Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Where Mike gushes about how awesome Paul Stastny's vision is and how under-rated David Jones' hustle is. Plus math. And trolling.
In order to get SixWhore's chlamydia-ridden denizens off my back, I present to you another installment of my insight-light goal breakdown series. We're going to take a look at the first goal scored in last night's game which was also the first goal in Aaron Palushaj's Avalanche career. We join the action about two-and-a-half minutes into the scoreless 2nd frame...
David Jones is starting the breakout high in the Avalanche defensive end and immediately has to deal with forecheck pressure from Minny's Kyle Brodziak (#21). Palushaj is trying to break out the high side of the zone and Paul Stastny has already moved into a pass-ready breakout position toward the near boards. The Wild's defensive duo of Tom Gilbert (#77) and Justin Falk (#44) are in good position just outside the neutral zone and have taken away the lane up the middle.
Jones managed to trickle the puck to Stastny just outside the blueline and then the good doctor starts to ramp up his skating. Brodziak is with him and in a good spot to prevent the farside pass to Palooga. Falk and Gilbert have opened up a pretty good gap on the slowly developing rush, something that may come back to haunt them. Still, this is essentially a two-on-two at worst as Stastny has no speed built up and the D pair is moving with the same speed as the other two attacking forwards.
Jones has put his foot on the proverbial gas and is leaving Brodziak who seems mesmerized by the gaping hole in Stastny's chest (you know, where his heart/desire/hustle should be?). Falk is employing the silent but deadly defensive strategy of "I fart in your general direction!!", but Stastny, even though he has a decent passing lane to Jones, realizes he doesn't have the time to pull the puck to his forehand with David on the train tracks. He then employs the always under-rated TRIGONOMETRY BITCHES!!! with a bank pass off of the near wall. On the right side of your screen you'll see super-rookie Mikael Granlund completely confused by what is going on with the angles and vectors and whatnot. Also, how is this guy not an Av? He's 5'-10", a buck-eighty. Can you imagine the bullshit that would be raining down on the scouting department for picking another midget like him??
Falk has realized his mustard cloud D has not worked on the inanimate rubber biscuit and has now turned to skate toward the delicately-placed puck in his own end. Only problem is Jones has had the entire neutral zone to build up big mo due to nary a stick-check...
... and he has summarily (I object Your Honor!!) left not-Columbo in his dust. Gilbert has now turned his attention to Jones as a two-on-one has quickly developed. Minnesota goalie Niklas
Backstreet Backstrom is out at the top of his paint, on angle for a low-percentage, backhand shot from Jones because WE ALL KNOW that's the only type of shots the Avs attempt. Just off screen (you can see just the tip) is Brodziak and above him in the zone is Pushup employing his soft J stealth mode to mask Gilbert's memory of his existence.
Jones uses his third eye (ladies) and prepares to launch a backhand pass to Papageorgio...
...where Gilbert begins his goalie impersonation with a vintage kick-save impression! Falk has excellent position to see this unfold, as does Brodziak. Unfortunately, the speed with which they both allowed the attacking forwards to enter the zone (due to too much gap) has made them observational pylons. Also, Brodziak is back on-screen having shifted into neutral at the blueline. Backstrom initiates a cross-crease butterfly slide with his head (always lead with head and hands, young goalies!!) as Palendrome has removed his cloak of invisibility and magically appeared in the slot!!
Palladium use some spectacular hand-eye mastery to tip the puck up...
... to the top shelf! Poppin' water bottles, y'all!!!.
Gilbert transitions his goalie impression to a rather tasteless mockery of Backstrom's save selection. That kind of body language can't be good for lockerroom cohesion.
Palmetto then performs a classic Darcy Tucker Celebration From His Ass After Inexplicably Falling Down©.