"Seriously, Dadda?", my son exclaimed after Jaret Stoll scored the eventual game winner early in the 3rd. "What is wrong with the Avalanche?"
No clue, kid. No clue. My daughter added her own expertise: "Yeah, it's not like they are playing real Kings or anything. It's just their name." And, yet, it was like royalty vs serfs for most of the game.
I'm an amazing man (humble, too), but I'm not much of an X's and O's guy. So I couldn't answer Graham's question, but I sure could see numerous examples. From the get-go, the Kings dominated. It seemed like every time they entered the Avs' zone (which was often), they were already a step ahead of the Avalanche defender. Invariably, a 2nd and 3rd man came in, also a step ahead of whatever unipronned warrior was assigned to defend, leading to a shooting gallery (42 shots) on Brian Elliott. Elliott didn't look great (although he does have an Avalanche-themed mask now), but had zero help other than Milan Hejduk making a save early in the first. At the other end of the ice, the Avalanche managed 17 shots. This is no exaggeration: I just had to look to see who the Kings goalie was because I couldn't recall his name mentioned once in the broadcast. And I was watching the Kings feed. (It was Quick, for the record)
A hockey game is a lot of fun to watch. That is, unless your team has nothing to play for and looks like it on the ice. The Avs are out of the running...but they surely have some competitive games remaining on the schedule. This wasn't one of them. From the beginning, this had discouraging loss all over it. The Avs did kill off a couple of 5 on 3's and the Kings were only up 2-0 as time wound down in the 2nd...but you knew a loss was coming. It was almost a relief when Drew Doughty scored with 1 second left in the 2nd. I mean, at least it wasn't Brad Richardson.
Stoll made it 4-0 at the 5:47 mark of the 3rd, all but sealing it. A funny thing happened though, as the Avalanche got a 5 on 3 of their own in the 3rd and (might want to sit down for this) actually scored twice (both by David Jones). So, 6 minutes left in the game, Avalanche are just down by two now...how did YOU think it would end? Yeah, me too. Any hope of a comeback was killed by the Avalanche taking 3 minor penalties in those final 6 minutes (great work guys!). Not that that was unexpected - the Avalanche had 11 minor penalties in the game, 3 by Erik Johnson. And, of course, Paul Stastny scored with 30 seconds left - perhaps the 4th or 5th time the Avalanche have scored an annoyingly late goal just to piss us off..
Anyone who just looked at the final score tonight would think that this was a close game. It wasn't. The Avs got their asses handed to them. Again.
- Stoa, Stastny, Jones
- Porter, Duchene, Hejduk
- O'Reilly, McClement,Yip
- McLeod, Dupuis, Koci
- Wilson, Johnson
- Liles, Gaunce
- Hunwick, Holos
- The Kings fired off 89 shots. 42 got on net (4 went in), 15 were blocked and 32 missed. The Avalanche mustered a total of 35 (17 on net, 8 blocked, 12 missed).
- Of the Avs 17 shots, 6 were from the defense. Stastny's line contributed 5 shots. Duchene's line? 1.
- Ryan Stoa and Kevin Porter - the Avs' first and second line left wingers - each had less than 10 minutes of ice time.
The Avalanche are in Anaheim tomorrow night.