I'll open with a couple fun facts about Winnipeg:
1) Winnipeg's NHL team is named after the fabled machine that flies people away from frozen hellscapes (like Winnipeg)
2) A while ago Winnipeg excitedly announced with great fanfare that the city had acquired some jointed busses. @MegalodonBOC shared a bunch of the official Winnipeg announcements. You can tell Winnipeg is a happening place.
Actually there's only two facts cause Winnipeg sucks.
Goalie starters: Reto "Rodeo Bear" Berra vs Ondrej ".907 career SVP" Pavelec
Brad Stuart left the game after blocking a shot early in an otherwise uneventful first period. As has been the case recently, Landeskog, O'Reilly, and Tanguay continue to be a bright spot on the season. Shots were 8-5 in favor of Winnipeg after a very bland and scoreless first period.
Mathieu Perreault left the ice with a very strange injury 6 minutes into the second. The Avs successfully killed both of the penalties they took in the second. Based on an interview about Joey Hishon's first NHL goal, he has the most adorably Canadian parents ever. Another slow period, with the only action coming from Winnipeg against Berra. Total shots through two periods: Winnipeg 20, Avalanche 11.
Quality of hockey picked up in the third, with both teams getting some decent chances. 11 minutes in McLeod and Cliche had a pretty good chance shorthanded, but no dice. Then less than a minute later Tanguay and O'Reilly had another 2 on 1. Factor got a good shot away but Pavelec made the save. With three minutes left Hejda used his stick to break up a potentially game winning 2 on 1 for Winnipeg. Berra would stop another few chances - including an incredible couple saves on hard-charging Blake Wheeler - before the scoreless game went to overtime.
Overtime was highlighted by a no-call high stick to Duchene's face, a couple great chances by Ryan O'Reilly and John Mitchell, and Canadian Olympian Matt Duchene making an anger-fueled appearance. Barrie showed some game-saving backcheck.
O'Reilly and Duchene both score beautiful shootout goals, Berra stops Blake Wheeler and Andrew Ladd and the Avalanche keep Winnipeg from clinching a playoff berth.
Great, great play from Reto Berra won this game from the Avalanche, and was just another icicle on the window for a Winnipeg Jets team who couldn't clinch a playoff berth.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
Third Star: Ondrej Pavelec
Second Star: Ryan O'Reilly
First Star: Reto Berra
Hate to do the same three stars as the team, but I chose them before I heard them announced, I swear. I've got the texts to prove it.
WHAT TONIGHT MEANS
The Flyers 3-1 loss to the Hurricanes is disappointing for the Avalanche's draft standing, but good news is the Panthers beat the Bruins 4-2. The Sharks, at the time of this writing, are tied 1-1 with the Oilers in the third period. To help our draft selection, we need the Sharks, Panthers, Blue Jackets, and Flyers to win out (the Panthers and Sharks to stay ahead of us in the standings, and the Flyers and Blue Jackets to pass us), though depending on tonights results the Flyers might be unable to pass us. Check tomorrow morning for the updated NHL standings.
Right now the Avs could pick anywhere from 7th to 12th (or 1st, if you believe in miracles). 7th-9th could get us one of defenders Ivan Provorov or Zach Werenski, or forwards Pavel Zacha, Mikko Rantanen, Matt Barzal, or (please no) Lawson Crouse. 10-12th would be a step down in talent and excitement. Though a guy who might be available that I like is Timo Meier. Meier is a Swiss-born scorer who is a shooter that the playmaker stocked Avs need, I think. Because outside of Iginla and Barrie, which talented player has the "fire it on net" instinct?
Anyways. Never going to boo a win, so go Avs (and Sharks/Flyers/Blue Jackets/Panthers).
NEXT GAME: The Chicago Blackhawks visit the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday (4/11) at 7:00 MST.