Sorry for the delay on this one - the great SBN network blackout last night prevented me from getting the job done. Oh, and you know who also didn't get the job done last night? The Colorado Avalanche offense.
For the 9th time in 11 games, the Avalanche failed to score more than 2 goals. In this case, 2 goals would have won the game. 1 goal would have at least gotten them a Bettman Bump. No luck. Instead, Nik Backstrom turned aside all 37 shots and the Avalanche offense - you know, the one that didn't hasn't needed any high priced acquisitions in the last couple of years - was shut out for the 5th time this year. The Avs fired 75 shots toward the net. Some were blocked, some were missed, some were turned aside. All were futile.
The frustrating lack of offense is frustrating because the Avs were solid defensively all night long (again), allowing just 20 shots on net and J.S. Giguere was his normal self, turning aside almost everything he faced. His only hiccup came early in the first period when a weak Greg Zanon wrister from the point meandered through traffic and found the back of the net. So ends the scoring summary for the night.
The Wild made a number of questionable hits on Avalanche players, like Devon Setoguchi on Paul Stastny, Cal Clutterbuck on Ryan O'Reilly; I could see an argument on both plays as to whether they were a penalty...but either way they looked cheap and the Avs really failed to step up and do anything about it. It wasn't until Darroll Powe leveled David van der Gulik on another questionable play (the only one to get an actual penalty) that someone finally answered the bell - heavyweight Chuck Kobasew. Kobasew ended up with two fights in the game and Cody McLeod would later tangle with Clayton Stoner. Those were the only two with any sort of pugilistic propensity. Everyone else just seemed to put their head down an look the other way when their brothers were getting pushed around. I know this team isn't built for blood feuds, but there are players who could - and should - have stepped up to put an end to the questionable stuff.
I would have also accepted "scored a retaliatory goal or two" as an answer as well. No dice. Amazingly, the Avs have lost 4 straight in a tight playoff race but have barely lost any ground. That doesn't make me feel any better about the Avs' chances this year. 2.38 goals per game (and falling) just isn't going to cut it...especially when you lose to one of the few teams that scores less.
MHH Best Three Avs of the Night
- Galiardi, Stastny, Mueller
- Landeskog, O'Reilly, Hejduk
- Porter, McClement, Winnik
- McLeod, van der Gulik, Kobasew
- Hejda, O'Byrne
- Quincey, Johnson
- Wilson, Elliott
- Landy had 6 hits
- Quincey led the Avs in shots with 5
- Jay McClement was 9 of 12 in the faceoff circles
NHL.com Recap & Highlights
Woohoo - another NW team on Saturday (Vancouver). Yay for us!