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Peaks and Valleys: Week 5

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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.

Look it's a different picture from Sandie's! >_>
Look it's a different picture from Sandie's! >_>
Derek Leung

The Avs packed in 4 games this week, all heartbreaking in one way or another, starting with a matinee game on President's Day at home against Nashville. (This one was heartbreaking because I had to work and missed it.) It was a hilarious back and forth affair, full of old time hockey and Matt Duchene pausing the game, going over to the menu, and turning offsides off for a play. Avs win 6-5. On Wednesday the Blues came to town to start a rivalry, NBC Sports presciently told us, and Mark Olver answered the call, delivering the game's heartbreak by accidentally KOing Blues Rookie du Jour Vladimir Tarasenko. Varlamov notched a shutout, Avs win 1-0. Off to California we go, for an afternoon game on Saturday against the LA Kings. LA scored early and often and the Avs looked pitiful, falling 4-1. The back to back ended with a game in Anaheim against a Ducks team that honestly looked pretty shitty to start things, letting the Avs jump out to a 2-goal lead, but then they took the game over from there. Avs get a loser point but drop it in overtime, 4-3.

Mile High Hockey Hero of the Week: Tyson Barrie

He doesn't count as a rookie anymore, right? Barrie has emerged from the press box a new man! He has 5 points in 6 games, including his first NHL goal, is averaging almost 23:00 a night, and has generally shown himself to be NHL ready to the pro scouts here at MHH (haw).

A lot of the ratings below reflect the way the team looks right now as a whole: Shitty defense and a bucket of Meh.

3. Ryan O'Byrne
(10GP, 19 hits 2A)
Cold The defense sucks. O'Byrne mysteriously pulled two assists out in Anaheim, but has still been bad defensively.
4. Greg Zanon
(10GP, -7, 19 hits)
Cold The defense sucks. Said Zanon about the play when his stick Wasn't Slashed Out Of His Hands: "Seeing on the replay, I think a couple guys stopped skating because they thought it was pretty obvious." Didn't mention he was one of them...
5. Shane O'Brien
Nachos We're back in the press box #fortheladies.
6. Erik Johnson
Injured Didn't make it on the California trip, no news. Blah.
7. John Mitchell
(9GP, 2-3-5)
Meh He seems to be cooling down somewhat, goal last night aside, and has really just been absolutely terrible at the faceoff dot. It's pathetic dawg. Win a faceoff!
8. Jan Hejda
(10GP, 1A, 33 hits)
Cold The defense sucks. Hejda is probably our best healthy defender right now and that gives me lots of sads. He gets the rating by default but hasn't made enough of a difference to shake it anyway. And that's the same as last week. Consistency!
9. Matt Duchene (10GP, 4-6-10, 22:01 ATOI) Cooling
It looks as if Duchene's hot streak is sizzling to a close. No points in 3 games, with only 10 shot attempts between them, his L10 PPG is largely buoyed (which is the backwardsest spelled word, what the fuck) by 6 points in 2 games.
11. Jamie McGinn (10GP, 3-5-8, 59 shot attempts)
McGinn is still firing pucks at the net, and he's missing it less... but his line is drawing top defenders, and he also hasn't had a point in 3 games, 1 in his last 4. Hey. Jamie. You can have a Zebra Cake if you score goals.
12. Chuck Kobasew (10GP, 1G, 15 hits) Meh Kobasew has been a pretty legit energy guy for the Avs this season, you know?
15. P.A. Parenteau
(10GP, 3-5-8)
Hot Okay look, even as Matt and Fat can't get it done, Parenteau rocks home numbers on his power play unit. Which is awesome. And he still keeps on smiling.
17. Aaron Palushaj (5GP, 2-2-4)
Meh Yes he has 4 in 5... but 3 of them were in the hilarity against Nashville. At least he didn't seem to fall down as much against Anaheim, but Plushie's top-line minutes are gone now that there's a certain Norse god-like presence back with us.
22. Matt Hunwick
(9GP, 2A, 20:30 ATOI)
Cold The defense sucks. Hunwick does have 2 assists in 3 games though, and one of those is a deflection goal. What if he could figure out how to score? #hype #tradevalue
23. Milan Hejduk (10GP, 3-3-6) Meh After a sludgy start to the year--which should have surprised no one--Hejduk has been consistently around a .5ppg pace, which is pretty legit for a guy who's been in the league since the 90s and isn't called Teemu.
26. Paul Stastny
(10GP, 2-5-7, 40 shot attempts)
Meh 35.2% zone starts, per That's laughable. He's getting .7ppg like that? That's ridiculous. His faceoff performance has been really good too. Unfortunately, the Avs not having a checking line is preventing him more offense.
37/90. Ryan O'Reilly (wallet) Injured After watching the Oscars, sources say he's headed to Hollywood, hoping to make it as a #character actor.
40. Mark Olver
(9GP, 1G, -5)
Thug Most recently had some nachos to make room for Plushie against the Ducks, but that's really because he was being arraigned for running Tarasenko, in the mind of one crazy Blues fan somewhere, probably.
43. Michael Sgarbossa (5GP, -3, 0 points) Monster Nobody announced anything about it but The Bowss has returned to Lake Erie, causing many many sads for myself and Six Whores.
44. Ryan Wilson
Injured Still hurt, still no news.
46. Stefan Elliott (3GP) Small
Stefan has been here since the Blues shutout, where he logged 20:47, but hasn't touched that since. He's been GUILTY, said Mike Milbury, of some pretty disgusting turnovers, and IMO is ready for his time in the nachobox to watch, like Barrie did.
54. David Jones
(8GP, 1-3-4)
Cold Of course it was David Jones with the OT winner against the Blues, of course it was. He only scores OT winners all the time. If only the Avs could make it to OT more often (and stay at ES) we'd all know that. $4x4 for Clutch, obviously.
55. Cody McLeod
(10GP, 2G, 19 PiM)
Meh Hasn't fought in 7 games, but he has scored twice since then.
58. Patrick Bordeleau (10GP, 18PiM,) Meh Hasn't fought in 7 games but had a career-high 10:06 TOI against LA and oh so very nearly had his first NHL point against Anaheim.
92. Gabe Landeskog (2GP, 1A) Small
HEEE'S BAAAAAAACK!! I mean, technically. He had an assist against LA, and he has 6 hits, but he's pretty clearly hustling to get back up to game speed in the middle of the season here.
1. Semyon Varlamov Meh Boy Varly has been up and been down and been up and been down, shut out the Blues, doesn't afraid of anything, then gets lit up for 4 by LA including a hella-soft shorty that took the wind out of the sails pretty major.
35. J.S. Giguere Meh
Giguere was alright against Anaheim. I mean, he made 24/25 saves at even strength. He was also 3/12 shorthanded... which ain't good, at-tawl.

Coming up!

the Avs finish out their California road swing with an ohhh nooooo sopainful 8:30 MST start time in San Jose (fuck sleep anyway) tomorrow night. They come back home on Thursday for a 7:00 MST game against Calgary... is that Must Lose, if we're trying to draft? Then, Sunday, a matinee so I'm sure it's on NBC ahahaha who am I kidding. A matinee in Columbus, 1:00 MST.