Well, the Avalanche didn't get blown out by a far superior Red Wings team. For that I am grateful. But they still got beat, and they still are just barely treading water as far as division and playoff positions go.
The Colorado defense and Jose Theodore played extremely well last night. Limiting the best team in the league to just one goal (scored in traffic just seconds after Ben Guite returned to the ice from a penalty in the second period) is admirable. I watched most of the first two periods and the Avs looked solid in their own end. Detroit had very few good chances. When they did have good chances, Theodore shut them down, and for that he should be commended. After all, he's shown that he can definitely play one or two really good games here and there---no doubt about that. Unfortunately, the more he plays the more likely a meltdown will occur.
Anyway, I'd write a longer recap if the Avalanche offense game me something to write about. They've pretty much vanished.
Somebody needs to call Paul Stastny and tell him that this is his chance to shine, to take control as a future leader of his team. With Smyth and Sakic out, he and Andrew Brunette are the go-to guys for grit and leadership and stellar two-way play. So far neither are making any kind of impact at all.
Finally, hats off to TJ Hensick, who had five shots on goal and played his ass off against his former favorite team. He and Marek Svatos were by far the best forwards on the ice last night and their efforts were unfortunately unrewarded on the scoreboard.
As a more tangible reward for his hard work, Coach Q sent Hensiiick back to Cleveland to make room for Tyler Arnason. Yes, you read that right. No, I'm not kidding. Instead of sending Arnason to the Monsters for a brief rehab stint like he should (it's not like the guy was doing anything before he got hurt), he's sending TJ Hensick, a guy who works about 56873 times harder at every end of the ice than Arnason has since The Streak last season.
There is no limit to Q's ineptness.
Stars of the Game:
- Dominik Hasek (19sv, 1.000)
- Pavel Datsyuk (1g, 0a)
- Jose Theodore (24sv, .960)