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Game 59: Blackhawks 2, Avalanche 1

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Okay, we get it, you won.  Knock it off already.

Sad.  That's all I have to say about the Avalanche.  If you want a full recap, check out the AP or ITCS.  I can't bring myself to do one of my own.

UPDATE:  Dater's recap at the Post is pretty good, and addresses what most of us here have already noticed before about the Avs' defense. Skrastins, this time, fully withstanding:

"We didn't handle the puck a lot."  When they did, Quenneville said, "we made some direct passes from our stick to their stick, with not a lot of pressure."

Quenneville was probably thinking of Karlis Skrastins' umpteenth giveaway of the kind he made Sunday on the game-winning goal. Skrastins had the puck with time during a Blackhawks flurry, but instead of a safe clearout or pass to a teammate, he put it right back to the Blackhawks at the point. A few seconds later, the puck was behind Avs goalie Jose Theodore, after Martin Havlat shot it into the right side of the net to make it 2-0 early in the second period.

Seriously, Dater's not kidding.  Skrastins has made so many of those that they can no longer be quantified with actual numbers.  


I'll change the subject.  I think, more than any other coach in the league, that Dave Tippet of the Dallas Stars---at least at this point in the season---deserves the Jack Adams.  The Stars have quietly built the second-best record in the Western Conference.  Last night, they shut out Detroit and moved to just eight points behind them in the standings---a lead that was 15 in January.  Their power play, though not amazing, is solid, and their penalty kill is excellent.  Lacking any true superstars, their team scoring is well distributed among all their forwards, with Mike Ribeiro leading the way.  He's been quite a revelation this year.  Marty Turco has been great in goal as always and his backup Mike Smith has been solid, too.  The 2-to-1 ratio of their appearances is probably the very best way to play goaltenders, and it's clear that Tippet understands both their needs and their limitations.  Dallas is a very balanced team that clearly benefits from great coaching and motivation.

And that's why I hate them.  I guess it's just jealousy.