We're calm like a bomb
We're calm like a bomb
-Rage Against the Machine
It's a little too early to throw out the "I'm a believer" yet, but I sure do like what I'm seeing on the ice right now. The Avalanche easily dusted off the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 last night. The Avs improved to 4-1-1 on the season and moved back into first place in the Western Conference. Truth be told, that was clusterfuck of a team they faced last night; the Leafs put in about 10 minutes of effort and then mailed it in as soon as Colorado took the lead. For a while, it looked like Toronto would put some effort into at least being pests about losing, but they even abandonded that as the game went on.
The Avalanche powerplay continues to nearly kittenless. For those new to this site, that means it's really good. The Avs scored their 9th and 10th powerplay goals last night making them the only NHL team with 10 PPGs. Amazingly, they are a fifth of the way towards matching the 50 they scored last year. 10 players have scored at least a point on the powerplay and the only regular on the two units without a powerplay point is Kid Cumiskey who looks more and more comfortable each game, but is still double-pumping when he has a shot to take. With his 1st period PP goal, Brett Clark has already surpassed his 2008-2009 powerplay output. Amazing.
Also amazing: the Avalanche penalty kill. Although they allowed a goal last night, they sit 5th in the league in PK efficiency. So far, that's a slight improvement from 21st.
Defensively, I continue to be impressed with the whole group. Yes, Kyle Quincey and Scott Hannan are the best duo by far and yes, Brett Clark still is good for one giveaway in every game and yes, Adam Foote is looking slow. But you can't really argue with the results. We are seeing very few odd-man rushes and generally not a lot of extended play in our zone. Craig Anderson is seeing a lot of shots, but a large number of them are perimeter shots. This is a much better unit this year and I think Sylvain Lefebvre has a lot to do with it (ps Happy birthday, Sylvain).
And isn't it cool to have a goalie in there that you trust? I know it's only 6 games, but Craig Anderson just exudes confidence. We've seen good stretches from all of Patrick Roy's successors, but I don't think I've ever felt as comfortble with an Avalanche goalie since #33.
Having typed all of that, I have to remind everyone (including myself) that it's only 6 games. There is a lot of hockey to be played. The Avalanche wont be surprising any more teams and at some point we're going to run into a rough patch (especially if we start running into injuries, like losing Johnny Hot Pocket...whoops). But, I can't think of ANY 6 game stretch last year where they Avs played this well. I will certainly take it while I can get it.
I didn't bring my notebook, so I'm doing this from memory. Hopefully, I have it right.
- Wolski - Stastny - Hejduk
- Tucker - Duchene - Svatos
- McLeod - O'Reilly - Jones
- Koci - Galiardi - Hendricks
- Quincey - Hannan
- Foote - Liles
- Cumiskey - Clark
- Radar had a career-high 18:05 of TOI and is looking less and less likely to go back to the OHL.
- Kyle Quincey led the Avs with 5 hits. Galiardi had 4
- The Avs know have 5 goals from the defensemen
The Avalanche visit Montreal to play the Canadiens on Thursday.