Colorado visits the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in what now becomes the rubber match of the Avs' five-game road trip. I've got the Tampa feed – Rick Peckham and some mob guy named Bobby Taylor.
Jose Theodore gets his 6th straight start tonight. I'm less than excited about this. For the, um, 'Ning we're looking at some dude named Karri Ramo. I've never heard of him, which obviously means he will get a shutout this evening.
20:00 For the 3rd time, McLeod starts the game with the Stastny line. I think we all know that the chances of him finishing on the Stastny line are not very good.
19:05 No change for the 2nd line tonight – Arnason, Wolski and Svatos.
18:33 McLeod gets his usual early fight in, taking on Kyle Wanvig. Both guys got some great shots in before wrestling each other to the ground. That's the 7th fight in the last 4 games for Colorado. McLeod must have been mad that he just got a double minor on Sunday instead of a fighting major.
18:14 Hlinka, Lappy and McCormick are out, at least until Lappy gets replaced by McLeod in the 3rd.
18:09 Geez. Lappy gets together with Shane O'Brien. Two fights in the opening two minutes. These new Avs are just crazy! This one goes for some time, and O'Brien gets some big punches in right at the end, after signaling to the linesman that he needed a little more time.
17:59 Guite, Wolski and McCormick out now. No sign of Andrew Brunette yet, but he's probably going to be out next with Stastny.
17:49 I was correct.
17:02 Two fights, no shots on goal to this point.
16:35 There's Scott Parker, for the 3rd game in a row. I thought he might be scratched tonight, as Quenneville reportedly was not happy with the roughing call he took on Sunday (in his defense, it was a shitty call).
15:54 Every single time I see another team cover the Avs, they have to mention Quenneville's 400 game as a player and as a coach thing.
15:12 Nice clearing attempt, Tyler. (Sarcasm)
14:56 Someone finds Guite with a long headman. That leads to the first shot (and save) of the game.
14:12 Packham sounds a lot like Sean McDonough. I certainly won't complain about that.
13:32 For some reason, Guite and Hlinka have been paired up on the last two shifts. I know we have two guys in the box, but these lines are still kind of clusterfuckish so far.
12:09 Everyone is out of the box now, so the lines should be back to normal (and, of course, Brunette is out with Stastny instead of McLeod)
10:10 The Avs have to ice the puck after getting pinned down by what looks to be a 4th line for the Lightning (Andre Roy and Kyle Manvig were two of the, um, skilled players out there).
8:40 Here's the old Guite line on the ice – Guite, McCormick and Lappy
8:09 But then Parker jumps on for McCormick while the other two stay on. The changes seem to be odd even by Quenneville's standards.
6:49 Wolski, who just had a shift with Arnason, is double-shifted here with Guite and McCormick.
6:17 And Stastny, McLeod and McCormick are out for a bit. Is Quenneville using some sort of random line generator on the bench?
4:50 Guite, Lappy and Parker. I give up.
4:22 The Lightning take their timeout now to give their players a chance to rest after an icing call. Odd to see them burn that so early, but they would have been stuck with a tired 4th line against Stastny.
I'm rather dumbfounded by all the ridiculous line combos. I don't know how many different lines were used in the period, but it was a hell of a lot more than four. Not surprisingly, the Avs had very little offensive flow in the first.
20:00 Brunette starts the period with the Stastny line.
18:59 Good shot by Svatos, but save made by Ramo.
17:45 And, as expected, the McLinka line is back together. I really don't get why they don't start the game together. We all know they are going to finish it.
16:20 I've liked Parker tonight – he's been getting involved with the action offensively more than normal (which is to say he's involved at all, but still)
14:55 Great shift for the Stastny line, as well as Clark and Skrastins helping out on the point. They get several chances, and end up drawing a tripping penalty on Paul Ranger.
14:46 With the Stastny line just coming off of an extended shift, Quenneville goes with the 2nd line to start things off, along with Liles and Finger. Finger's playing on the left side, which is where he got his assist on Sunday.
14:30 Can I call it? Finger's slapshot beats Ramo. It may have deflected off of Wolski, but that was all because of Liles moving the puck and Finger taking a shot.
14:29 The Lightning guys are asleep on this one. Taylor is saying that Liles is the one who took the shot, while the camera is focused on Skrastins on the bench, who wasn't even on the ice. Finger, meanwhile, the guy they should be talking about, is just barely in the frame.
13:50 Ramo makes a big save on Wolski.
13:36 Finger gets credit for the goal. I thought that was his goal.
13:09 The "normal" first unit for the Avs, at least of late, is out – Hejudk, Stastny and Brunette with Clark and Leopold on the point.
11:54 Liles has fired a couple of bombs at the net.
10:42 Tampa just got their first shot of the period.
10:13 I really dig the McLinka line.
8:03 So far, the lines this period have been 100% consistent – not one change that I could see (even Parker is getting regular shifts on the 4th line). It is, of course, the exact opposite to the first period. Just to take the point one step further, the Avs have been dominate in the 2nd after struggling in the 1st. Hmmm….
5:29 Hooking call on the Lightning, Lukowich. 3rd PP of the night for the Avs.
5:21 2nd unit starting it again.
3:33 2-0! And a PP goal at that. Clark shoots it from the point (hello). It hits traffic in front, but Bruno, tied up in front of the goalie, is able to find the puck and slide it to Stastny. Stastny puts it home.
:10 Finger just misses the net.
The Lightning are booed by their fans, and rightfully so. They are playing lousy (some of that has to do with the Avs, of course). Shots are 20-10 Colorado, and the score is 2-0. I expect the Lightning to boost their effort a lot in the 3rd. I hope the Avs are ready for a comeback.
18:57 Beautiful glove save by Ramo on Arnason splitting the D and driving to the net.
16:30 No surprise at all – the Lightning seem to be building a little momentum.
15:19 Lecavalier dumps Laperriere along the boards.
14:34 St Louis races in and gets a shot off. His rebound rings off the post.
14:20 Lukowich crushes Svatos along the boards.
14:05 Richards and St Louis have a little 2 on 1 and Theodore seems to luck into a save. The Lightning have a 10-2 shot advantage. This one wasn't hard to predict at all.
13:08 And remember, we haven't seen the Lightning on the PP yet. This could turn into quite the nailbiter…
10:03 I also supposed this would be the place to point out that Theodore's last shutout was before the lockout. NHL shutout, that is. I believe he had a shutout while playing for the Belarus Boilermakers, or whatever team he played for during the stoppage.
8:54 Fucking Arnason. He carries the puck out of the zone, and then jumps away from an oncoming check. Of course he leaves the puck behind and Tampa goes back the other way. Thankfully, the Lightning were offside.
8:52 Nice play that almost nets a goal. Guite wins the faceoff after that offsides call. Hlinka pokes the puck ahead along the boards. Guite gets to it and does that move he does so well, extending his stick and tapping the puck around the D and then moving around him on the other direction. He ends up alone along the left wing boards and waits to center it to Lappy joining the play. Ramo makes a good sliding save on Lappy. I really love that move by Guite.
8:10 Here's the requisite call on the Avs, Lappy for hooking. A very questionable call, but you knew it was coming at some point.
6:06 The penalty is over.
4:23 Another Avalanche penalty is coming up.
4:09 Slashing, Arnason.
2:14 Big save by Theodore on a driving St Louis.
2:07 The penalty has expired.
1:49 Ramo is out of the net.
1:34 And that will seal it – Hejduk scores an empty netter from center ice.
1:03 Theo is 63 seconds away from getting, like, 5 more starts by Quenneville.
And it's in the books – a 3-0 shutout. The Avs really only had one good period (the 2nd), and Theo really earned that shutout with 22 3rd period saves.