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Peaks and Valleys: Week Two

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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.

Dustin Bradford

What a roller coaster this week has been eh? The Avalanche opened the week on Monday in Edmonton and laid a giant egg for two periods, giving up 4 goals to the Oil power play, to eventually fall 4-1. Wednesday in Vancouver was not much better, as the Avs fell 3 to a bagel. Thursday the Avs took advantage of a rather poor night out of Miikka Kiprusoff to bang out a 6-3 win; the momentum carried back home to a rematch against Edmonton, which Colorado won 3-1 in a game that was not as close as the score implies. (Devan Dubnyk has arrived.)

Mile High Hockey Hero of the Week: Matt Duchene

HAI MATT GOOD TO SEE YA BUD! Duchene leads the team with 9 points in 8 games, 7 of those points being assists. Over a point per game and he's only shooting 8.7%? Good lord, this can still improve... Duchene had a 25-minute game against Edmonton at home, dominated play, was excellent at the dot and had a hilariously beautiful open-ice hit on Taylor Hall, and is generally a glowing-hot bright spot for the Avalanche in this young season. We'll see how long he can sustain this pace, but for now, Duchene is playing like an Absolut stud.

There's a lot of Meh ratings this week because of a lot of unspectacular to good play mixed with a lot of WHAT ARE YOU DOING play. Here... we... go:

3. Ryan O'Byrne
(8GP, 15 hits)
Cold O'Byrne has been one half of a much-maligned pairing with Greg Zanon. He's a rock on the PK which has been very good sometimes and just shocking other times. The PK can't be this up and down if the Avs want much success.
4. Greg Zanon
(8GP, -2, 11 hits)
Cold And there's your other half. Half of the reason for the "cold" rating is how slow he's been moving, both physically and mentally. Copypaste the O'Byrne box.
5. Shane O'Brien
Nachos He looked OK in his one game, but hasn't been seen since.
6. Erik Johnson
(8GP, 1A, +3, 20:37 ATOI)
Hot Johnson continues to be good in his own zone, and has started unleashing his slap shot from the point on the PP, including 11 total shots at net in the Edmonton win. One assist just isn't going to cut it for long though.
7. John Mitchell
(8GP, 4-2-6, +7, 18 hits, S% 36%)
Hot His face is raccooned nicely from all the bruising, but he's figured out how to score without having medical attention too. He's still shooting an unsustainable 36% but what a revelation this guy has been through 8 games.
8. Jan Hejda
(7GP, 2A, 16 hits, +5)
Meh It's little coincidence that the night Hejda has off, the PK gets lit the fuck up by Edmonton. He's been solid defensively--except for one glaring failed clear on the PK against Vancouver that resulted directly in a goal, ew.
11. Jamie McGinn (8GP, 1-4-5, 23 hits)
Meh McGinn is starting to warm up a bit. 4 of his 5 points are in the last 2 games. But recently he's been getting himself in the action by hitting people, nearly 3 hits per game. The Jibble rating is coming back around too, up to +2 now.
12. Chuck Kobasew (6GP, 2A, +3) Meh Kobasew has been playing pretty decently with Cody McLeod and Mark Olver lately. He's working hard, getting to the dirty areas, making things happen.
14. David van der Gulik (1GP) Small
He'll probably be up for a little while given the rash of injuries, but who can comment on 7:31 of average hockey in a definitive win?
15. P.A. Parenteau
(8GP, 6-2-8, +8)
Hot What a signing. The other point-per-game player is still miraculously shooting 40%. When Sherman signed Parenteau for 1 David Jones Money we were hoping he could be the elusive Matt Duchene Winger.... well, as it's looking....... and the grin too. :3
22. Matt Hunwick
(5GP, ATOI 22:27)
Meh Hunwick is mostly playing pretty well but continues not to do much special other than skate. Wellllll he had a real special turnover that led to the only goal against in the Edmonton win. ew ew ew.
23. Milan Hejduk
(8GP, 3A)
Cold Hejduk hasn't had a point since the Columbus game. Despite 14 SOG (25 at net), he can't get anything through. He's playing in his 1000th game tonight, and he looks it.
26. Paul Stastny
(8GP, 3-1-4, -6)
Meh Walnuts finally ran into the other side of the Luck Parade, slipping two weak ones through a cold-as-ice Kipprusoft, and adding an empty netter on Saturday. He's still an assist guy with no assists in six games. And that Jibble rating is inexplicable.
37/90. Ryan O'Reilly (foot) Injured News now is that he hasn't talked at all to the team in over a week, with no contract movement since last YEAR. That's unacceptable. We're hurt. He's broken too, but at least sign the guy pending a physical, so he can fill in as soon as he's ready. Je$u$.
40. Mark Olver
(8GP, 1A, -2)
Meh I'd expect a guy like Olver to have a tough time of it on the road, when the opponent has the last change and can match up top lines against him.
41. Tyson Barrie
(3GP, 0 points)
Nachos We can only assume those nachos are Barrie good. DO HO HO
43. Michael Sgarbossa (2GP) Small
THE BOWSS has looked poised and collected, with excellent hands. He's seeing the ice well. He's also been largely mired with other Monsters, such as Patrick Bordeleau, who just are not going to help you score goals.
44. Ryan Wilson
(8GP, 3A, +6)
Injured He's now up to 31 shots at net in less than 20:00 of ice time per game, but tweaked his ankle up in the Edmonton game. He's out indefinitely.
54. David Jones
(7GP, 1G, -7)
Injured All of the numbers are ugly. The 4x4 Man earned the Brett Lebda Distinction™ of being -3 in a 6-3 win (Calgary). He then missed the Edmonton win with a mysterious knee injury.
55. Cody McLeod
(8GP, 1-1-2, 32 PiM)
Meh Cody bein' Cody. He's working hard and his line is generating solid energy.
58. Patrick Bordeleau (8GP, 23PiM) Meh Bordy bein' Bordy. He's up over 5:00 ATOI now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
92. Gabe Landeskog (4GP, 1G) Injured Gabe is out indefinitely with a Don't Call It A Concussion Head Injury and some kind of groin issue. Yes, please, tell us more about his groin
1. Semyon Varlamov Hot The numbers are deceptive. In 7 games he has a .914 SV% and 2.55 GAA, but many of the goals he has given up were due to a PK that was in a state of active decomposition and surrender. In truth, he's kept the team in games more than not.
35. J.S. Gigeure Small
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 not going to.