Tonight is the American Turkey Day. For all the MHH'ers that are American, I hope it's been a good time with family and loved ones.... and if not I hope there were spirits 'a plenty.
The Colorado Avalanche must have enjoyed a heavy dinner, because they came out flat and slow. One thing I loved about watching this game on TSN is that they gave the Avalanche Young Guns a lot of love. Shattenkirk was an especially easy target. But they also took the time to talk about Chris Stewart and, even if he isn't quite so young anymore (Happy Birthday), John-Michael Liles.
The slow start cost the Avalanche, yet again, they let a goal in before the minute and a half mark. Brule puts it behind Peter Budaj, then 52 seconds later Cogliano strikes for the Oilers. The guys really needed to calm down and get back to Avalanche hockey. They weren't skating, weren't pushing, and weren't demanding the ice. The first five minutes were thoroughly unimpressive when it came to how the boys in white were playing. Less than three minutes in and the Avs are down 2-0.
After they calmed down, or digested their food, Kevin Shattenkirk scored on Martin Gerber. The goal had first been credited to Matt Duchene, but upon further review, it went to Shattenkirk. Gerber, by the way, hasn't started an NHL game since April 2009. Yeah, you read that correctly, 2009!
After the goal Ryan O`Byrne gets hit hard behind the net, this is just a preview of the game. The entire game was a very physical one by both teams. There were a great number of hits, including one where I thought the elbow got Mauldin a little high, but no penalty was called and Greg Mauldin seemed fine. Just halfway through the first period, Stortini hits Kyle Quincey hard, and Cody McLeod came to his protection. He went and roughed Stortini up, this lead to McLeod being sent to the sin bin for 2 minutes for roughing (served by Yip) and a 10 minute Misconduct. Stortini got two on the play.
It's becoming obvious that Mcleod really doesn't want to be in the running for the Ladybing award this year, but I wish he picked his moments a bit better. I really like McLeod, but I find that he isn't doing the role of instigator anymore, seems like he's trying to do too much.
Anyway, at this point it's 10 minutes into the first and Peter Budaj still hasn't been credited with a save. It's not until twelve minutes into the game that makes a save.
Toward the end of the first, the Avs start moving their feet a bit more and get it going. But they still go into the locker room down by one. Budaj, it should be added, was looking angry on his way to the locker room.
At the start of the second Christ Stewart comes out flying and gets a breakaway. He couldn't score on it, but it did lead to a power play, because Kurtis Foster hooked him to take away the chance. And the Avalanche were able to take advantage of it. Matt Duchene scored on the Power Play. It should be noted that the Oilers are particularly bad on the power play, having allowed a power play goal in 16 of their last 19 games!
Before the Avalanche can use the goal for momentum, Ryan Wilson takes a trip to the sin bin for tripping. Even on the Pk the guys are playing a much better game than the first few minutes, although I don't know that it was hard to improve on that.
The game continues to be a very physical game, including a hard hit by Winnik on Hall. The Oilers and the Avalanche were not afraid to hit this game. Ryan Wilson then went to the box again, this time for cross-checking. Luckily, the Oilers weren't able to capitalize on Ryan's play. The Avs head to the locker room after two, with the game tied at two.
The third period started with Matt Duchene heading to the box within the first minute of play. Again the Avs were lucky because the Oilers didn't score, even though they had a few really good chances.
As much as it pains me to say it, Budaj wasn't having a very good game. It took him a long time to get up after the initial save and he seemed easily rattled. It really wasn't his best game. My jot notes for the third keeping saying Boods was lucky tonight. Over and over again.
I had a bit of a scare, when Daniel Winnik decided to visit the locker room during the third period. I got no explanation as to why, but he was able to come back and continue playing.
All of Budaj's luck had to end eventually, unfortunately for the Avalanche, it ended on a play by Eberle with 28 seconds left in the third. Eberle saw Liles looking for his dropped stick, and took full advantage, send the puck to the awaiting Hall, who easily put it behind Budaj.
John-Michael Liles - Ryan O`Byrne
Scott Hannan - Kevin Shattenkirk
Ryan Wilson - Kyle Quincey
David Jones - Paul Stastny - Chris Stewart
Kevin Porter - Matt Duchene - Milan Hejduk
Brandon Yip - Ryan O`Reilly - Daniel Winnik
Greg Mauldin - Phillipe Dupuis - Cody McLeod
Things you may have missed:
- O`Reilly doesn't have a goal in the last 18 games. He had a nice chance, and couldn't lift the puck. Once he went back on the bench, he hit himself in the head.
- This was the Oilers first home win since October 10th.
- Paul Stastny was -3 for the night, but won 82% of his face offs.