I tried. I wanted to stay up to watch the game, but these damn West Coast games are killers. I started dozing off when the Kings were up 2-0 and playing solid hockey. I missed Colorado come back to tie it and then dominate the game, winning 5-2. I missed Ryan Smyth's two goals. I missed TJ Hensick's first NHL goal (congratulations!). I missed Paul Stastny dispel the home cooking myth a little more. I missed Jimmy Fox talkingreallyfastand then pausing...fordramaticeffect. I did get to see Kyle Cumiskey try to get too cute in his zone leading to the first Los Angeles goal, but I'd rather forget about that. Cumiskey had less than 10 minutes of ice time and, if Kurt Sauer can play Monday, I bet it's Cumiskey that sits instead of Karlis Skrastins (18:58 TOI in the game).
I wasn't the only one. Joe Sakic missed his first game since 2004, a stretch of 234 games. Marek Svatos missed his 2nd straight game with a groin injury. Kurt Sauer was out with a neck injury. Andrew Brunette didn't play after the first because of the flu (with Scott Parker in the lineup for his usual 5 shifts, that left the Avs with just 10 forwards on the 2nd day of back-to-back road games). By my count, the Avalanche have had 9 different guys miss a game due to injury (Theodore, Skrastins, Laperriere, Richardson, Hejduk, Sauer, Svatos, Leopold, Sakic) this year, with about 70 man-games lost.
Because of Parker and Brunette, I'm sure there was a lot of shifting around after the first...but to start the game, the lines were:
- Stastny, Smyth, Hejduk
- Hensick, Wolski, Brunette (so yes, Shane and I called this, just a day early)
- Arnason, Guite, Hlinka
- Smith, McCormick, Parker
Each of the top 3 lines contributed even strength goals. Nice balance.