DENVER CO - FEBRUARY 16: Ryan Wilson #44 of the Colorado Avalanche controls the puck as Craig Adams #27 of the Pittsburgh Penguins defends at the Pepsi Center on February 16 2011 in Denver Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Bad news? The Avs are winless in 9 games. Yeah. That's a pretty darn big Bad News. The Good news is that they played a good hard game, and even got a point out of the game. Here are my thought on the game as it was happening. Some are pretty Darn random, but I left it in for funsies. You can see just how odd I am. Hope you enjoy.
The Avalanche are wearing their Blueberries tonight, at the beginning of the year it was such a good luck charm, will it help them tonight? Budaj is the starter for tonight's game.Avalanche are facing off against the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight. Well, Game Center Live is being a pain and doesn't want to load for me, or others. At this point I don't mind as much as I should. I mean, with the way the games have been going the games starts for the opposing team before the Boys in Burgundy and Blue hit the ice. So maybe, just maybe, if the game doesn't load in the first 18 seconds I'll miss a goal. But is that really such a terrible thing?
For some reason the Altitude feed isn't working on the GCL (*edit* more on that later). So that feed isn't up in time for the opening face off. For one of the first times this season I am watching the opposing teams call. Should make things more interesting. So I don't have to miss one second of the Foote-less, Duchene-less night. Am I getting upset with all the injuries? No, not really. I'm upset by the fact that the Guys aren't playing a hard physical game. I know they are lacking a bit of size, but really, they have to start laying into guys. Especially when they are in front of the net. I'm also getting frustrated by the fact that they aren't having fun. I know it's hard when they are losing so much, but I don't like watching them struggle so much.
Finally the opening face-off happens and I'm filled with some happiness but mainly fear. I used to have so much hope at this time. And the jinxes start. Avs fans are informed that the Penguins have not won in Denver since 1999.
Ryan Wilson has decided that he wants to play hockey tonight. He has some awesome hits. David Koci also had a great, hard hit. There is a lot of solid forechecking being done by the Avs and so far it's been a physical game. That's right the Avs wanna get physical, physical. Ryan O`Byrne had a heck of a hit on a Penguin.
Koci, O`Byrne, McLeod, Gaunce and Wilson are all hitting people in the first. It's so nice to see the Boys playing this way. Whoa, now, we are at the ten minute mark and there still hasn't been a goal yet. What gives, people?
I have to say, so far I'm impressed with the team. They are playing a strong physical game, lots of hits and plenty of pinching in. They are even getting a few opportunities thrown in. Gaunce is having a Hell of a first period. I know, I shouldn't be surprised after last game, but it's great to see him play tonight. This kid is going to have a good night. With six minutes left in the first scoring chances are 4 to 4.
The Kevin Shattenkirk and Ryan Wilson duo just had a few chances! It's nice to see the defensemen playing so well tonight. Wow. Man, Wilson is having a great game too. Welcome back, Mack Truck, I missed you.
Pittsburgh calls a timeout, and I'm informed by the Pittsburgh call guys that the last few times this has happened in their games the team who calls the timeout has scored. Frick, I hope they are wrong. The Avs have been playing so well. Well, Frak. They called it. Joe Vitale scores on a forehand shot, you guessed it, his first NHL goal against Peter Budaj. Boods was cleanly beat there.
Oh no. Are the injuries going to keep trickling in? Chris Stewart goes down and seems to have a bit of trouble getting back up, he heads to the bench and down to the lockerroom. It appears to be his knee. From what GDT'ers are saying it looks like he took a knee on knee hit. I hope he comes back, the Avalanche sure could use the physicality he brings.
The Avalanche are going to go into the second down by one goal. Surprisingly there was no penalties against either teams in the first period. The Avs are also dominating in the hits department (18-9) how nice is it to see that? Where has this physical game been lately? I hope it stays. Sure, the Avs are down by a goal, but after the game that doesn't exist, I'll take it.
For those of you who missed it Altitude made a bit of a gaff that lead to commercials while the game was in play. There are a lot of angry GDT'ers. Can't say I blame them about that!
Good news, Stewie is on the bench!! But bad news, within the first minute of the second Sastny gets a 2 minute rest for high sticking. God news again the Avalanche kill it.
WOOT, thank goodness Chris Stewart was able to come back onto the ice. He puts one past Fleury to tie the game up at one. The net was wide open, and Stewie was able to, ever so calmly, put in the mesh. Interesting side note, Stewie has 30 points in 36 games. I thought it was a lot less than that.
Both sides are getting a bit chippy in front of Boods, and the Avs aren't having it. Wilson drops the gloves with Nick Johnson and Wilson *cleanly* wins that one. WOW. I think the Avs have found their enforcer. He gets a number of hard right hands in. The Pittsburgh announcers thought that the linesman should have stepped in to help because he was being so badly beat. They are also saying that Wilson should have gotten an instigator penalty as well. No matter, he doesn't get the instigator. But Wow. That was a Heck of a fight Wilson, I'm sending you a stick tap for that one.... wait that didn't come out right. I mean, Damn... moving along.
I can't believe this team tonight. They are having some great chances, really. They are playing such a physical game, I know I've said it before but it's so nice to see that every single person came out to play tonight.
The Avalanche's Dupuis steals the puck from the Penguins Dupuis, nothing much happens with it, it was just fun to hear.
Oh Boy, by what's going on in the GDT I can tell you that there are a lot of angry fans. Yep, you guessed it, Altitude failed again. They cut to commercial break while the game was in play again. For two minutes? Again? Youch. I know that the last game it would have been welcomed, but tonight is actually a good game. I still can't load the Altitude feed with the GCL, but at this point, I figure why bother? It has to be maddening for the Altitude/ Center Ice people.
O`Byrne heads off to the Sin Bin, but the Avs manage to kill it off.
And OH MY GOODNESS the Avalanche score. They are now *leading* a game. And Cameron Gaunce netted it. Congrats on your fist NHL goal, buddy. That's gotta feel good. Stewie goes behind Marc-Andre Fleury and fishes out the puck for Gaunce to get as a keepsake. I'm so glad that this guy is going to have that puck, and just as glad that the Avs have a lead.
Well Darn, that was short. Pittsburgh's Jordan Stall scores a beauty of a goal. I don't think Boods had much of a chance of it, and according to his twitter neither does Adrian Dater. As a side note, Dater's Tweets tonight have been freaking fantastic. Awesome Sauce. Really! Go check them out. He made me chuckle quite a bit tonight. (twitter.com/adater)
The Avs get a 5 on 3 for 38 seconds. Sacco calls his timeout. Can it really work? Can the Avs score because a timeout was used? Alas, it's not meant to be. The Boys in Burgundy and Blue just don't shoot the puck. Unable to do anything with it, the Avs will head into the third tied at 2 and they have 19 seconds of power play left.
Well, the Penguins are able to kill of the 19 seconds of penalty. The Ryan O`Byrne goes off for cross-checking. He's been playing a very physical game too, but he is getting called for it. Yip. Oh wow, Yip had a nice shorthanded chance, but Fleury was able to make the save.
13 minutes in the third and Altitude is acknowledging the "tech issues" that they are having. I wonder if they have been calling the game unware that no one can see the game, much less hear what they are saying?
With 10 minutes left in the third the Avs are going on the PK again. McLeod is taking his turn in the box. Yip had a nice chance off the face-off, seemed to catch Fleury unaware, it was just off to the wrong side a little too much. Speaking of Yip, I've really been enjoying his play. The Avs are able to kill off this penalty as well. Something worth noting, on three of the four penalties so far, the Avs have been able to hold the Penguins without a shot.
Wilson is still having a great game, throwing his body around and having good shift after good shift. But the Pens have had the puck in the Avalanche zone for a long time now, this is getting dangerous. The Avs need to get it out, you cannot give a team that much time in the offensive zone without something bad happening.
Well there is one minute left and the game is still tied, I'm really hoping the Guys can hang onto this. The Avalanche get called offside late, and it didn't seem to offside tome. But this means the game is going into overtime and the Avalanche have at least ONE Point!!! Yay!
And the Avalanche goes onto a penalty kill, Kevin Porter was called for tripping, on the ensuing power play, Tyler Kennedy scores for the Penguins who get the two points out of the game.
Lines (Stick tap to Stevehouse for these)
Sandie's Three Stars of the Game:
1 st Star Ryan Wilson
2nd Star Cameron Gaunce
3 rd Star: Joe Vitale