Ouch. This one was just ugly, ugly, ugly. Colorado started out pretty strong for 10 minutes or so, and was tied 2-2 after one. But then a disastrous 2nd period - 5 shots, outscored 4-1 despite having both powerplays - it was just all Calgary the rest of the way. The Flames notched 5 goals at even strength and 2 shorthanded. All 3 Avalanche goals were on the powerplay, resulting in some stupendously awful +/- numbers (like, -35 for the team, -13 for the Stastny line alone). Calgary's penalty kill was so aggressive, it almost seemed like a good strategy for the Avs to just decline any penalties (yeah, I know you can't do that).
For the first time this year, Peter Budaj made an early exit, getting yanked in the 2nd period after giving up the 5th goal. This was certainly not Budaj's best game, but I don't think anything about his play indicated a need to change his status as our starter. Jose Theodore didn't exactly show anything in relief that he deserves to be back as the starter - he gave up 2 goals in 9 shots, but, more importantly, seemed to make a half-hearted attempt at the stop on the two goals. To quote Simon LeBon, he still looks like he's "on a ride and wants to get off, but they won't slow down the roundabout." The decision on which goaltender Joel Quenneville will start on Saturday against Anaheim might be one of the most important decisions of the year.
Same lineup & line combination as the previous game. Brad Richardson has been recalled from Albany, so I would expect there may be a change on Saturday.
- Sakic, Wolski, Svatos: 13:53, 0 pts, 6 shots, -6
- Arnason, McLean, Laperriere: 11:52, 0 pts, 2 shots, -4
- Stastny, Brunette, Hejduk: 12:27, 0 pts, 9 shots, -13
- Guite, Turgeon, Rycroft: 8:52, 0 pts, 5 shots, E
- Clark & Skrastins: 16:23, 0 pts, 5 shots, -3
- Klee & Vaananen: 19:50, 0 pts, 1 shot, -2
- Cumiskey & Sauer: 11:32, 0 pts, 2 shots, -3
- Wojtek Wolski left the game in the 2nd after crashing awkwardly into the boards, but came back to finish the game.
- Tyler Arnason seems to have really lost intensity. At the end of November, Arnason had 18 points in 25 games and was a +6. He looked poised to cash in big next summer as an unrestricted free agent. In the 18 games since, he has just 10 points, is -7, and doesn't seem interested in playing to Quenneville's system (perhaps he's allergic to the boards?). He has 2 shots in the last 2 games, and the one big play he made last night was his pass to Kirstian Huselius to set up Calgary's first shorthanded goal.