First things first: I missed the first two periods of this game. The Avs are important to me, but so are the Lost castaways. I came in just in time to see Alex Ovechkin's newest highlight reel addition - his glass-shattering check on Karlis Skrastins. Colorado peppered Olaf Kolzig with 48 shots in the game (22 in the 3rd period), but came out on the losing end again.
Colorado's powerplay continues to hurt their chances. In 10 games this year, the Avs have managed just 7 5-on-4 powerplay goals, and 3 of those came in one game (Vancouver). Other than that game, Colorado has no games with more than one 5-on-4 goal. If you don't count Brunette's goal last night with Budaj pulled, Colorado has only mustered a 5-on-4 PP goal in 3 of the 10 games - and they lost 2 of them. That sort of production is not going to get it done. Colorado can continue to do well at even strength and on the kill, but they simply are not a team built to win close games; they do not have the defense and goaltending that other teams have to do this. The Avs have to capitalize on the powerplay to get a decent lead on their opponents.
Colorado will get better in this area. It's not that they are struggling to get the puck into the zone. It seems to be more a matter of chemistry - there's a lot of new faces with the man advantage, and it takes a while before people learn each other's tendencies. That aspect should improve as the guys get more ice time together. Jordan Leopold's return should be a plus here too. Clark and Klee are both working hard, but seem a bit miscast in this role - both struggle at times receiving passes and keeping the puck in the zone, and neither has a shot that will make anyone forget about Rob Blake.
- Congratulations to Joe Sakic on his 1500th (and 1501st) NHL point, one of 11 ever to do so. Sakic is 30 points away from catching Paul Coffey at 10th, and 79 away from Ray Bourque. Bourque will soon be the only defenseman in the top 10, with Jaromir Jagr closing in behind Burnaby Joe.
- Peter Budaj snapped both season streaks last night; he allowed his first powerplay goal and his first third period goal of the year. He does have to feel good about Ovechkin's penalty shot miss in the 3rd; Budaj was abysmal in shootouts last season - his eyes must have been like saucers when he realized he would have to be standing in against one of the most electric players in the game.
- One streak that hasn't ended: Brad Richardson being on the ice for every goal scored while Colorado has been down one man. The one 5 on 3 scored against Colorado this season happened while Richardson was in the box.