Now that's a wakeup call. Wojtek Wolski, one game after being scratched (and three games after getting slammed here), responded with the best game of his NHL career. Wolski was - to steal from Pierre Mcguire - a monster, with a point on all 4 of Colorado's goals. Wolski started things off with a beautiful pass across the crease that deflected off of Mark Rycroft's skate (Rycroft was filling in on the line for Milan Hejduk, out with the flu). A few minutes later, Wolski checked Willie Mitchell hard into the boards behind the Canucks' net, stole the puck, and passed in front to a wide open Paul Stastny. In the 3rd period, he added a powerplay goal to seal the game, and assisted on Brett Clark's powerplay goal with under a minute left. In a game where Joe Sakic had no shots, and Tyler Arnason's line had just 2 shots, the play of Stastny, Wolski and Rycroft was the difference.
Perhaps lost in the shuffle a bit was the solid play of Jose Theodore. Jose seems to have put a streak of inconsistency behind him, holding his opponents to 2 goals or less in 4 of the last 5 games. Theo sometimes looks shaky even when not allowing goals, but lately he has looked more comfortable in the net. Normally, when Colorado puts up a 2-goal lead, you start wringing your hands waiting for the inevitable comeback. But last night, even when Vancouver cut it to 2-1 early in the 2nd, you just had that confidence that - for once - the lead would hold.
(check back here, as game by game tracking of the lines will be available soon)
- Sakic, Brunette, Svatos. 10 Shots, 11:57 ATOI, -1.
- Arnason, McLean, Laperriere. 2 Shots, 11:42 ATOI, even.
- Stastny, Wolski, Rycroft. 10 Shots, 10:10 ATOI, +2.
- Richardson, Laaksonen, McCormick. 6 Shots, 9:17 ATOI, even
- With the win (and Calgary's loss), Colorado vaults from 5th to 3rd in the NW division, and currently sits in the 8th and final playoff spot in the West.
- Colorado is 3-0 against the pencil-thin Canucks, outscoring them 10-5 on the season. Vancouver has just one powerplay goal in the 3 games. The two play again next Saturday night.
- The Avs are 4th in the West in scoring.