Well, this one wasn't very pleasant. It was a much more even game than the one against the Devils but the breaks went the other way this time. Disappointing game but let's dive in.
5 seconds into the first, Chris Stewart dropped the gloves with thug extraordinaire Zenon Konopka. Not sure what that was all about but they were jawing at each other during warmups. I'm guessing that Stewie was, uh, stewing over last night's game. Still, he should be careful about dropping the gloves with professional goons, especially if it's not for the purposes of defending a teammate. Those hands are are too valuable! Anyway, the rest of the period was pretty fun to watch. Both teams were skating well and a lot of 'north - south' play. I thought the Avalanche held the advantage through most of the period but the Islanders got quite a few a good chances - especially on the powerplay where Craig Anderson came up big.
The second period started with more of the same style of play and again it seemed like the ice was tilted in the Avs direction. They had two good chances where the puck hit the boards behind Dwayne Roloson and bounced down in front of the net giving Paul Stastny and Philippe Dupuis open nets but the puck also bounced over their sticks. Then things went to hell. The Avs gave up another shorthanded goal (bringing their total to 3 basically 4) although this one wasn't as awful as the others. Milan Jurcina got it off a clean faceoff win and blasted it through right as a 4 on 4 ended. Jucina scored again on a good shift for the Islanders that got the Avs running around in their zone. Anderson got turned around and let a bad angle shot sneak through. Then Kyle Quincey got whistled for hitting John Tavares. Taveras was falling so Quincey hit him in the head but Quincey was throwing a hit at the puck carrier and not aiming at the head. It wasn't blindside either. The Islanders went on the powerplay and Josh Bailey scored an easy one. Quincey got whistled again for goaltender interference even though he didn't run the goalie and just pushed a defender who was on him out of the way. Joe Sacco unsurprisingly had words with the refs after the period.
Quincey's penalty carried over to the third but the Avs killed it off with no real problems. Chris Stewart blasted home another slapper for his third goal of the season, giving the Avs some life at the beginning of the third. Then it was taken away when Michael Grabner and P.A. Parenteau converted on a two on one. It looked like Anderson had Grabner's shot but in snuck through. The Avs scored again when Mark Olver sent a sweet centering feed to T.J. Galiardi who knocked in his own rebound. Then more penalties on the Avs. Stewart almost scored on a sweet move after Matt Duchene made a sweet move to get him the puck. Roloson was good all night. The Avs made an effort to tie it up but without luck. For salt in the wound, John bloody Tavares potted an empty netter. The Avs outshot the Islanders 30 to 25 and I thought played a better game than last night. Oh, well, them's the breaks I guess.
A couple more notes:
In the John Tavares vs. Matt Duchene battle I thought that Duchene had a better all around game then Tavares but Duchene's point streak came to an end and Tavares scored a goal. Lame.
Jonas Holos played his first game and I thought he was okay. He was good offensively, especially on the powerplay, and a couple nice blue line keep-ins. Defensively he got caught running around, had problems clearing the puck and gave it away a couple of times. Par for the course for the Avalanche defense in other words. Sacco seemed to trust him though and he got 23:57 worth of ice time, more than any other player.
John-Michael Liles was also pretty good, somehow escaping from this abysmal game on the plus side of things. He got another assist on Stewart's goal which gives him a league leading seven on the year.
I don't usually hate on officials but I am not fond of Stephane Auger, who reffed both last night's game and this one. When I get mad enough to check to see who the referees are, Auger's name pops up more often than not. He was also the man behind Burrowes and Doan controversies. I don't think I've disliked a ref this much since Paul Devorski.
The headline is a play off the atrocious ad by the Isles for this game. Puck Daddy had it up.
Rangers are up next. Hopefully the Avs can beat them and make this road trip a success.