ST. LOUIS, MO - Ruh roh Shaggy. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
This was an ugly game for the Avalanche. Slow legs, poor decisions, bad penalties all mired the first half, and the Avs found themselves down 4-0 before they even really hit the ice. About halfway through the second, the team finally showed some life, but by then, it was way too little way too late. If not for some seriously awesome play by Jean-Sebastien Giguere, the score would have been much, much worse.
The nightmare all started when Kyle Quincey lost control of the puck behind the Avs net, and TJ Oshie sent it home to put the Blues up 1-0 under 4 minutes into the game. Shortly thereafter, Cody McLeod was whacked in the face after play had ended, dropped his stick in anticipation of a fight, and was sent off to the penalty box for two roughing penalties. How the refs justified that one, I have no idea. Ryan Reaves of the Blues also went off for roughing, and David Jones sat with McLeod for his two. Fortunately for the Avs, they withstood the kill. About halfway through the period, TJ Galiardi decided he wanted to spend some time in the box and did a little hooking. Sadly, it cost the Avs as Kevin Shattenkirk scored the Blues' second goal of the night just as the power play expired. For the rest of the period, the Avs ran around like a bunch of mini-mites trying to keep up with their older brothers. Ugly.
The second period started right where the first left off. Just a minute in, Paul Stastny got into the penalty action with a ridiculous and unnecessary cross-check; the Blues capitalized. 3-0. Less than five minutes later, Daniel Winnik was called for slashing. Yeah, okay refs. Whatever you say. The Avalanche killed that one off, but they weren't so good during Quincey's high sticking penalty a little later. David Backes (remember how I mentioned him in the preview?) unleashed a nifty little wrister and gave St. Louis that 4-0 lead.
At the 12:00 mark, McLeod was the recipient of more creative refereeing as he, Reeves and Scott Nichol all received roughing penalties. The funny thing is that Reeves and McLeod got ten minute misconducts out of it. Yeah, okay refs. Whatever you say. The Avalanche did have some power play time because of it, but it didn't do them any good. Little sustained pressure, even fewer chances.
Unlike Chicago last night, Colorado actually played better as the night went on. The boys didn't give up. They simply didn't play well. The third saw some of their best moments - which really isn't saying much - even though they had nothing to show for it. They handed Elliott a shut out on a silver platter. I hope he's buying dinner the next time his former teammates come to town.
Now, I'm not usually one to lament on the officiating of a game. And I'm in no way saying that the Avs would have been in contention for the win in this game had things gone differently, but holy crap, what were these guys smoking? Numerous bad penalties called, a missed off-side that led directly to a St.Louis goal, and dropping the puck before our boys were even lined up for the face off? Yeah, okay refs. Whatever.
Here's the thing, folks. There's no reason to panic. It was a bad game. A really, really bad game. It happens. It even happens to really, really good teams (see Blackhawks, Chicago). What's more important is how they deal with this loss. The Avs had a fantastic road trip, winning 3 of 4. They come back home for one game and then set out again. A good team will respond positively. Learn some things from the night, and let it go. Take on the next game with renewed energy and focus. We've all been saying these next few weeks will be the biggest test for this team to date and will show who and what they are. That all starts with the game against Nashville on Tuesday.
MHH Avalanche 3 Shiny Things of the Night
- 1 Jean-Sebastien Giguere - kept the game from being a massacre
- 2 Gabriel Landeskog - had three shots on net, three hits, and an even +/- (oh, and roughed up Shattenkirk)
- 3 Jan Hejda - the Altiboobs said he played well
- Landeskog, O'Reilly, Hejduk
- Galiardi, Stastny, Jones
- Winnik, McClement, Kobasew
- McLeod, Porter, van der Gulik
- Hejda, O'Byrne
- Quincey, Elliott
- O'Brien, Johnson
- 1 Erik Johnson left during the first period with a hand injury and did not return.
- 2 Shane O'Brien also left with an injury (knee) but returned to finish the game.
- 3 Cody McLeod has hit the 100 PIM mark for his 5th straight year, setting some kind of record for the team. wooo. hooo. I'd rather he score goals or something.
NHL.com Recap & Highlights
The Avs come back home for the first game of a home-and-home series against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.