Pregame Une: Avs Play with Fire, Get Burned

Doug Pensinger

Patrick Roy's Coaching Debut at the Pepsi Center was marred by 7 (SEVEN!!) power-play opportunities, the last of which resulted in the game-winning goal by the Anaheim "Don't Call Us Mighty" Ducks.

I'll be honest up front, I listened to the first period and a handful of minutes in the second before bailing on the horrific Ducks announcing crew and finding...other things to do with the Mrs.  That being said, this post will serve as a Randy +1 style recap.

The game started in less-than-rousing fashion as the 300 lackluster fans (according to the Ducks crew that is) were less than enthused to be at the game.  Setting aside the nearly week-long natural disaster in the area, the fact that nobody likes to watch the Ducks, that it was a preseason game in the middle of the week, that nobody likes to watch the Ducks, several star players were out of the lineup on both sides, that nobody likes to watch the Ducks, etc., I thought the crowd sounded fine...

Anyway, I figure the Avs were doing some good things as the Ducks crew didn't have much detail or anything to talk about.  Looking at the play-by-play, it appears that the teams traded hits and shots for the most part in the early going.  Colin Smith drew a tripping penalty and the Avs saw their first powerplay of the 2013-2014 preseason campaign.  The result?  A lot like the 2013 campaign: No shots on goal (officially) but two shots taken, before Jamie McGinn gave the Ducks an out with a charginig penalty of his own.  The Avs managed to kill it off but the penalties would be a theme for the rest of the night:

Paul Stastny got thing started when he banged home a rebound of a Gabriel Landeskog shot to put the Avs up 1-zed thirteen minutes into the first.  Landy got the shot off after a nice pass from new old guy Alex Tanguay.  Avs had the lead going into intermission but not before killing off another power play (Landeskog tripping) and gifting them the man advantage going into the 2nd (Stastny interference with about 30 seconds left in the period),

The second saw the Avs successfully kill off the penalty but it wasn't much longer before they decided they needed more practice as Tanguay (in an obvious effort to fit in with his new old team) took a hooking penalty.  The Avs almost killed it off, but Anaheim's hyphenate Devante Smith-Pelly potted the powerplay goal in the waning secods of the man advantage.

After that the penalties started to even out as the Ducks took a roughing call, then journeyman defender Nolan Yonkman cross-checked Cody McLeod, which set off a fracas sending representatives of both teams to the bin but it did give the Avs their 2nd powerplay of the night.  This time the Avs managed a couple of shots, including one by Stefan Elliott, but no goals were had.  The teams continued to trade opportunities at even strength.  Another Stastny interference penalty (of the goalie variety) at the end of the period continued the night's theme.

The third saw another successful penalty kill and more even action before Erik Johnson decided to get in on the party with a roughing penalty (at least this one was in the defensive zone...).  The Avs PK got some more early season experience with another successful kill and the teams went back to trading shots, hits, and chances.

Cody McLeod decided to add some more variety to the stat sheet with an offensive zone boarding call to put the Ducks on their 7th powerplay of the game.  This time, Anaheim's Hampus Lindholm found the back of the twine to put the Ducks up 2-1 with just under six minutes left in the game.  The Avs amped up the pressure with 3 shots, two blocked shots, and FIVE missed shots in the closing minutes of the game while not giving up anything other than icings.  A couple of offensive zone face-off losses probably didn't help the cause though and the Avalanche fell 2-1.

Quick and Dirty 3 Stars:

  • Landeskog - Of the Avs 28 shots last night, Landy had 7 of them to go with his assist, two hits, and 2 PIMs.
  • Hejda -  3 shots, 3 hits, and two blocked shots.  Good night for a steady d-man.
  • Stastny - Had the lone goal, but also took two killer penalties that put the Avalanche on their heels to start the 2nd and 3rd periods.
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