photo courtesy of David Zalubowski/AP
To say that this season has been a roller coaster for the Avalanche wouldn't quite cover the insanity that defines 2007-08. The Avs started strong, then sputtered, then picked up the pace, then got hit by injury after injury and almost fell apart, and now they're streaking in the win column again.
Oh, and they're in first place in the Northwest. Again.
With the help of newly-realized offensive powerhouse Jeff Finger (seriously, what can't that guy do?), who has two goals in his last three games, and resurgent center Tyler Arnason (a goal and three assists in his last five), the Avs beat the Blue Jackets 3-1 at home in the Pepsi Center.
Ben Guite even scored a goal, and David Jones, though originally credited with it, ended up with his first NHL assist three games after being called up from Lake Erie. Lappy had two helpers of his own, and looked ferocious on the ice all night long.
I have to admit that I haven't seen the Avalanche defense play so well in a while. They covered all the angles, kept the slot clear in front of Jose Theodore (who had another killer performance), and consistently cleared the zone with only a couple of flubs. The lone Columbus goal was the only real oversight on the night.
Just in case you needed more evidence that the season is becoming more bizarre by the second, Scott Hannan finished the game with a +2 rating and the third star. Seriously, WTF?
Can the Avs keep the momentum going and continue to win despite missing the core of their offensive attack? Can they maintain or extend their lead on their divisional rivals? Can I avoid a heart attack watching them play?
I guess we'll find out.
The Avs face Nashville in Denver tomorrow night.
Stars of the Game:
- Jeff Finger (1g, 0a)
- Jose Theodore (26sv, .963)
- Scott Hannan (0g, 0a)