You know, the Avalanche are supposed to be suffering from the loss of Paul Stastny, Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth to injury. They're supposed to be struggling offensively. They're not supposed to be winning games against good Western Conference teams.
Somehow, the Avs are getting it done.
Tyler Arnason, Marek Svatos and Wojtek Wolski each had three-point nights as the Avalanche crushed the Vancouver Canucks 6-2 at General Motors Place, and chased Roberto Luongo at the end of the second period after the robotic super-goalie allowed five goals on 22 shots.
The Colorado offense was firing on all cylinders. Guys who should have been scoring in bunches all year but didn't, are finally doing so. Milan Hejduk had two goals. Arnason, long the whipping-boy of this blog, added a goal and two assists of his own. Even Andrew Brunette and Jaroslav Hlinka had two-assist nights. Just about everybody expected to score points on a regular basis did last night.
The Avalanche defense was efficient and effective, first limiting Vancouver's shots in the first period to five, then preventing them from getting any easy opportunities in the second and third. Though the Canucks out-shot the Avs by one, 25 to 24, their legitimate scoring chances were far fewer.
Jose Theodore had another awesome night, allowing only two goals, both on the power play. If he keeps this kind of play going, he can start every game from now on as far as I'm concerned. He's earned it.
From the AP recap:
Theodore, who returned from missing three games because of a back injury to beat San Jose on Wednesday, improved to 8-4-1 in 2008, posting a 1.86 goals-against average and .933 save-percentage in his last 12 starts coming into this game.
The Northwest Division standings did not change at all last night, despite the potential for major rearrangement. Minnesota, Calgary and Colorado all won. All three teams have increased the distance between them and the Western Conference teams still fighting for a playoff spot (namely Vancouver, Phoenix and Columbus).
The next game is Tuesday night against the Anaheim Ducks back home in Denver. The Ducks are improving with the returns of Scott Niedermayer, Teemu Selanne and Samuel Pahlsson, and are always a tough opponent to beat. Boooooooo.
Stars of the Game:
- Marek "Don't Trade Me" Svatos (2g, 1a)
- Milan "I'm Not Dead Yet" Hejduk (2g, 0a)
- Tyler "This Probably Won't Last" Arnason (1g, 2a)