Can it really be the 30th game of the season? Time flies, no? I'm doing another split feed tonight, partly because I'm still running into trouble with Center Ice games not being shown at the last minute. I'm starting with the Altidudes for the first, and then I'll switch to the Columbus guys, Jeff Rimer and Danny Gare.
Theodore tonight (the first time he's started 3 in a row this year…crap, Haynes just said that. Thunder stolen). For the Blue Jackets, it's Freddie Norrena – the guy who played the 3rd period last week to get the week. Joe Sakic was put on IR today (I'm assuming that's to make room for the soon-to-be-activated Jordan Leopold). Sakic is not on this trip (the Avs play in Nashville tomorrow night). I don't believe Duvie Westcott is expected to play tonight. Bummer.
*yes, those ugly banners I made are gone*
20:00 Hmmm…I wonder which line will start tonight. Hey, look kids, it's the Stastny line!
19:28 Foote flattens Ryan Smyth along the red line.
19:03 I suppose it's not a big surprise that the 4th line (Guite, Richardson and McCormick) are the 2nd group over the boards.
18:25 Westcott is in the game. Not that I expect anything to happen involving him, but still.
18:01 Hensick, Wolski and Brunette are out now. It appears that there are no changes for the forwards from the last game.
16:41 The pairings Altitude is showing don't seem to be accurate. They have Skrastins with Cumiskey and Hannan with Clark, but none of those guys have played together. I've never understood why the defensive pairings listed by Altitude are often wrong. I'm assuming that info comes from the coaching staff – why the subterfuge?
15:39 Back to the game, we're on a 4 on 4 (the Avs were going to get a PP, but Arnason evened things up with a high stick).
14:59 The BJs have a break, but Hannan gets back to break up a centering pass.
13:20 Wolski gets hit by someone, and Skrastins gets pegged by old friend Jason Chimera.
9:39 Malhotra scores, taking a Fritcshe centering feed from behind the net. Skrastins moved over to help Hensick with Fritsche along the boards, and Finger didn't pick up Malhotra. 1-0 Columbus. I don't recall hearing the cannon, and Altitude sure in hell didn't show it.
8:07 Boll crashes Cumiskey in the corner. That's a bit of a physical mismatch.
7:19 Guite gets checked into the boards by Klesla. Columbus has a big advantage in the hit department tonight.
4:57 Nash misses the net on a big shot from the slot.
4:09 Someone runs over Hlinka in the Avalanche zone – the 2nd hit he's taken this shift.
3:27 Not surprisingly, the Blue Jackets have really gathered steam since the Malhotra goal. Like we saw last week, they seem to really play with a ton of emotion.
:00 The period ends with the team down 1-0. I fear that without a spark, they might see the Columbus train start to roll.
20:00 I've switched over the Columbus feed for the 2nd period.
16:53 Guite punches home a rebound. Liles shoots it from the point – and we know that good things happen when we do that. The puck hits Guite in front of the net. Brunette gets the rebound to the right of Norrena and slides it to Guite. The Avs tie the game 1-1.
12:57 I can't say that it's been a dull game so far, but there hasn't been a ton of notable things to mention.
12:26 Okay, Rimer bails me out. Peca rips one off the post, and Rimer starts screaming like he's got a muskrat loose in his pants. Try decaff, please. Meanwhile, Columbus gets called for too many men. 28 minutes into the game, and we're looking at the first powerplay of the evening.
11:39 The Avs are back to the 4 forwards look, with Wolski and Liles at the point. Obviously, the 2-D system they used against St Louis was just not effective and needed to be abandoned as soon as possible.
9:29 7-7 in shots right now. No wonder I haven't had anything to right about. Both teams are playing pretty good hockey here.
8:28 Hey, there's a shot. Boll from outside the faceoff circle…and it beats Theodore. It goes off the leg of Hannan. If you've seen Theodore before, you know that any change in direction on a shot is completely mesmerizing to him. He often seems to give up on these shots, and this one sure looked like one he could adjust to. 2-1 Columbus.
5:20 Columbus is on the PP. Svatos off for delay of game. Just 3 shots so far this period (and 2 went in). That's just insane.
4:20 The 4th shot is a 200' shot (aka clearing attempt) by Skrastins
3:05 Peca to the box for what I'm sure is a whiny play of some sort. Colorado is on the PP.
2:31 And Cumiskey and Liles are out there together. I think I might faint. It's about freaking time.
1:56 And Clark and Liles on the 2nd half. Yay.
1:35 Smyth is agitating the Blue Jackets. Norrena takes some swipes at him, and then someone (Foote?) tackles him after the whistle.
:09 The Avs are going back on the PP.
The 2nd period. Very low shot total so far (I think both teams may be in single digits).
20:00 I was wrong on the shot totals. It's 12-8 Colorado. Columbus had just one shot in the 2nd (and it was a goal).
19:22 Clark and Liles on the PP. This is the best thing about the game so far, in my book.
16:42 Svatos had the puck in the slot. Didn't get quite what he wanted on the shot, and Norrena saves it. Golden chance to tie it right there…and there probably won't be many more of those tonight.
13:51 Columbus gets the first shot of the period. Theodore makes the save – his first in about 30 minutes of game time.
13:07 Q has been mixing up the 2nd and 3rd lines of late. How about this one: Brunette, Hlinka and Wolski. Is that Hlinka's first time at center this year at even strength?
12:11 Smyth centers Stastny from behind the net. That was another one of those fleeting chances to tie it.
11:02 Guite goes to the box for tripping Nash. Kind of a crappy way to take a penalty, to be honest. Nash dumped the puck in, and Guite was pursuing to make a hit. He realizes he can't get there to make a legal hit, so turns away. In doing so, his skate ends up in front of Nash's skate, and Nash goes flying to the ice. So, while trying to make the right play, he ends up doing the wrong thing.
7:29 Smyth was out on the previous line with Woslki and Hensick, and now Hlinka is taking his shift on the Stastny line.
5:39 3 on 2 for Columbus. McCormick blocks the shot by the trailer.
5:18 Jose gets beat. Beech makes it 3-1 to seal the deal. This time, I can hear the cannon. Theodore looked bad on the last two goals.
1:13 Theodore is out of the net.
:50 Fedorov scores an empty netter. That ends it, folks.
4-1. The good news? No more cannon for the rest of the year.