[It's come to my attention that I was a little crass in this recap. I was pretty angry when I was writing it. Anyway I've gone through and replaced most of my naughty language with the word Gaborik. For example: that was a pretty Gabroriking bad loss lat night]
My faith in the hockey gods has just been sorely tested. I was lucky enough to pay to see this train wreck in person and I got to have a horribly obnoxious Ranger fan in my section. The guy was a classic Gaboriking Gaborik, screaming things 'Fuck Matt Duchene' in a section with several children and even had the extreme classlessness to chant 'LET"S GO RANGERS' during the Gaboriking national anthem. 'If there is any justice,' I thought to myself, 'surely the Avs will blow the Rangers out of the water and shut this clown up.' The Avs got off on the right foot by taking two penalties to give the Rangers a 5 on 3 a whole 1:13 into the game. Before I move on, let me take a moment to congratulate the refs for calling the worst game I've ever personally been witness to. Most of the fourteen minor penalties were extremley weak and they missed so many blatent calls it's not even funny. I watched Tucker (I think) get whacked right in the mouth with a highstick, literally a foot away from one ref. Wolski gets dumped on his back on a legit scoring chance with no call and the Avery barely touches someone in the neutral zone and gets called. Disgustingly called game. Honestly, I don't even think it was lopsided, just atrocious.
To the game itself. Penalties kept the game from getting much flow early one. Aaron Voros and Cody McLeod got into a pretty good scrap. McLeod got in a couple of good shots and obviously Voros got pissed off because, in an incredibly dickish move, Voros kept punching McLeod after they fell to the ice. Is it me or should a player pick up two for unsportsmanlike conduct for that Gaborik? Anyway, shortly thereafter Marian Gaborik made it 1-0 by using a coasting Ryan Wilson to screen Craig Anderson. The Avs put some pressure on at the end of the first but could not get one by Ranger backup Chad Johnson.
The second period the Avs were extreamly lackluster and managed a whopping five shots on goal despite trailing. Vinny Prospal and Marian Gaborik caught Anderson sleeping at the wheel and Gaborik scored is 2nd of the night before Anderson had any idea Gaborik was right in front of him. The Avs came out in the third looking like they might actually consider trying to win the game but Matt Duchene fumbled the puck with Scott Hannan up on the play and Gaborik scored on a breakaway to complete the hat trick. McLeod scored a hard working goal a few minutes later but it was too little, too late and the Avs are now on their first 3 game losing streak of the season.
The Avalanche were not good tonight. Johnson was very good but he only made two or three really outstanding saves. The top line hasn't scored in three games and, suprise surprise, the Avs have lost all three. Duchene's line was good last game but Duchene and T.J. Galiardi never seemed to get going in this one and Brandon Yip was downright terrible. I can't remember the last time Ryan O'Reilly's line actually scored a goal. O'Reilly tried to make something happen but his linemates couldn't finish (though I like that in both this game and the Wild game O'Reilly turned his offensive game up a notch). I'm not sure if John-Michael Liles slept with Joe Sacco's wife or what but he was scratched despite the fact that he was money during the six game winning streak, despite the fact that he has the most points of any blue liner on the Avs and despite the fact that Avs are in serious need of any offense boost they can get. Wolski is terrible on the point and with Duchene up on the 1st pp unit the 2nd has no center. Why, why, why was Liles scratched? What the Gaborik does Clark add that's more important that having the powerplay running smoothly? Anyway, if you couldn't tell, I wasn't happy with the the defense tonight. Cumiskey was making things happen offensivley but wasn't great in his own zone. Hannan was a -2. And, I feel like I'm harping on this, but why is Anderson starting all 3 games in 4 nights? Budaj is a decent goaltender and the Avs had just won six in a row. Anderson was clearly not himself this game and the score could have been much worse if the Ranger's had more than one player who could score goals.
Dustin's Three Stars
3rd - Cody McLeod - Good fight, good goal.
2nd - Chad Johnson - the Avs didn't test him too much and he got lucky a couple times but still a great game overall
1st - Marian Gaborik - the Lone Ranger
Minus of the Game - Poor effort all around but Wolski stood out. Kept dekeing into the zone then pulling up and making a bad pass. Clearly he has lost confidence due to this goaless streak of his. Maybe time for a benching?