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Notes: Game 54, Phoenix at Colorado

Phoenix at Colorado tonight. I've got the Phoenix feed, Dave Strader and Darren Pang, two of my favorites. Mikael Tellqvist against Peter Budaj this evening.



20:00 The Guite line opens the game – Guite, Richardson and Laperriere. With Lappy back on the 3rd line, does that mean Svatos is playing? Also, no surprise on the defensive change: Kurt Sauer is out on the top pairing with Brett Clark, something we saw a preview of on Saturday.

18:52 Hensick is back with Brunette and Hejduk, at least for the first shift. Leopold was out with Hannan on defense. That indicates a likely scratch for Skrastins.

18:36 Svatos is dressed, and is out with Arnason and Wolski.

18:23 Interestingly, the Coyotes have just called up Matt Murley (who spent last year in the Avs' system).

17:57 And the McHlinka line rounds out the forward line.
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13:32 Budaj makes a big stop on Mueller.

12:04 With Murley, the Coyotoes have a bunch of former Avalanche players or prospect. Derek Morris, Keith Ballard, Radim Vrbata, Murley, and Steven Reinprecht.

8:15 McCormick runs into Weller along the boards, and then turns around and hits Hanzel. Hanzel immediately skates off and heads right to the locker room. I'm not really sure what happened – it was a clean hit as far as I could see.

7:13 Hlinka is on the ice with Brunette

7:00 Mueller one-times it off the post.

5:45 And Hensick is with the Codys.

4:09 Lappy gets a good check on Ballard.

2:50 The first penalty of the game. Boynton for high sticking. I don't like him.

2:12 Hensick scores. Again, Q went with the 3 center unit – suddenly, Arnason, Hlinka and Hensick is our top PP squad. On this, Arnason finds Hensick on the back door. Hensick has his 3rd goal in the last two games, two on the PP. Maybe tonight he'll get some ice time in the 3rd period…

1:32 While I was typing that last paragraph, Richardson got called for a penalty, and then 30 seconds after that Clark joined for a cross check on Doan

:58 Mueller scores – he's got a really good shot and he beats Budaj low to the stick side. That was an excellent shot.

The first period end. Two late PP goals make it 1-1.


18:12 Tellqvist has a cool looking mask.

17:14 Hanzel is out for the game – shoulder injury. Vrbata also has not been back since taking a puck off the foot.

16:04 Wolski uses the Guite move off the boards to give he and Svatos a two on one break. He doesn't so much shoot the puck as he seems to try to run over Tellqvist into the net. It didn't work.

15:45 Tjarnqvist skates by Leopold away from the action and hooks Leo's leg. Leopold goes down and looks around for a ref, but he doesn't get any love from the stripes.

14:50 Well, you had to figure Murley would factor into the scoring tonight. He catches the Avalanche napping a bit and delivers a perfect pass to Winnik in front of the net. Winnik deflects it past Budaj. 2-1 Pheonix.

14:46 Boynton goes off for tripping and whines all the way to the box. Waaaaaaaa.

14:36 Again, the 3 centers are out first, with Clark and Liles manning the point

13:17 The 2nd unit is Hejduk, Brunette and Svatos with Finger and Leopold.

12:33 Boynton comes out of the box just as the Coyotes ice the puck, so Phoenix will have 3 defensemen on the ice for the next draw.

11:24 Oh joy, they are going to interview Gary Blechman during the 2nd intermission.

10:50 Budaj stops Winnik and then Murley. He's made some good saves tonight.

6:25 Great save by Tellqvist on Arnason

5:12 Jovanovski makes a great cross-ice pass…to Brad Richardson. Richardson races down the ice with Lappy. Lappy goes hard to the net and Richardson finds him. 2-2. Thanks, Ed!

3:43 Pang just made the same observation I wanted to make: Hensick is showing a ton of confidence with the puck tonight. I haven't seen him hang on to the puck like he did on this shift…well, I I've never seen him do that.

3:02 Penalty on the Coyotes. Boynton for interference on Guite. Of Boynton's 3 penalties, this is the one that didn’t look like a penalty…and the only one he didn't bitch about.

2:29 And Arnason wipes out the powerplay by tripping Ballard. Oh well.

We're still locked up after two – 2-2 is the score.


19:44 The Avs get a scoring chance right off the faceoff. Good omen.

19:14 Vrbata has returned to the game.

13:29 The Guite line continues to get scoring chances. I think Richardson may be cementing a spot on the roster for a while.

12:47 But for now, he's cemented himself a spot in the box with a slash on Yandel.

10:29 The Phoenix PP fizzles out, and Richardson comes out just in time to get a breakaway all alone. He gets slashed by Tjarnqvist on the way in. Tellqvist makes the initial save, but the puck is loose in front. It doesn’t get a chance to go in, though, because Tjarnqvist comes flying in and accidentally rips the net out of the ice. The puck was probably going wide anyway, but I would have liked to see that called. He is going to the box for slashing at any rate.

10:07 There was an incredible play in front. Tellqvist made a beauty of a save on Arnason, and then it seemed like Hensick scored…but the ref waved it off. Play has continued, so we can't get a good shot of it. I'm sure they'll review that as soon as there's a whistle.

8:28 From the review, it's pretty clear the puck has gone in. Hlinka centers it in front to Hensick. Tellqvist is prone on the ice. Hensick shoots it in and it bounces off of Ballard's skate. Unfortunately for Ballard, his skate is well inside the net. This has to be a goal, Hensick's 2nd of the game and 4th in 2 games. I have no idea why this review is taking so long – this is as cut and dry as it gets…unless they just need to check for the proper time on the clock, as the last minute and a half didn't happen. 3-2 Colorado. So, does Hensick have to stay up now when Stastny comes back? Richardson has been playing well, Hensick has been playing well. I'm curious to see who sits later this week when Stastny returns.

9:34 Richardson takes a shot after an offsides whistle, earning the ire of Yandel and, of course, Boynton.

7:43 Hannan took a shot off of his leg. He stays on, but looks a little gimpy…

6:28 Richie is really using his speed in this latest stint. I'm very impressed with the way he's played this time around. And again, two of our best forwards tonight are Hensick and Richardson – the two guys who likely are competing for a roster spot right now.

3:25 Vrbata takes advantage of a turnover in the neutral zone and has a great scoring chance, but he fires it over the net.

3:11 Vrbata scores. Faceoff in our zone. Arnason gets tossed from the circle, so Svatos is left to take the draw against Reinprecht. Reinprecht wins it cleanly, as in he grabs the puck and skates past Svatos before Svatos can even mutter "wha?". Vrabta on the right wing goes right to the net, no one picks him up and Reinprecht finds Vrbata for the easiest goal of all time. That was ugly, ugly, ugly. The game is tied 3-3. I'm not at all prepared mentally to have this one pissed away.

:44 Whew. Budaj gives up a juicy rebound and has to scramble to freeze the puck. Reinprecht is going out for the daraw, but we've got Hlinka this time. We win the draw. And clear.

That ends regulation. Thanks to a miserable breakdown, we're going to OT.


5:00 Hlinka and Hejduk are up first.

4:25 Hejduk's backhander is stopped by Tellqvist.

4:10 Arnason and Hensick are the next pair up.

3:29 Wolski and Svatos now. Coyotoes block and shot and get a 3 on 1 break, but it gets defended nicely.

2:55 Hlinka and Hejduk are up again.

1:37 Holy bogus goal…Doan, Vrbata and Jovo charge hard to the net. Vrbata takes a backhand shot. Budaj stops it and seems like he freezes it, but the whistle never comes and eventually the puck trickles out from under Budaj and into the net. 9 times out of 10, that gets whistled. Not this time. They do review the goal. The Avalanche stay on the ice, while the Coyotoes leave. It’s a goal. What a sucky way to lose this game.