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Quotes on the Game

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"We were just driving the puck to the net. Stewie was just trying to hit me back door. He's done that a few times this year, but it just went in off their D-man's skate," said Galiardi, who played a terrific two-way game. "It was just an unbelievable feeling when I saw it go in." - Adrian Dater, Denver Post

"A typical playoff goal … just throw it at the net and good things happen," said Stewart, who had 28 goals for Colorado during the regular season. "(Paul) Stastny cycled to me and I saw (T.J.) Galiardi out front in traffic. I just tried to throw it out front and hoped for the best." - Associated Press,

Tonight, he got beat up, high sticked and probably kicked in the junk at some point. Yet it was Galiardi who drove the net, got knocked down, got right back up and stayed in front of the net, leading to the winning goal which banked off ol' Rob Blake's skate as Blake unsuccessfully tried to remove T.J. from the crease. - Shane Giroux, Avs Talk

TJ Galiardi forced the game-winning goal with half his lip hanging off his face, fifteen bruises on his back and still found a way to keep Rob Blake busy. - Aaron Musick, Hockey Buzz

It’s been a season filled with ups and downs for Colorado’s John-Michael Liles. Fortunately for the Avalanche, the defenseman’s play is peaking at the right time. - Craig Stancher,

Following the goal, the Sharks were absolutely dominating the play. Part of the reason they were dominating, at least in this humble writer's opinion, is because the amount of missed calls by the officiating crew of Tim Peel and Dan O'Rourke. These two refs should not be allowed to ref another game in these playoffs. I am normally not one to complain about the officiating because it will eventually even out, but they were TERRIBLE! - Derek Bell, Mile High Hockey

The Avs better hope O’Rourke isn’t on the ice for Game 2 or beyond, because he’s getting a history of bad calls against them. Check out the tape of a game earlier this season in Pittsburgh, when a bad noncall by him – a puck should have been whistled dead – led to the Penguins’ late winning goal in the third. - Adrian Dater, All Things Avs

The Avs really took it to the Sharks, and looked like the better team for much of the game. The second period especially was a textbook way to take the hometown team out of the game. The Avs stifled (you could even say trapped) the Sharks attack at the blueline, and really just frustrated the Sharks. This had an obvious effect on the Sharks, who started to push a little and took penalties, and the crowd; who started to  to boo the Sharks. If the Avs can get the Sharks crowd to boo them this series could turn the Avs direction. - Jibblescribbits

But it's clear that Colorado, which a year ago finished last in the Western Conference, is not intimidated by the Sharks. "We played well against these guys all year, and I think we can play against anybody in the league," rookie sensation Matt Duchene said. "In the West, it's very capable that the bottom four teams can take out the top four. Everybody is so even. All we have to do is keep believing in ourselves." - Mark Emmons, San Jose Mercury News

"The first game is an important game, let's not kid ourselves," Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. "But there's still a long ways to go. We are the eight seed and they are the one seed. Not a lot of people are giving us a chance in this series, and the pressure is on them. We played to our identity tonight right from the start." - The Canadian Press, TSN

What went wrong? To me, it was pretty obvious. The Avalanche had a game plan. Be tenacious with the forecheck and when the Sharks enter the zone, especially the top line, prevent the backpass and don’t allow them to set up shop from the point. Colorado did this to perfection, especially in the 2nd period, and it took 40 minutes and countless high turnovers from Dany Heatley and company, for the Sharks to make an adjustment. Once they did, the Sharks got better opportunities driving the net after gaining the zone or dumping the puck and going to get it. - Doug Santana - Dudes on Hockey

This is one of the issues that plagued the team during the Anaheim series-- an unwillingness to alter execution that is not working. There were few Sharks who realized that a high cross-ice dump to the far corner is the best way to beat this system if San Jose as a whole is having trouble moving their feet through the neutral zone, especially when one considers how well Anderson played the puck tonight. - Mr Plank, Fear the Fin

My wife said: "Hey Joe Thornton, Harry Potter called - he wants his invisibility cloak back" - Sean Payton, Anyone But Detroit

The Sharks have a well-earned reputation around the NHL as playoff underachievers, and the loss to the eighth-seeded Avalanche won't change that. - David Pollak, San Jose Mercury News

I had a dream last night that the San Jose Sharks lost Game 1 to the Colorado Avalanche, 2-1. As the final buzzer sounded, Evgeni Nabokov slammed his massive goal stick over the crossbar no less than four times, smashing it into a million pieces. Patrick Marleau hung his broad-chinned head in stunned disbelief. Dan Boyle's face turned a disconcerting shade of magenta. Joe Thornton grinned as if he had just won the Powerball lottery. - The incredibly prescient Ryan Garner, HockeyBuzz

Galiardi conceded that it's unusual to have such young players playing the key penalty killing roles, and he gave credit to assistant coach Steve Konowalchuk, who did a lot of short-handed work in his days as an NHL player, including with the Avalanche. - Terry Frei, Denver Post

Paul Stastny owns a five-year, $33 million contract. But money can't buy chutzpah. You wonder if he will ever be the player who seizes the moment and stomps on a foe's throat. In the NHL playoffs, Stastny might be too nice, too unassuming and too unselfish to be the man. - Mark Kiszla, Denver Post, in his usual WTF form