A MILEHIGH MILESTONE!!!

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Let’s give it up to the newest Avalanche acquisition, Tomas Fleischmann!!!  Not only did he record his first career hat-trick, it just so happened to be a natural one!  Simply amazing – 3 goals in a single period.  What a way to announce your arrival to a new team.  Congratulations, “Flash” (not an official nickname, but I find it fitting)…

So, let’s chat about last night’s destruction of the defending Stanley Cup Champs.  Ok, maybe ‘destruction’ is a bit of an overreaction, but hey, the Avs seem to have Chicago’s number this year.  Not only did they take the 3rd of 3 games from the Hawks, this time it was in front of 21,121 hostile fans (official attendance courtesy NHL.com).  Any time you can go into a harsh environment and pull out a win (Atlanta, Washington & now Chicago) you have got to feel good about how you are playing.

But, I digress.  I am not sold… yet.  When a team allows 38 shots on net in a game, that team should consider themselves lucky to come away with a win.  Overall defense and the ability to limit your opponents chances have got to take precedence.  You simply cannot rely on your netminder to stand on his head and bail you out on a nightly basis.

That being said, Craig Anderson was outstanding between the pipes.  Chicago came out firing on all cylinders and posted 14 shots in the 1st and 16 shots in the 2nd.  Because of Anderson’s play, the Avs were able to take a 1-1 tie into the 3rd frame – and the 3rd frame has been a bright spot for the Avalanche all year.  To date, they’ve been able to outscore their opponents 43-33 in the 3rd and if they are leading a game after 2 periods, they have a perfect record of 10-0-0.

What can we point to as a reason for their 3rd period prowess?  Youth.  Legs.  Speed.  Conditioning.  Our beloved television announcers on Altitude (Mike Haynes & Peter McNabb) hit on it last night.  It seems that a lot of teams are having a hard time keeping pace with the ‘young-ins’.  Can the boys keep it up all year?  I suppose time will tell…

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