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Game Notes: Game 4, Avs at Blues

*I'm going to start posting these seperately from the recaps. That will give me the freedom to upload them during the game as I'm doing them, and also make the recap a little bit more manageable in size. I'll link to these in the recap so that they are all in a relatively tidy place

Here's the notes I took as I watched game 4, the Avalanche at the Blues...

1st Period

20:00 Van Halen's "Unchained" blasts over the PA just before the game gets underway. They tend to play some great tunes at the Savvis Center

19:59 Shockingly, the Avs lose the opening faceoff.


19:30 I thought I might be listening to the Altidudes for the first time this year, but it's the St Louis feed. I certainly won't complain about having a chance to hear John Kelly, although I could have done without the ridiculous "priceless" opener.
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18:59 Tonight's game recap is aided by a few glasses of Cavit Riesling.

18:47 Theodore stops the first shot against him of the season.

18:46 Unfortunately, he doesn't stop the second one. Instead, after stopping a Kariya shot, Theodore appears to use the "dive-into-the-net to hide" technique, taught by all the great goaltending coaches in, like, Argentina. Shockingly, it didn't work, and Brad Boyes scores.

17:06 Jeff Finger is playing again (woot). Dan Hinote is playing for the Blues, and Mike Johnson is a scratch, to the disappointment of Shane Giroux.

15:57 Avs score. Stastny tries to center to Ryan Smyth. It deflects off of Paul Kariya in front and right past Manny Legace. Stastny's 5th goal.

15:28 Bernie Federko says "both teams know the score". Um, thanks.
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14:14 Federko breaks down the first St Louis goal, showing that Sakic was slow to get back to cover Boyes. That's not something you see all that often.

13:38 I just saw Skrastins, which must mean that Sauer is sitting.

11:41 Theodore, glove save on Dupont's point shot

11:31 I see Hinote is back to his old #13 now that Bill Guerin is gone. That's nice to see.

10:13 Big hit from Laperriere on Walker

9:49 Arnason dekes around a few players in his zone. If I remember right, Arnason was a slug for the first 3 games last year before breaking out. If he's on the same schedule this year, tonight should be a strong night for him.

8:34 Theodore just does not look comfortable at all out there.

6:38 Great shift by Arnason and Wolski. Both keep the puck for a sustained period behind the net, fighting through checks. Wolski adds a nice hit on someone, and Arnason makes a good defensive play (yes, I typed that) to knock down a puck coming out of the zone.

4:35 And there's Kurt Sauer. So, Leopold is the scratch? Really? Shouldn't I have noticed this sooner? I blame the wine.

3:33 Jamal Mayers knocks down Kurt Sauer in the Avs zone…before Sauer has touched the puck. That's interference. If only there was a ref right in front of the play. Oh wait, there was. Odd.

1:06 Theodore stops a blistering shot from Kariya at the faceoff circle.

:14 Hannan gives the puck away behind the net.

:01.4 Hinote gets the first penalty of the game, for roughing.

2nd Period

19:44 Avs start the period on the powerplay. Savvis center PA guy plays Zeppelin's Rock and Roll

19:05 Jackman crumples to the ice after going hard into the boards with Smyth chasing him

18:32 Svatos again is on the 2nd PP unit instead of Wolski.

17:41 Another great shift for Wolski and Arnason (with Lappy out there instead of Svatos, who just came off from the PP shift). Wolski doesn't have a lot to show for it, but I've been really impressed with him so far.

17:00 Hejduk gets called for running over Manny Legace. It looks like Kariya pushed Hejduk into Legace, but St Louis still gets the PP.

15:22 Shorthanded, Stastny gets 3 chances to clear, and fails on all three. The Avs eventually do clear.

14:23 Sakic hits Backes from behind. No penalty.

13:06 Arnason again looking sharp. Federko mentions that Tony Granato wasn't sure if Jarsoslav Hlinka was related to the late Ivan Hlinka. This is a week after someone pointed out Granato didn't realize Smyth had surprising quickness. I'm not exactly overflowing with confidence at this point.

13:00 The obligatory Peter Stastny montage…

12:35 Stastny goes to the box for tripping.

10:52 Guite has a shorthanded breakaway. Kariya gets back to put enough pressure on to force the chance wide.

9:29 Liles outlets from behind to net to Brunette along the dasher. Brunette's lazy clearing chance gets blocked. Better effort is needed there.

9:00 Vito from the Sporanos is interviewed in the stands, promoting a Martin Lawrence movie and a reality show. Solid stuff.

7:04 Wolski welcomes David Perron to the NHL with a strong check into the glass.

6:40 Guns N Roses Sweet Child O' Mine plays over the PA.

6:17 Another Avs penalty. That's 3 in a row. This one is on Guite for hooking.

6:14 The Avs lose the faceoff to start the Blues' PP

3:50 shockingly, Hinote deflects a beautiful feed over the night. I love Hinote, but he does not possess a Midas touch.

3:05 Legace, great save on Hlinka (beauty of a setup from Brunette)

2:53 He does it again, this time it’s Hlinka fed by Sakic.

1:51 Mayers interferes with Sauer AGAIN in front of a ref. Seriously, people, that's an easy call.

1:42 This one they don't miss – Ryan Johnson for holding on Stastny.

:30 The ref who could not see the Mayers interference calls Hejduk for it. It's a horseshit call. Even the Blues announcers think it's bunk. If you're going to call that (and I'm okay with the call), you HAVE to call the Mayers penalty. Both of them.

3rd Period

19:34 Ryan Johnson comes out of the box and gets an immediate breakaway. Theodore comes up with a big save. He seems to have steadied as the game has gone on.

18:28 Dupont goes to the box for a trip on Laperriere

17:09 Wolski gets some PP time

16:23 The Arnason line has another strong shift. They've been really good all night, but have nothing to show for it.

15:03 McClement scores. It was kind of an ugly play all around. Finger got taken hard into the boards by Backes. Stempniak takes the puck behind the net with Sakic trailing. Theo stops his wraparound attempt. Meanwhile, Finger races back to the play and takes down a St Louis player (Backes?) in front of the net. Unfortunately, he also takes down Liles and Sakic and slows Theodore from sliding over to get into position for McClement's rebound. Theo stops the first rebound attempt, but the rebound goes right back to McClement's stick. This time, he buries it.

14:00 I spoke way too soon on Theodore. Hinote scores to make it 3-1. Mayers shuttles the puck to the front of the net. Although Hannan and Clark are right there, Hinote is the one to get the puck first, and he flips it over Theo's glove.

12:32 Quenneville is predictably changing the lines – Wolski is up with Sakic.

11:29 Hlinka is out with Hejduk and Stastny

10:50 Guite, Svatos and Smith

10:12 Back to the normal 2nd line – Stastny, Smyth and Hejduk

9:29 Hejduk in front, misses wide

8:55 Arnason, Sakic and Hlinka.

6:30 Smyth makes a beautiful move to get an open shot, but fires it off the post

5:11 Great sliding play to break up a Boyes chance.

4:02 Salvadore with a long pass up to David Perron. Hannan has a play at the blueline, but is slow to react and then loses Perron as he races up the board. Hannan goes to the net. Clark moves over to pressure Perron, Hannan takes Hinote. Hannan covers him, but overskates and can't keep Hinote from the puck. Hinote scores to ice the game, for the first two-goal game of his career. I am forced to eat my Midas comment.

3:15 One last PP, Mayers goes off for holding.

2:47 Smyth is in front of the net on a PP for the first time tonight.