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Game 36: Avalanche 5, Predators 1

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The Avalanche gang up on the predators

John-Michael McDreamy has 7 points in the last 3 games

Photo courtesy Michael Martin (Getty)

Final - 12.29.2008 1 2 3 Total
Nashville Predators 0 1 0 1
Colorado Avalanche 2 2 1 5

Complete Coverage >


Where has this team been all year?

Last night, the Avalanche rolled over Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators by a score of 5-1. It was quite a team effort - four different players scored a goal (Cody McLeod, for the 2nd game this month, had two) and 11 different players had at least a point. And Peter Budaj was sensational, turning aside 25 of the 26 shots he faced (including a couple of bombs from Shea Weber).

Suddenly, the Avs have momentum. The Avalanche are 8-2 in their last 10 games and, more importantly, they are averaging 3.5 goals a game. In that stretch, they have their first 5-goal win (against LA) and now they have their first 4-goal win of the year (14 of their 19 wins have been by just 1 goal).

How are they doing it? They are going hard to the net, they are getting their D involved in the play, and they are starting to hit better (a 76-51 advantage in their last 3 games). It's basic stuff, and all are three are areas we've been looking for all year. It seems that message has finally made it to the team. Maybe we should have benched that Stastny guy sooner...



Ian Laperriere was moved to the 2nd line during the Detroit game, and he stayed there last night. With the Avs leading for almost the entire game, the lines weren't messed up too much during the game. And with the game in hand,  Tony Granato rested his first line for most of the 3rd period.

I can't help but point out, however, that Arnason is one of the few players who did not get a point last night.

  • Smyth, Arnason, Hejduk
  • Wolski, Laperriere, Jones
  • Stewart, Hensick, Svatos
  • McLeod, Guite, Tucker

ITCS Report

Quick Hits

  • The Avs have scored first in 7 of their last 10 games
  • Tyler Arnason has no points in his two games on the first line, but he does lead the team with 10 shots.
  • In the 2nd period, Cody McLeod slowed up to avoid a check by Jordin Tootoo, sending Tootoo flying into the Avalanche bench. Darcy Tucker then tempered my enjoyment of the moment by jumping on Tootoo and earning two minor penalties. What made him think Tootoo would actually stand up for himself there?

Video Highlights

Next Up

For the 3rd time in 4 years, the Avalanche will play in Phoenix on New Years Eve.

Other Recaps

With three consecutive wins and seven in the past eight at home, the Avalanche has improved to 19-16-1 and 39 points, good for third place in the Northwest Division and - more important - the seventh spot in the Western Conference. - Rick Sadowski - Rocky Mountain News

Liles had his third consecutive multipoint game for the second time in his career. Only two other defensemen in franchise history have done it (Sandis Ozolinsh and Jeff Brown). - Adrian Dater, Denver Post

Moments after Cody McLeod checked Tootoo into the Avalanche bench in the second period Monday, Darcy Tucker cross-checked Tootoo and was given an additional penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. - Rick Sadowski, Rocky Mountain News

"We expected a guy who was running around to stand up and fight for himself. Instead, he went down and covered up," Granato said of Tootoo. "I would expect a guy that runs around that much, finishing his check and stirring the pot as much as he does, to be able to answer the bell. I'm sure Darcy felt the same thing." - Adrian Dater, Denver Post

Darcy Tucker was sent off for four minutes for cross checking and unsportsmanlike minors and the Predators took advantage when Arnott deflected a shot off an Avalanche player's skate at 9:17. Budaj escaped further damage by stopping Radek Bonk while sprawled on the ice late in Tucker's second penalty. - AP

"They got a few lucky bounces and obviously a few goals that I could have made the save,’’ Rinne said. "It was just one of those nights where it seems like every single chance they got they scored. You can always talk about the lucky bounces, but if you work hard, you are going to get them.’’ - John Glennon, The Tennessean

Northwest Standings

Calgary 36 21 11 4 46
Vancouver 37 20 14 3 43
Colorado 36 19 16 1 39
Edmonton 34 17 14 3 37
Minnesota 35 17 16 2 36

(updated 12.30.2008 at 9:32 AM EST)