In what became a fight-filled game, the Avs won in the physicality department, but lost the game. This game became an old-time hockey type of game. It had four fights, two of which were simultaneous. To say it was a heartbreaker at this point in the season would be melodramatic, but for the first time in a long time, the loss certainly made me sad. As per usual my thought on the game as it happens are up.
Before the game even started Avalanche and Blues fans were treated to "the numbers" of the Erik Johnson & Jay McClement for Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk trade. Sheer numbers? The Avalanche aren't sitting pretty. The Avs due have netted a combined 13 points whilst the Blues combo have given them 36. Let's keep in mind the team that Johnson and McClement are on. Boy, that hurts to write. On a team that cannot seem to score lately, it's unsurprising that the Avalanche defenseman and grinder aren't getting many points. The Blues feed reminds their fans that their hometown heroes have lost seven in a row against the Avs. This ensures that the Blues will win tonight, right?
My prediction for the night? Both Stewie and Shattenkirk will get two points each.
McClement is still playing with the A tonight. Koci is announced as playing defense, something I am thrilled about. It seems like he is far more comfortable in that position, it is his natural position. He really is trying to expand what he is known for and his abilities. How many other players can play defense, the forward position as well as the role of enforcer?
Right off the bat I notice that Johnson is having a really good first few minutes. He's flying. That's right, there is a Johnson flying all over the ice. Brandon Yip is playing like the Yip who doesn't know who he is anymore. What happened to this kid? He used to be great! I'm hoping this is a off year and he bounces back. I miss that guy.
The Blues go on the PK, surprise, surprise the Avalanche aren't able to capitalize on it. Jay McClement is getting praised as a very well-liked player. Apparently he was sitting on the bench today - not during the game- and all the Blues would skate over to talk to him. Another thing, all the Avalanche players are buzzing about Koci on the D. That's gotta feel good for him! Using him as a defenseman means that the Avalanche have dressed 16 men for that position this year. The good folks at Altitude were saying that the Monsters need the guys back down. If only he was kidding. He also mentions that the medical staff is finding this year's injury plague (is that too strong of a word?) baffling. They just shake their heads now. I'm glad the professionals do the exact same thing I do.
Yip getting caught making mistakes again. This one leads to a penalty. This guy needs to make better decisions. Luckily for Yip, Peter Budaj was able to make a key key save and the Avs were able to kill it. Scary moment, well, not really scary, one of those moments where I shake my head happens as Dupuis goes down. Hope he's okay. [Edit: he was, he finished the game]
And there we go, the Curse of the Ex-Avalanche is alive and well. Shattenkirk's shot gets tipped in by David Backes and the Avalanche are down 1-0.
Olver and Porter don't like that too much. Olver gives a nice sliding pass to Porter who was able to easily put it behind Halak. The game is tied at one.
There are two fights happening with 2:27 left in the first. McLeod taking on Ryan Reaves and Koci taking on Cam Janssen. McLeod really goes at it, and I would declare him the winner and Koci shakes Janssen, who has to fight bucket-less, around and wins his fight too. Now is the sad part. Both Koci and Janssen get booted from the game. Because they started their fight shortly after the McLeod-Reaves fight there were two fights happening at the same time, apparently this is against the rules and carries an automatic game misconduct. Who knew? This is bad news for the Avs who now go down to 5 defensemen. But there is good news. If Koci is in the lockerroom, he isn't on the ice, so he can't get hurt, right? With this fight, McLeod now has 189 penalty minutes on the year.
During the first intermission it's pointed out that Janssen pointed to the McLeod fight, yet he still fought. So I guess Janssen knew it was a violation, but didn't wan to turn down Koci from dancing. Also during the intermission Olver said that he and Duchene are the same type of player, but no sooner that was out of his mouth did he say, 'but I mean Duchene is the kind of player that most players just dream of'. It's okay, kid. We know what you meant. He also said that he knew Porter was there because he called for the puck. Huh? Communication works? How about that. Olver still needs to work on his interviewing skills. He looks terrified.
Holøs goes to the box for high-sticking Stewart. Eleven seconds later O`Byrne goes to the box for cross-checking Stewie. So no love lost there? That means a 5-3 for a long time against the Avalanche. Altitude certainly want to jinx the Avs tonight. They mention that they are really good in these situations going 3/14 on the season. But with already being down one defenseman and having two other defensemen in the box? Ouch. The Blues are able to convert on a shot that ricochets off of Wilson's skate that finds a way to get behind Budaj. Shattenkirk gets the nod for the goal.
The majority of the remainder of the second was spent in the neutral zone.
During the second intermission nhl.com decided that the game was done, with the final score 2-1 for the Blues. Are they right?
Tucker McClement is flying out there to start the third. He wants the win. Sacco calls his timeout early, 15:35 left in the third, but it was needed. And another fight. This one between Wilson and Oshie. Wilson had checked Oshie hard, like Wilson is known to do, and Oshie did not like it. Too bad for him that Wilson is able to fight. The Avalanche fighters are doing the Avs proud. It's too bad that winning fights doesn't give points.
And four minutes later, a mini-brawl starts. One fight comes out of it. Jackman taking on Stoa. I refuse to give a win to any player who keeps throwing punches once the opposing player is down. I don't care if it's an Avalanche player that does it. It's one of those unwritten rules in hockey. Jackman keeps punching Stoa after Stoa is down, and unable to defend himself because Jackman is controlling Stoa's arms. Now if that wasn't bad enough, Stoa didn't have a helmet on. Anyone remember the days when Lappy would brace a guy's fall with his arm if the opposing fighter didn't have a bucket on? What the heck happened to that?!
Anyway the result of this? Penalty wise, whole bunch of guys go to the box. No, seriously. There were 9 Avalanche players on the bench and 5 on the ice.
Stoa- 12 minutes, 2 for tripping and 10 for a misconduct
Crombeen- 10 minute misconduct
Jackman - 10 minute misconduct
Sobotka- 10 minute misconduct
Olver- 10 minute misconduct
[EDIT: Apparently NHL.com didn't have the full list of penatlies from that scrum here they are:
|09:17||STL||BJ Crombeen : Misconduct (10 min) - 0 min|
|09:17||STL||Barret Jackman : Misconduct (10 min) - 0 min|
|09:17||STL||Vladimir Sobotka : Misconduct (10 min) - 0 min|
|09:17||COL||Ryan Stoa : Misconduct (10 min) - 0 min|
|09:17||COL||Mark Olver : Misconduct (10 min) - 0 min|
|09:17||COL||Ryan Stoa : Roughing - 2 min|
|09:17||COL||Mark Olver : Unsportsmanlike conduct - 2 min|
|09:17||COL||Kevin Porter : Fighting (maj) - 5 min|
|09:17||STL||BJ Crombeen : Instigator - 2 min|
|09:17||STL||BJ Crombeen : Fighting (maj) - 5 min|
|09:17||STL||Barret Jackman : Roughing - 2 min|
|09:17||STL||Vladimir Sobotka : Unsportsmanlike conduct - 2 min|
Ryan Stoa : Tripping - 2 min, Yep, lots of penalties
Toward the end of the game, with an empty net, Hejduk has a beauty of wrap around, but somehow it does not go in and the Blues are able to score on the empty-netter. They win the game 3-1, so I guess NHL.Com was wrong in their prediction.
The Lines as announced by Altitude at the beginning:
Mark Olver - Matt Duchene - Milan Hejduk
David Jones - Ryan O`Reilly - Daniel Winnik
Ryan Stoa - Jay McClement - Kevin Porter
Cody McLeod - Philippe Dupuis - Brandon Yip
Matt Hunwick - Erik Johnson
Ryan Wilson - Ryan O`Byrne
David Koci - Jonas Holos
What you may have missed:
This was McClement's 257th consecutive game.
The Avs have 9 players out due to injury