Mike is out of town at an engineering conference and won't be back in time to watch the first part of the game so our son and I (This is the Mrs. BTW) will have recap duties until he returns. So here we go:
FirstGrader@MHH's pregame notes (transcribed verbatim):
- The plars are wormeeing up!
- The Goalie is worming up!
- there are a lot of peeple!!
- the music is radeeoactive. (Editor's Note: This is his current favorite song.)
- the avlanche are coming owt!
- There is a lite jersee!!!!
And now I'll (Mrs.) take back over...
The regular season starts with some of the same flavor seen in the preseason as the Ducks drive the play in the early going. Paul Stastny doesn't help the cause taking a tripping call less than
three five minutes into the game (Editor's Note: the NHL has 20 minute periods, not 18 dear. Only schlub beer leaguers such as myself can handle the rigors of 18-minute run clock periods.) Colorado manages to kill off the first short-handed situation of the season allowing only one shot (1stGrader: "the duks omost skord! there was ubout to be a fit"). The fun of the period continues. Here's a comment from 1stGrader: "The Avalanche should play hard too. The Ducks are playing harder than the Avalanche."
Top 6 forward Daniel Winnik helps his old team out with a hooking call eight minutes in. The Avs first powerplay of the season goes for naught but one shot, but at least the boys in Burgandy are playing at the other end of the ice. Thankfully, Semyon Varlamov has looked solid, making several good saves.
Ryan O`Reilly breaks the seal on the 2013-2014 season with an unassisted goal after breaking up a bad pass from Francois Beauchemin, racing into the offensive zone and beating Ducks goaltender Viktor Fasth. The goal awakens both teams and the hometown crowd as the Ducks and Avalanche begin trading chances. O`Reilly gets some good chances but Viktor Fasth denies him with two great saves with under a minute to go. The period ends with the good guys up 14-7 in shots and 1-0 on the scoreboard
1stGrader needs to go to bed, so after a Facebook argument with my sister and a quick glance at the intermission feed, I noticed that McNabb is in the pressbox, not down between the benches. Is this permanent? Because I hated him between the benches last season.
Another shaky start to the period as Varlamov is forced to makes several good saves in a row and stones Sami Vatanen with an aggressive challenge save. Not long after, Stastny takes his second penalty of the night as he gets called for hooking Ryan Getzlaf. The PK is successful again though. More Facebook arguing, but it doesn't appear that I missed anything until Winnik takes another penalty, this time for tripping P.A. Parenteau. Colorado's power play strikes as Steve Downie scores from the side of the crease on a O`Reilly's rebound. It's Downie's first goal since Feb 25th, 2012. Assist to old favorite Alex Tanguay.
Mike is back, so I'll let him take over...
I got home in time to watch 1st overall draft pick Nathan MacKinnon blow past Ducks
defenseman douchebag Ben Lovejoy for a quality scoring chance. Lovejoy's answer? Start some shit. MacKinnon stands up for himself and earns a matching 2 minute roughing minor. SPOILER ALERT: It wouldn't be his last appearance on the scoresheet tonight.
An aggressive forecheck during the 4-on-4 springs Tyson Barrie and John Mitchell on a two-on-one. Evgeni buries a wrister on Fasth to put the Avalanche up 3-0 at just under the halfway point of the game. Then the game REALLY got interesting. Some weak backhands and sloppy stick work in the Avs' own end results in Corey Perry alone in the slot but Varly is aggressive and stones him with ZERO rebound!
MacKinnon and his motor generate another powerplay opportunity after he's cross-checked in the offensive zone. No score on the man advantage, but it wouldn't be long...
A hard cycle to the left of Anaheim's net finds the puck on MacKinnon's stick. He slips a deft little backhand pass between Cam Fowler's legs to Jamie McGinn in the slot. McGinn doesn't miss from there and buries the puck far side to put Colorado up 4-0. Alex Tanguay gets the second assist.
Patrick Maroon tries to get his team in it again with a fight with Cody McLeod after a post-whistle scrum. Not sure why McLeod agreed to the dance, but he managed to a land a good punch or two. It appeared that Maroon took off his helmet (a big no-no this season), but after conferring the refs just shrugged it off. We close out the period with Varlamov getting his glove on a point blank Getzlaf shot in front.
The early part of the third period starts with back and forth possession changes and little in the way of good scoring opportunities. Valamov treats the crowd to some great poke checks on scary traffic plays in front of the Avs net. At least two of those negated good shooting opportunities and will never show up on a scoresheet as a save.
Just under 9 minutes into the 3rd and Parenteau streaks down the right boards and pulls up just as he 's getting ridden into the corner. MacKinnon calls for the puck and Parenteau delivers a sweet pass to the rookie's stick. He does him one better by sliding a gift over to an uncoverd McGinn for his second goal of the night from 3 feet in front of the crease. 5-0 Avalanche. If you look up the word 'rout' in the dictionary, there's a picture of Fasth's face after that goal. He is getting NO HELP from anybody wearing the webbed D.
The Avs cap their scoring for the night on a powerplay goal from Duchene. It's a thing of fucking beauty. After Getzlaf gets called for hooking Gabriel Landeskog in the middle of the zone, the Avs put on a patient passing clinic. Tanguay fakes a shot from the left point and puts a hard pass onto Downie's stick to the right of the Ducks' net. Downie LIKE A BOSS throws it straight across the crease to Matt Duchene. Now, if you go and read the boxscore for this game, this shot is noted simply as a "wrist shot". That's because the Official NHL Scoresheet doesn't have a box to check that reads "DUNKS THAT SHIT." 6-0 Avalanche with just over 7 minutes to go.
In the last bit of the game the Avalanche pull out all the stops to give the sellout crowd a treat. Downie answers the bell when Getzlaf taps him on the shoulder for a fight. That completes the Gordie Howe Hat Trick. Then, in the waning seconds, shit got real.
Ben Lovejoy, in what I can only assume was a misplaced attempt at thanking MacKinnon for clowning him all night long, throws a knee-to-knee
hit cheapshot on the rookie. McGinn has words, play continues, the puck gets worked into the Avalanche end, Jan Hejda and his man literally fly over a mid-save Varlamov, and Jakob Silfverberg bangs in the rebound to spoil the shutout with less than 7 seconds left in the game. The reprehensible Bruce Boudreau rolls out his goon line for the ensuing faceoff. Patrick Roy pulls Slap Fight and puts Patrick Bordeleau and Co. on the ice. Shoving and shit-talking reach Pacific Rim levels before the buzzer sounds. Roy shows his command of the English language by giving some friendly advice to some of the chatty Ducks. Boudreau pipes up from behind the plexiglass and Roy goes supernova on his fat ass, trying to shove the divider down on top of the bald piece of shit. Tough guy Boudreau bows up and backs up as assistant coaches drag Roy away and Ryan O`Reilly tries to eat Corey Perry's face off before the refs stop him. Bordeleau is personally escorted back to the bench by a contingent of zebras in order to prevent a re-enactment of that scene from The Transporter where Frank kicks down the door to the bad guys' house and proceeds to get medieval on rooms full of goons.
The refs finally let the Avs congratulate Varly and the home crowd goes home with some spectacular memories of Roy and MacKinnon's debut.
MHH Three Stars
- Semyon Varlamov - 35 saves, great body control, excellent game
- Ryan O`Reilly - Goal, Assist, 6 shots, all over the ice.
- Nathan MacKinnon - 2 assists and was a pace-setter and contributor for most of the game, #2 Star on NHL Network
- Steve Downie - Goal, Assist, Fight, standing up for his teammates, and one heck of a fine
- Jamie McGinn - 2 goals, also stood up for his new linemate, and looked hungry all night. #3 star on NHL Network
- Tyson Barrie - Smooth breakouts, jumped into plays well, and did everything right on the 2-on-1
- Slap Fight+ Downie
- Landeskog - Stastny -Tanguay
- McGinn - MacKinnon -Parenteau
- Bordeleau - Mitchell -McLeod
- The HD for the game on Center Ice looked much better tonight than last season (which was in 2012 for us since Mike refused to purchase Center Ice last year in protest of the lockout).
- The Mrs. noticed that the Ducks have a guy named Lovejoy on their team and she immediately wondered if he's a fan of the PBS show that shares his name. I think we should send him a care package of DVD of the show, don't you?