The Avs lost Matt Duchene to a knee injury and Jan Hejda nearly lost his head...but in the end, the Avalanche got their two points (and kept Phoenix from getting a loser point). This was a big, big win for the Avs.
For some reason, games against Phoenix in recent years always seem to be a bit chippy and this one was true to form. The Avs started out strong, with Paul Stastny feeding a streaking Kevin Porter in front of the net for a pretty deflection to give the Avs a 1-0 lead. Phoenix got it back with Michael Boedker roofed a beauty of a shot past Semyon Varlamov to knot it at 1. It looked like Phoenix was going to settle down after this and did start to tighten up defensively, but a failed Keith Yandle rush turned into an odd-man in the other direction for Colorado and Stefan Elliott buried it to give the Avs a 2-1 lead after 1.
The 2nd period was a strong period for the Avalanche, but they couldn't crack Jason LaBarbera. The Avs had a terrific PP with about 5 minutes to go, keeping the puck in the Phoenix zone almost the entire time...but couldn't convert. And, unfortunately, Phoenix struck right after the penalty expired with Boedecker again finding way too much room inside the Avs zone. The Avalanche played a good all-around game tonight, but they really struggled when the Coyotes carried the puck in. When Phoenix dumped it, Colorado jumped on the puck almost immediately...but they looked bad against the rush.
The turning point of the game came not long after that, when fat fuck Raffi Torres took a cheap shot to Jan Hejda's head away from the play. The bloated tub of goo had to take several laborious strides to get to Hejda so that he could elbow him in the head. There was no call on the play and surely Chubby McRiblover will not face a suspension. But it sure fired up the Avs bench.
The Avs came out with emotion in the 3rd, hustling and hitting all over the ice. That play was epitomized on the winning goal, with Gabriel Landeskog shaking off a bruising check by Keith Yandle and Chuck Kobasew fighting off 3 or 4 Coyotes to get the puck on the net and then to collect his rebound to push it back to Landy for the game winner. It was clear that the Avalanche were fired up about the hit and it was extremely gratifying to see them pull out the win.
Colorado played a very solid game tonight. Special teams were terrific - I can't remember the last time we saw an Avs' penalty kill playing this well, and the powerplay also looked good even without a conversion. Semyon Varlamov was good all night and terrific in the 3rd. All in all, a very satisfying win indeed.
MHH Avalanche 3 Shiny Things of the Night
- Gabriel Landeskog
- Chuck Kobasew - great on the kill and set up the winning goal
- Semyon Varlamov - 15 big saves in the 3rd, plus a penalty shot stop late in the 2nd that might have been the difference
- Landeskog - O'Reilly - Hejduk
- Duchene - Stastny - Winnik
- "Gallardi" - McClement - Kobasew
- McLeod - Porter - van der Gulik
- O'Brien - Johnson
- Hejda - O'Byrne
- Quincey - Elliott
- 58 minutes and 42 seconds. That's how long it took the Phoenix guys to correctly pronounce GAL-EE-AR-DEE. Of course, they were talking about Ryan O'Reilly, but we'll take the small victories
- 17,389 in attendance tonight, most of whom boo'd Torres mercilessly in the 3rd (and rightly so)
- Paul Stastny had 7 shots, tying a career high
NHL.com Recap & Highlights
At Anaheim on Saturday