It wasn't exactly the most exciting game to watch, but Avalanche fans savored every single bit of it as Colorado snapped a disappointing 4 game losing streak. The Avalanche played a solid all-around game, basically dominating the Blue Jackets from the opening face off. Peter Budaj didn't have to be spectacular often, but he got the job done (and then some) to record his third career shutout. Jose Theodore has zero since Budaj made his debut in the NHL.
While it was great to see Colorado finally get a win from what has generally been good team effort, it needs to be pointed out that Columbus simply is not a very good hockey team. In just their 17th game (and 2nd head coach) of the year, they are in the middle of their 2nd 4-game losing streak and have already been shut out 5 times. It's not a fluke that this team is last in the NHL.
Speaking of flukes, I hope Ossi Vaananen's inspired play is not one. It's not a secret that I haven't been a big fan of the trade that brought him here, or his play since. But this season he is like a new player. Maybe the fear of getting scratched or traded when Jordan Leopold finally starts playing has lit a fire under him. All I know is that Vaananen is hitting people in his own end, and isn't embarrassing himself with his offensive play either.
- Hey Wojtek Wolkski: you might want to get some suits dry cleaned, because if you keep playing uninspired hockey like you did last night, you're soon going to be watching from the press box...or maybe riding a bus in the AHL. I'm not sure what made me angrier in the game - the fact that you kept standing around like you had somewhere else you wanted to be, or the fact that coach Quenneville kept putting you in the damn game. Either way, it was a waste of a tremendous amount of skill.
- Peter Budaj is 2-0-1 in 3 appearances following a Colorado loss, allowing just 4 goals (one in OT).
- Tonight Colorado faces a somewhat different Wild team - a team that is showing some signs of coming off at the hinges. In their first 10 games, they allowed more than 2 goals just once as they recorded only one loss. In the eight games since, they've allowed 3+ 6 times and are just 3-5. They can score though: their last game was a crazy 7-6 shootout victory over the Predators. They overcame a 6-3 deficit in that game. Tighten up those seat belts, folks.