Last night the Avalanche were up 2-0 early in the first, and yes they were playing with a very high tempo that showed they were going to give a great deal of effort the whole game. Yes early on Brian Elliott was standing on his head making 17/17 saves in the first period. Yes the line of Hejduk-Stastny-Duchene looked magical while Ryan O’Reilly continued to show his offensive potential with another goal. And finally, yes only one Avalanche defenseman, John-Michael Liles, finished the game with a negative +/- but did you really expect the Avalanche to win that game? As I learned by being at the Pepsi Center on 1/8/11 the only thing the Avalanche know how to do more then lose is how not to win. The team has grown notorious for what happened last night so it should be a surprise to no one. What shocked me more was seeing people saying all over twitter “I can’t believe my eyes who is this Avalanche team I’m watching?” People we have seen it before and it always has the same ending. Another thing we all saw coming was a good game from Teemu Selanne since he is an ex-Av but I’m not sure anyone saw what he wound up doing coming.
Since the first period was essentially covered in the opening I’m going to move onto the 2nd period. With the Avalanche leading 2-0 a wild scramble in front of Brian Elliott led to an Avalanche player touching the puck in the goal crease therefore a penalty shot for the Ducks. To take the shot was Teemu Selanne who skated in fast and shot it right past Elliott before he could even react. Using the momentum from the second half of the first period where Anaheim controlled the tempo, the Ducks maintained pressure much of the 2nd period. Jason Blake would tie it for Anaheim as a puck he sent across the crease knocked in off Erik Johnson’s skate. About five minutes later Teemu Selanne netted his second goal of the game to give the Ducks their first lead at 3-2 but before the period ended David Jones tied things up for the Avs sending the game into the 3rd period tied up 3-3.
With 35 shots through two periods Anaheim continued their tempo early in the third causing the Avalanche to scramble and take penalties. The Ducks were able to convert on both penalties by the Avalanche the first PPG by Cam Fowler and the second Teemu Selanne who completed his hat trick and gave himself three goals and two assist on the night. The Avalanche, keeping with their notorious “consistent” selves, added a goal with under a minute remaining but were unable to get another to tie it up. A game like this is a pretty good measuring stick for the entire Avalanche season: a hot start with a fatal bad run and a terribly desperate finish.
- Matt Duchene followed up the end of his 6 game point streak with a 2 point game giving him 61 points on the season.
- Ryan O’Reilly’s fantastic March continues with 6 of his 11 goals this season coming this month.
- Cody McLeod was IMO terrible once again and was a -2 in only 7 minutes. The fact this team can’t scratch McLeod shows how bad they are.
- Every Avs player with more than 2 SOG had a point.
- Only McLeod, Koci, Liles, and Olver had a negative +/- last night.
- The scratches were A. Foote, S. Belle, P. Dupuis, B. Yip, R. Wilson
- The Avalanche were killed in the FO circle but Duchene, who played primarily wing, won 3 of his 5.
- In the Top 10 PIM in the league McLeod has the 2nd worst points total.
- Ryan O’Reilly (PPG)
- Matt Duchene
- Teemu Selanne (PS)
- Jason Blake
- Teemu Selanne
- David Jones
- Cam Fowler (PPG)
- Teemu Selanne (PPG-Hat Trick)
- Paul Stastny
Next Game: The Avalanche close out another dreaded month hosting the Nashville Predators on Thursday. Visit Predlines!