Here are the list of emotions I felt from start to finish in this game. It's the best way I can describe the roller coaster of feelings I felt during this game. Hope. Joy. Confidence. Appraisal. Love. Oh. Crap. Oh God no. @#$%. Everything sucks. Hmm. Nice. Wow. Congratulations. Amazement. More please. Unfortunate. Deserving. Fun. Excitement. Nervousness. Impalement. Damn it. Not good. Keep trying. It'll happen. It's going to happen. Shoot. It's not going to happen. What the hell are you thinking? We suck.
Those are thirty-one emotions ranging from death-like to exuberance. Only in an Avalanche game will all those emotions be felt in the span of two and a half hours.
1st Period: Nino Niederreiter tripped an Avalanche twelve seconds into the game and drew a penalty on Minnesota because the Wild are dirty. Jarome Iginla scored on his trademark slap shot from the left face-off circle to make it 1-0 half a minute into the game. Landeskog and the newbie Mikkel Boedker assisted, and life seemed glorious. Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton were hugging and pooping rainbows, nothing was wrong with the world!
Alas, that was a short-lived feeling. The aforementioned Niederreiter got a breakaway and scored on Varlamov off it halfway through the period. Jason Pominville assisted, and a minute after that, Pominville scored on a 2 on 1 with an assist from Niederreiter. Just absolute miserable defending by the Avs here, in particular from Tyson Barrie. Francois Beauchemin might as well be credited with an assist on the Wild's first goal as well. To make matters worse, Erik Haula scored at the 17:38 mark because Beuachemin was again horrible and Varlamov let in a stoppable puck. Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella assisted on that one.
A period that looked so promising ended with the sensation of passing a kidney stone.
One of the craziest Avalanche periods I've ever watched. Right after the Avs imploded in the last ten minutes of the first period, they came out in the second like gang busters. Calvin Pickard came in for relief of Semyon Varlamov, so maybe that had something to do with it. More on that later. Chris Bigras scored his first ever NHL goal on a delayed penalty call when a Wild player quite literally threw a stick across the ice. I quipped on Twitter, that maybe the Wild could win a championship in javelin since they can't win one in hockey. (mic drop)
But anyways, yes Bigs scored his first career goal in the big leagues off a slapper from the blue line. Duchene fed him a nice pass for an assist, and MacKinnon got the other helper. Without any sort of slight hesitation, this dominant period was no doubt sparked by the leadership of Cody McLeod. His undying will to fight anyone and lead the Avs in penalty minutes also managed to score the tying goal with the assistance of Jack Skille and John Mitchell.
Also, Shawn Matthias was called for one of the worst penalties I've ever seen. A Wild player broke his own stick, and even Stevie Wonder could tell Matthias did not slash that Wild's stick, but the zebra disagreed and called Shawn for slashing. Whatever. It was killed and didn't matter.
Zach Parise fed Charley Coyle with a beautiful pass to give the Wild the lead back. Nothing Pickard or the Avs defense could really do there. Just a nice play by the Wild to get a good goal and the regained lead. The Avs got their opportunities to get it squared at 4, but Dubnyk made some nice saves and a couple of empty netters for the Wild sealed this as the latest way for Minnesota to upset Avalanche fans everywhere.
Mr. Fish's Three Sardines:
#3: Jack Skille: Thanks for skating hard and giving one of your best efforts all season, bud.
#2: Calvin Pickard: Thanks for making this game possible to win, bud.
#1: Chris Bigras: Good defensive effort from Bigs and congrats on your first goal, bud.
Mr. Fish's Three Flounders:
#3: Francois Beauchemin: Sweet Church's chicken you looked old and bad tonight.
#2: Tyson Barrie: The first period goal I called him out on and the first empty netter made him look so inadequate as an NHL defenseman.
#1: Semyon Varlamov: We have an official goaltending on our hands, Mile High Hockey. When I named him first flounder in the Coors Field game, I gave him the benefit of the doubt since the game was outside and hockey is vastly different outside for a goaltender. But he just sucked tonight. I don't know how else to put it. I love Semyon and think overall he is the best goaltender on this team, but right now from play-wise he is not and it's actually Pickard. I hope Calvin gets the start on Thursday against Florida.
How did Mikkel Boedker look? Better than Tanguay.
How did Eric Gelinas look? Better than Bodnarchuk, but he did look prone to the big mistake as was prognosticated in the scouting report, but we did not get to see the canon of a shot he has. Hopefully Thursday we will.
Do I feel like jumping off a building? Yes!