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Notes: Game 31, Avalanche at Ducks

Avalanche at the Ducks tonight. I've got the Anaheim feed. I like Brian Hayward, so no complaints from me tonight.

Budaj in net for the 4th consecutive time (a first for Avs goalies this year). He's up against Jonas Hiller tonight.



20:00 Guite, McCormick and Laperriere start the game as they did in LA.

18:49 The next line is Brunette, Stastny and Hejduk. Interesting.

17:53 Woslki, Hlinka and Svatos are the next line. Is Smyth hurt? Cumiskey draws a penalty – Perry trips him up behind the Colorado net.

17:31 Cumiskey and Clark on the point on this PP. Smyth is nowhere to be found. He must be out. I fast forwarded through the pregame, so perhaps that's my bad.

16:26 Clark doubleshifts at the point, with Liles joining him on the 2nd unit (Hlinka, Wolski and Svatos).

15:14 Bobby Ryan gets the puck in a perfect spot in the slot, but he fans. No wonder Pittsburgh took Crosby one slot ahead of him.

14:04 Hannan stands up Perry along the boards, and then carries the puck up ice.

13:41 Cody McCleod is out for his first shift (#55). Hensick is out there with him. I didn't catch who the other winger was. If Smyth is out, it must be Parker, right?

11:50 Beuachemin fires a big shot from the point. Budaj looks behind him, but it goes up into the netting.

11:00 Ryan Smyth out with a sore neck. Now I don't have to rewind to find out what's up.

10:06 A chance by Perry. Budaj makes the save. A big hit on Perry with the favor returned by a duck (I think Bertuzzi)

9:37 McCormick says hello to Bertuzzi. I can blame the cold medicine for not being clear, but this is the first game against Bertuzzi, right?

8:32 McCormick dumps Moen.

8:31 Bodies are flying over – Stastny gets sandwiched by Moen and Pahlsson

8:10 Neidermeyer on the left wing hits Budaj in the head. The rebound goes right to Beauchemin, and somehow he misses a wide open net.

5:25 The Avs were going to win the race to beat an icing call, so Hiller has to play the puck. This essentially is the Avalanche's big offensive moment of the game so far (hint – much of the game has been played in their end)

4:10 Budaj gets a blocker on a puck that was deflected in front of him. No question in my mind that Theodore wouldn't have even moved on that one.

2:46 I don't pay attention to this stuff like Dario…is it new that Finger is playing on the left?

2:10 Hannan interferes with Ryan Carter as Carter tried to beat out an icing call. Skrastins was going to get to the puck easily, so there was really no reason for Hannan to take that penalty.

:05 Getzlaf has a chance to score – he gets a rebound and has a wide open net. He sends it across the crease instead of into the net.

0:00 Ducks outshoot the Avs 13-3. But, for the 4th straight game, Budaj does not allow a first period goal.


20:00 You know, I still haven't seen the 12th forward. It has to be Parker, but I wonder if he even got a shift. Or maybe he's so low on Quenneville's depth chart that the Avs just dressed 19 guys.

17:08 There he is! He flattens Ryan Carter in the neutral zone. Welcome back, Mr Parker.

13:45 Finger's on the right side now, so I must have been wrong above. I swear I saw him on the left on two separate occasions though.

12:44 Hlinka hits Bertuzzi…and bounces back. Slight size advantage to the meathead on that one.

12:18 Colorado seems to be closing the momentum gap a bit.

11:27 You could see that one coming. (I did 45 seconds ago). The Guite line gets a good cycle going down low. Guite was tied up in front of the net with Beauchemin. Meanwhile, Lappy grabs the puck behind the net and centers it perfectly to Cody McCormick. McCormick beats Hiller for his first goal of the season. First of two seasons, right? The Avs are up 1-0 despite being heavily outshot by the Ducks. Once again, Peter Budaj has kept the other team off the board long enough to give his team the lead.

9:46 And, not surprisingly, the team has picked up the pace.

9:21 Parros and Parker square off. Mustache vs Goatee. It's a long fight, with both monsters working to free up their right hands. I think Parker got more punches in (at one point, he was able to get Parros' jersey up over his head), but it was a pretty even fight. Both guys did what they were in the lineup to do.

7:36 Guh, Brunette's too-pretty behind the back pass goes right to the stick of Sammy Pahlsson. I don’t know if it was the flu or losing Sakic, but he hasn’t been the same since those two things happened.

6:46 Schneider stands up McCormick along the boards. You could say he got all of his eyebrow into that hit.

5:05 The Ducks have been in the zone for about two minutes now.

4:50 Finally, Hlinka ices it. The dead tired Avs get a break, as there's a TV timeout to give them some rest.

4:30 Hayward compares us (in a positive light) to the Wild defensively. My head explodes.

4:00 Meanwhile, his partner keeps saying "Stossny", which drives me up the wall.

2:45 Good play from Hlinka – the Avs are pressuring. He's on the board and centers it to Liles pinching in. Knowing Liles is in deep, he gets to the blueline and is there to keep it in a few seconds later when the Ducks try to clear.

:11 I'm not even going to mention Skrastins name here. If you saw it, you know what I'm talking about.

:00 The Avs have a tenuous 1-0 lead, despite having just 9 shots.


19:38 The Guite line starts, and has a great deal of jump. I have a feeling we'll see a lot of this line in this period.

16:15 Pronger ties it. Carter let a shot go and the rebound goes right to Pronger in the slot. Pronger deflects it 5-hole and we're looking at a 1-1 game.

14:49 Ryan hits Hlinka and then Kunitz gets a solid check on Clark forcing a turnover.

14:10 Cumiskey and Budaj had a miscommunication. Budaj leaves it for Cumiskey, but he's not ready for it. The Ducks are able to keep it in and get a scoring chance off of it.

11:04 The Ducks have had a ton of chances to take the lead. Budaj (and some lucky bounces) have kept the Avs in it.

10:07 Parker is out there in a 1-1 game. This is huge. He acquits himself rather well on that shift. I'd like to see more of the Sheriff

9:11 Geez, Rob Niedermeyer has Budaj on the ice and can't get it in. If we don't lose, it'll be a Christmas miracle. Budaj just gets a piece of the puck to deflect it over the net. Save of the game there.

7:36 The Avs have just 11 shots – 5 below their season low. The Ducks have 30. Slight disparity.

5:52 Seems like the refs missed a penalty – I thought "Stossny" was interfered with behind the Ducks' net.

5:40 How do you know the NHL is not popular? In the DirecTV Center Ice commercials, featuring the most recognizable NHL stars, they have to show the players names.

5:12 I'll say this: the Avs forwards are doing a much better job of helping out the D. The clearing attempts they'd botch earlier in the season are getting tipped rather consistently out of the zone.

4:00 4 minutes to go in Budaj's quest to steal a point.

3:32 Two huge saves.

2:14 Seriously, Karlis, cut it out.

1:22 The Avs get lucky. The Hlinka line was going off while Beauchemin was carrying in. They were VERY slow to make a change, and if the play wasn't whistled down for offsides, we would have been in trouble. That's a lousy place for a lazy change.

:22 Delay of game coming. McCormick clears it over the glass. Uh-oh.

0:00 Whew, bullet dodged. The game is going to OT. I don't care what happens at this point – I'm thrilled that Budaj got us a point tonight.


5:00 There's still 1:30 on the McCormick penalty, so we'll start out 4 on 3.

3:20 McCormick is out.

2:10 Budaj makes his 36th save of the night.

1:38 Hensick has a good chance, drawing a few players with him but he can't get it to Wolski in front.

Cumiskey tries to keep the play alive along the boards, and that's a mistake. He can’t get to it, and it leaves Hannan alone to try to stop Kunitz and Schneider going 2 on 1 the other way. Schneider shoots it and beats Budaj to give the Ducks a 2-1 win. I'm still thrilled to get a point. Not very thrilled to be outshot 38-12.

Amazingly, Budaj was not one of the three stars chosen tonight. What moron picked them?