There was a time in the not-too-distant past when the Calgary Flames owned the Colorado Avalanche. When the two teams squared off, chances were pretty good that the Flames would come out on top. The Avs could manage a win here or there, but they had to be almost perfect to do so.
Those days are over.
All of a sudden, Colorado is the team with the upper hand in the rivalry. The Avs won easily last night, 4-1. Going back to last year, the Avalanche have won the last seven meetings between the clubs. Seven! That's just crazy. I know it won't last forever...but I'm sure going to enjoy it while it does.
The Flames didn't look like threats to win the division last night. They took 6 minor penalties to the Avs one (much to the chagrin of the extremely non-biased Flames announcers Roger Millions and Theo "Mumbles" Fleury). While the Avalanche PP continues to be anemic, all the time in the box made it hard for Calgary to get much momentum going on the 5 on 5. Jose Theodore faced just 24 shots, and, honestly, few of them were difficult. The Avalanche D seems to be over their little hiccup in the Vancouver game, and have returned to the solid form they have been exhibiting of late.
And how about a big hand for our two super sophomores, Paul Stastny and Wojtek Wolski - 1st and 3rd on the team in scoring, respectively. The pair have a combined 25 points at even strength. Stastny is a +5, Wolski is a freaking +9. They've been our two best - and most consistent - players over the first month.
My notes - which pretty much amount finding different ways to say that Theo Fleury stinks in the booth - are here.
Lines & Shift Chart
Line and Shift Chart wont be up until after work.
As anticipated, Jaroslav Hlinka sat and Scott Parker played (albeit sparingly, as usual). It was also thought that Ryan Smyth would drop back to the Stastny line and Wolski would move up to the Sakic line, but that didn't happen (and it worked out pretty well). There was talk that Jeff Jillson might finally play, but that didn't happen either.
- Jose Theodore has stopped 44 of 45 shots in the 2nd period this year (a .978 save percentage). Happy, Thomas?
- With his assist, Kurt Sauer now has 3 EV points - 2nd best among the defensemen.
- In 6 games, Kyle Cumiskey has just 3 shots. As a point of reference, in the same number of games, Karlis Skrastins has double that. Karlis Skrastins.
The day on, day off thing continues with the Avs hosting the Oilers on Wednesday. It's the last game of their 5-game home stand.