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Peaks and Valleys: Week 3

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This is a weekly feature that aims to recap recent (last ten games) player trends and news. Feel free to whine about the judgements.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Pretty sorry week for the Avalanche, if we're being completely honest with ourselves. The streak of a game every other night continued until Wednesday, with home games against Dallas and Anaheim. The Avs fell to the Stars (grrr) 3-2 in a game that honestly wasn't that close and didn't fare any better against Anaheim, chalking up the first shutout for rookie goaltending phenom Viktor Fasth, 3-0, in a game so boring four of the audience members died of internal hemorrhaging and the President of the Mid-Galactic Hockey Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off.

In news, Aaron Palushaj is an Av now, claimed by our accountants from Montreal on waivers. He'll make his Avalanche debut tonight in Chuck Kobasew's abandoned #17.

Mile High Hockey Hero of the Week: Milan Hejduk

This is a bit of a default pick this week because spoiler alert the Avs were pretty bad. Major major ups to The Duke, who played in his 1000th game on Monday against the Stars. He earned the Silver Stick from none other than Joe Sakic, then opened the team's scoring with a tap-in goal in the first period. Pretty nice night for Hejduk, if only the team could have pulled out a win for him. What a beauty.

Hey, we're up to ten games! I'm a big fan of L10 trends so we've finally reached the point of the season where I think we've got a pretty solid handle on how guys are doing.

3. Ryan O'Byrne
(10GP, 19 hits 27 PiM)
Cold What happened? This guy was quietly ballin last year on the back end. So why is he just playing like a back end this year? Did the ECHL ruin ya bud?
4. Greg Zanon
(10GP, -3, 18 hits)
Cold If I awarded a Goat of the Week, Zanon would be the guy. MHH seems to have a Greg Zanon Two Minutes' Hate once a period. He blocks a mean shot, but apart from that...
5. Shane O'Brien
Meh SOB has played like a guy who hasn't played much. Quietly okay half the time, but then all of a sudden there's the clownshoes and a stupid decision that results in 14 PiM.
6. Erik Johnson
(10GP, 1A, 0 Jibbles)
Meh Johnson has begun showing flashes of his ability to completely control a game like a total boss. But, he's started taking frustration runs at guys, has only managed a single assist in 10 games, and has only put 46% of his shots on net. QUIT HITTING SHINS
7. John Mitchell
(10GP, 4-3-7, +7, 20 hits, S% 25%)
Hot Mitchell has found himself playing beside Paul Stastny, which tends to put him in tougher situations against tougher competition, and the production has slowed down a little. Still, 7 points in 10 games? 100% I'm good with that.
8. Jan Hejda
(9GP, 2A, 23 hits, +4)
Meh Good defensively, though many eyebrows were raised by his 14:38 TOI against Anaheim. He's only put 35% on net, THIR-TY FIIIVE. Hejda has more attempts blocked than SOG. What did your opponents' feet do to you, Jan? Think of the skates :,-(
9. Matt Duchene (10GP, 2-7-9, +5) Hot I'm willing to stick with the Hot despite Duchene's line getting completely dominated by both the top lines of Dallas and Anaheim. .9ppg ties him for the team lead and he's the guy being vocally not ok with the team's performance of late. Tell em Matt.
11. Jamie McGinn (10GP, 1-5-6, 24 hits)
Meh McGinn has taken the Landescaptain's place on Duchene's left wing and has helped be a physical presence, but he's not doing enough to get to the net. (Tell him there's Bagel Bites in there.) He's also at more than a missed shot per game, which is ugly.
12. Chuck Kobasew (8GP, 2A, +3) Meh Kobasew has been his usual self, not adding much to the offense but doing an ok enough job killing penalties and bringin the energy to his 3rd-line shifts.
14. David van der Gulik (2GP) Small
DVDG was sent back down to Lake Erie when Palushaj was claimed. Not that the team needed his roster spot, since Wilson is on IR, but maybe Lake Erie needed his play.
15. P.A. Parenteau
(10GP, 7-2-9, +5)
Hot SEVEN GOALS? I thought this was gonna be a setup guy for Dutchy. Parenteau had a 3-game goal and points streak snapped by Viktor Fasth. But he's shooting 35%, which ya gotta think will even out around the same time Matt's 6.9% does, right?
22. Matt Hunwick
(7GP, 0 Jibbles)
Injured After some more real special turnovers and generally regressive play, news came out after practice Sunday that he's out with a torso injury. Whut? We talkin about practice.
26. Paul Stastny
(10GP, 3-3-6, -6)
Warm? STILL have a hard time explaining the Jibble Rating? Keep in mind that Stastny's only starting in his offensive zone 37.8% of the time, against the highest Corsi QoC among Avalanche centers. That he's managed 5 points in 4 games is great imo.
37/90. Ryan O'Reilly (foot) Injured facepalm, headdesk, and other expressions of confounded exasperation. Sign him or trade him (each pending a physical). I'm bored of this.
40. Mark Olver
(10GP, 1A, -2)
Meh He's not been good and he's not been bad. He's not hitting as much as other forwards we'll mention later, but 8 hits in 10:36 ATOI is pretty ok. Also he fought Sgarbossa for some reason or another.
41. Tyson Barrie
(3GP, 0 points)
Nachos We can only assume he has a Barrie nice view up there in the box. DO HO HO
43. Michael Sgarbossa (4GP, -2, 0 points) Cold In amazingly limited, yet somehow protected, ice time with bottom-six guys, The BOWSS still doesn't look out of place in the NHL, but hasn't scored and does continue to look funny on the point of a power play. Wat? Also he fought Olver for some reason.
44. Ryan Wilson
(8GP, 3A, +6)
Injured Dat IR. When I finally got my eyes on a replay of his injury, I wished I hadn't. Feet aren't supposed to go that way relative to their host body D:
54. David Jones
(8GP, 1G, -8)
Frigid So far the Avs are paying four million pro-rated dollars for 1 goal, bad play at ES, unwillingness to spend time in the dirty areas, and less than 2 shots/game. It's not fair to hang a contract around a player's neck really... so put it on Sherman's. Bad. Bad!
55. Cody McLeod
(10GP, 1-1-2, 32 PiM)
Meh Cody bein' Cody but after he got the record for Avalanche fighting majors 5 games ago he said "Well, good show, I'm off for a cuppa."
58. Patrick Bordeleau (10GP, 30PiM, 23 hits) Meh Apart from energizing the team to a rousing roflstomp defeat by beating up Brad Staubitz, Bordy is approaching 30 Hits/60. RUN!!!
92. Gabe Landeskog (head) Injured We keep hearing teases that Gabe will start skating soon but he hasn't done it yet. Please do. We miss urface :(((((
1. Semyon Varlamov Meh No he's not getting help but Average Varly has crept into the crease a bit lately. That sv% is hovering just above .900 and the Avs have given up 3 or more goals 6 times on his watch.
35. J.S. Gigeure Copy
In his one game against the Flames Giguere had a sub-.900 SV%, but when you factor in his 17-save period of relief duty against San Jose it's up to .933. 4 periods of hockey? You can judge that one, I'm (still) not going to.