It's not a secret among discerning Avalanche fans: the team simply doesn't shoot enough to consistently score goals. Tonight they got 42 shots on net and -- gasp -- scored five non-empty-net goals. If this is the beginning of a trend, you won't hear me complaining.
It wasn't all roses. Calgary, who now falls to 3-9-1, dominated much of this game with shot attempts; and if not for two goals called back on a blown whistle and the net getting knocked off its moorings, this could have been a very different game entirely. The Avalanche still have major problems defensively, allowing 62 shots toward the net to their own 50. Fortunately, they continue to show an aptitude for getting in their way, blocking 28 of these attempts. Yes, Altitude Broadcast, blocking shots is good, but this statistic is more an indication of the mass amount of shot attempts they're yielding than a unique prowess for getting in the way of pucks.
But the bigger story tonight was the offense, which has played much better these past two games after the most recent line shakeups. Landeskog-Soderberg-Duchene was, once again, really excellent. Soderberg chased pucks and made plays, Landeskog got off high-percentage shots, and Duchene put not one but TWO goals in the net tonight -- one even strength in the 1st and the other during the 3rd on a beautiful power play tip in. Joining Duchene with his own multi-point game was Jarome Iginla with a goal in the 1st, an outstanding assist to Nathan MacKinnon in the 3rd, and an empty-netter for good measure at the end. Iginla now has six goals on the young season.
- Scorers - You can't just pick one here. The guys who are supposed to be getting on the board for this team stepped up and got pucks in the net tonight. Duchene had two goals, Iginla had two goals and an assist, MacKinnon had a goal and two helpers, and Barrie had three assists on the night. That's what's supposed to happen.
- Johnson/Beauchemin Pairing - The overall defense wasn't good tonight, but these two were. Johnson was flying around like we were used to seeing pre-knee injury last year scoring a goal and an assist. Beauchemin, not to be outdone, notched two assists on the evening.
- Carl Soderberg - I thought this was the best game he's played in a Colorado uniform. I don't think I'm alone in thinking he's been a great addition to the top line. He's now playing center for Duchene in the defensive zone and has been a solid compliment at wing in the offensive end. More please.
- Calgary Goaltending - Kari Ramo started tonight and yielded an .878 save percentage, which is actually higher than the team average for the season. The group overall has not been good and will be a major reason if this team does not return to the playoffs.
- Brad Stuart - Minus-12 tonight in C%, placing him last among Avalanche skaters. After a decent game against San Jose, he was back to his old tricks.
- Alex Tanguay - Slow play combined with too many noticeable turnovers. Players Tanguay's age often hit a final wall in their career. Colorado hopes this hasn't happened quite yet. Signs aren't looking good, though.