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What Have You Done For Me Lately? Avalanche update (3/26/12)

March 24 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Team USA has a board meeting. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
March 24 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Team USA has a board meeting. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

That's the name that won the poll. Feel free to complain about it. discuss your favorite alternative.

The Avs had 6 big points up for grabs this week and managed to come away with half of them, defeating Calgary 2-1 (OT) but falling to Phoenix 3-2 and Vancouver 3-2 (OT). They'll likely need no less than 9 of the remaining 10 to play past April 7, and will definitely need more than 2 goals/game to get that done.

I'm awarding Paul Stastny my new arbitrary Star of the Week Award, for his 2 goals and 2 assists in those 3 games. And a Shame of the Week Award goes to Altitude for bringing in a replacement for Julie and then bringing her back. Come on, now, that's just rude to toy with us like that. Extra shame because the replacement was neither Sandie nor Stachi.

So let's have a look at how The Boys performed this week eh?


9. Matt Duchene - Cold [last week: Meh]
Benched for the third period, which was a big comeback attempt, in Phoenix for what seem to be doghouse purposes. He did look better against Vancouver but remains, if nothing else, snakebitten, with 0-1-1 since he returned from injury in New Jersey.

11. Jamie McGinn - Hot [last week: Hot]
May he never cool off. He "only" managed a goal and an assist this week (1-1-2) but remains at a point per game in his last ten. But the shooting percentage has dipped to 15.4%, anchored mainly by a 9-shot 0-goal effort against MIke Smith and the Pips in Phoenix, so he may be starting to calm it down a little bit.

12. Kevin Porter - Non-Factor [Last Week: Limited Meh]
Hasn't played in nearly two weeks now.

16. Jay McClement - Hot [Last Week: Hot]
Jay McClement is a penalty killer. The Avs penalty kill has given up 1 goal in its last 20 times shorthanded. McC's 4:30 SH lead the team against Vancouver as he was only outshined by a certain big, sexy defenseman with puck magnets in his jersey on a lengthy 3v5.

17. Chuck Kobasew - Non-Factor [Last Week: NF]
He actually returned from his back injury against Vancouver and was good for 6:33 TOI, a shot, and an, erm, inopportune penalty (which fortunately turned into a 4 on 4 because the man he charged was less than pleased with the turn of events) that resulted in a rather unexpected fine of $2,500 over the weekend.

23. Milan Hejduk - Cold [Last Week: Cold]
Had his first point in 8 games against Vancouver, an assist that really ought to count as half a goal apiece for him and Landeskog. Honestly that's sort of a microcosm of his season, passing the winger torch if you will. (Won't you?) He has looked better lately though.

26. Paul Stastny - Star of the Week [Last Week: Hot]
Involved in 4 of the Avs' 6 goals this week. Point per game pace in his last 10. Lookin gewd.

27. Steve Downie - Meh [Last Week: Cold]
Downie dialed back the dumb penalties, got a praise segment from Rycroft for tenacity, and has assists in the last 2 games. Definitely playing better.

37. Ryan O'Reilly - Meh [Last Week: Meh]
Playing huge minutes. Took 7 shots in Phoenix, potting one of them (his first goal since the hilarity against Minny btw). Solid in every zone but still shaky with transition passing. Nothing particularly outstanding... maybe he spoiled me in the first 2/3 of the season, and "meh" doesn't feel good enough, but he's not earned the Hot rating with 3 points in 6 games.

40. Mark Olver - Meh [Last week: Meh]
He pulled himself out of the doghouse, with TOI returning to the 11:00 mark. Still has no points in 8 games but is still being a total pain in the ass to anyone without the gigantic A on their chest.

54. David Jones - Meh [Last week: Hot]
2 points in his last 5 games, both against Calgary (including the squeaky OT GWG), but apart from said squirrely goal, I don't think there's an unluckier guy on the team than Dr. Jones right now. 8 PiMs vs Vancouver including an accidental high stick that drew blood and a mistaken puck over the glass, and shooting 4.7% in those 5 games I mentioned despite playing big minutes well. If there's anyone who's getting stoned on his chances right now, that's the guy.

55. Cody McLeod - Meh [Last week: Hot]
Ice time dropped to 4:32 against the Nucks. After his scoring outburst, no points in 8 games. He does continue to bring energy and physicality though, it's just not been exactly special lately.

88. Peter Mueller - Cold [Last Week: Hot]
"Wow, that's a big difference." Yes it is. Ice time plummeted to 8:13 against Phoenix before he enjoyed some Pepsi Center nachos for the Vancouver game. 2 points in his last 5 games before that. Just not been good defensively either.

92. Gabriel Landekog - Hot [Last Week: Hot]
Earning every inch of that Hot rating and playing good hockey too (ladies). Had a bit of an off-night against Phoenix to be quite perfectly frank, but his longer trend of playing well continued with a (half of a) power play goal against Vancouver among his stunning 12 shots at goal (5 SOG, 2 A/B, 5 MS). His open-ice obliteration of Calgary's Blake Comeau earned him hit of the week.


3. Ryan O'Byrne - Hot [Last Week: Meh]
Frankly, I don't really care what he's been up to. The title of this feature is what have you done for me lately, and lately, he blocked 3 shots in a single shift 3v5. Effin beast mode engage. He's playing big minutes SH, he's blocking shots, he's hitting. If we could only get him to make decisions behind the net a hair quicker we'd have a seriously good Dman here.

5. Shane O'Brien - Meh [Last Week: Cold]
For the most part he's looking a bit better, has 2 assists in the last 3 games, and was rewarded with more ice time against Calgary and Phoenix, but his stone hands created a 4 on 1 for Phoenix in a game the Avs lost by a goal and he was back to 15:34 TOI against Vancouver (probably a product of the absurd amount of time spent played by special teams). He does look a bit better though.

6. Erik Johnson - Spasmic [Last Week: Meh]
His back flared up again, leaving him day to day for the foreseeable future; he hasn't played since last week. Rating is for his back.

8. Jan Hejda - Hot [Last Week: Hot]
Continues to play excellent defense and led the team in Phoenix with 6:12 SH TOI.

22. Matt Hunwick - Meh [Last Week: Hot]
Continues to do pretty well in his role, but was victimized in the crease a few times in the past week.

41. Tyson Barrie - Meh [Last Weel: NF]
Looks a ton better than he did in his last stint with the big club imo. Filling in for Erik Johnson's back, Barrie has looked consistently okay on defense and decent jumping into the play on offense, which is not bad for a rookie defenseman whose only other two NHL games were forgettable at best.

44. Ryan Wilson - Meh [Last Week: Hot]
Sorry Wilson, I'll take jinx credit on this one. Last week I said I can't remember the last time I said "Dammit Wilson," and this week I said it at least 3 times. 0 points this week and -2 in slightly decreased ice time, also seems to be struggling to connect on his Mack Truckings.

46. Stefan Elliott - Non-Factor [Last Week: Limited Cold]
Healthy scratch for 8 games running.

Goaltending - Kind of hot

It's difficult to say though. Varlamov was hung out to dry a few times this week (sup Phoenix) and never received more than 2 goals of support. In the two losses, his Sv% was sub-.900 and his GAA was 2.99. In the Calgary win he was man of the match, stopping 30/31, and he had a seriously ballin assist against Vancouver. So I'm not really sure, Peanut Gallery, you call it: Hot or Meh? (Jiggy hasn't played since his shutout loss (rage) in Newark.)

Coming up!

The Avs play 3 of their 5 remaining games this week before kicking off a 5-day break that even Bill O'Reilly can't explain. McGinn returns to San Jose tonight for the first time since the trade, and Daniel Winnik and TJ Galiardi get to try to show us what we're missing. Then it's another matchup with Vancouver up in the Land of Luuuu on Wednesday, Then to Calgary on Friday in a game that would be supermassive if every game wasn't already Game 7 right now.