Last night the Columbus Blue Jackets skated into Pepsi Center to tangle with the red-hot Colorado Avalanche. The last time these two clubs met, the Avs derailed the Blue Jackets 5-0 in Columbus. Last night, Columbus got sweet revenge beating Colorado 2-0 in Denver, ending the Avalanche’s winning streak at 4.
The Avs may have been a little over confident last night going into the game. Over the past 4 games, the Avalanche were playing some great hockey. Last night Colorado fell back onto their bad habits.
Turnovers and penalties proved to be the Achilles heel once again for Colorado. Both of the goals Columbus scored came either on the power play or from an Avalanche turnover. These two areas have really hindered the Avs all season long. Fans thought that the Avalanche had finally turned the corner to avoid losses like last night’s. Apparently the Avs have a few more corrections that they need to focus on in order to become that elite club once again.
The Avs had some great scoring chances but the play of Columbus net minder Steve Mason was just that much better. Mason made some outstanding saves and really carried his team all night long. Stopping all 33 shots he faced last night, Mason has really been the foundation of the struggling Blue Jackets proved his worth yet again.
Colorado played a decent game last night; they just met a goalie that seemed to have their number. Now the Avalanche need to shift their focus to Saturday when the Pittsburgh Penguins come to town. The Penguins are sitting at 4th in the Eastern Conference and are looking to close some distance between themselves and the New York Rangers. Tomorrow’s game will be a true playoff test for the Avs as Pittsburgh will compare to a team that Colorado will more than likely face if they make it into the playoffs. Tomorrow’s game will tell a lot about the Avalanche as a club. Hopefully the story the Avs write with tomorrow’s game will be one filled with playoff implications and not one filled with April tee times.
1) (G) Mason CBJ
2) (D) Nikitin CBJ
3) (D) Tyutin CBJ
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