Well that was a kick in the nuts, eh? And who better, or should I say worse, to deliver said kick than the man who was an Av until yesterday, Wojtek Wolski?
The Avs came out flat for yet another first period and got badly outshot again. Lee Stempniak opened the scoring driving the net hard and recieving a great pass from Vernon Fiddler who was set up behind the net. Craig Anderson managed to keep Pheonix to one, however and the first ended 1-0. True to form, the Avs started to play hockey in the second. Marek Svatos got a great feed from Matt Duchene right in front of the net and was robbed by Ilya Byrzgalov. Then the Avs went on the powerplay and John-Michael Liles put a nifty shot through with Chris Stewart screening. The second ended 1-1 with shots 18 apiece. In the third, Pheonix had more jump, possibley because they were looking to end a three game skid. The Avs had their chances, however, including a 4 on 3 for a 1:58 that that was kept in the Pheonix zone nearly the entire time. With about a minute left, the Avs started to play very conservative hockey and Pheonix pressed the play. With 30 seconds left old man Shane Doan outhustled everyone to the puck, found Wolski in front and Wolski slammed it home. The Avs didn't get anything going with the last 22 seconds and Radim Vrbata scored an empty net goal.
Some positives to take away from this game. Peter Mueller and Liles have the power play cooking right now. Mueller turned out to be just what we needed in a point man. What else? Stephane Yelle was back and looked alright. Negatives? The Avs suck in the first period right now. Suck as bad as they sucked in the third period back in December. Also, this leaves a very sour taste in the mouths of those of us who were unhappy with the Wolski trade. Yes, Meuller had an assist and looked decent this game. But Wolski scored the game winner. And that hurts.
Dustin's Three Stars
John-Michael Liles - 1 goal. Sacco, I swear to god if you scratch him while the power play is working this well...
Shane Doan - 1 assist. This guy is so underrated. Physical, hard working and great offensively. An amazing guy for Phoenix to have as their captain.
Wojtek Wolski - 1 goal. Scored against his old team with 22 seconds left to break a tie in a massivley important game.
Minus of the Game - None of the Avs struck me as particularly bad but what was that shit where Stempniak grabbed Paul Stastny from behind and threw him to the ice. Was it because he said something (the horror!) to Fiddler for cross-checking him? What an asshole.