's what an energy guy has to do and Hendricks did it very well tonight.

Scott Hannan - The last playoffs Hannan was in with the Avs, I really felt he was soft. He turned that right around this game. He was very strong in front of the net and punished guys behind the net, including our old buddy, Jumbo Joe Thornton. He still has no idea what to do with the puck on his stick, but if he keeps pounding bodies I'll be more than happy.

T.J. Galiardi - Finally, we get to the man of the hour. Tonight, he got beat up, high sticked and probably kicked in the junk at some point. Yet it was Galiardi who drove the net, got knocked down, got right back up and stayed in front of the net, leading to the winning goal which banked off ol' Rob Blake's skate as Blake unsuccessfully tried to remove T.J. from the crease.

I don't know what Adam Foote said to this team in their closed door meeting before the game, but he should say it again on Friday.

And all of you should follow the same routine Friday that you did today. You don't want to jinx the team, do you?


Sam said...

I know I've definitely found a place where everyone will appreciate this screenshot from the game:


AvsHockeyPodcast said...

Soooooo happy to have you back Shane. I know life gets busy, and we all missed your perspective while you were gone. Please keep it up if you have the time and passion for it. Plus, if the Avalanche keep playing well, you're pretty much going to have to anyways! =)

somebody said...


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