No there was no “Snooki,” “JWoww,” “Situation” or even goals last night in Joisey. What there was, however, was 65 minutes of scoreless hockey.
Last night in the “Garden State” the goaltenders took center stage. With the playoffs in site and less than 10 games left, the men in the masks put on an exhibition. Jean-Sebastian Giguere and Martin Brodeur both have their names immortalized on Lord Stanley’s Cup and showed why last night. Giguere stopped all 33 shots he faced and Brodeur stopped all 28 shots he faced as both net minders recorded a shutout at the conclusion of the five-minute overtime session.
The Devils came away with the win converting on both of their first two attempts in the shootout, but the Avalanche still came away with a much-needed point from the game. The Avs still sit in eighth place in the West only one point ahead of Calgary and San Jose and three points up on the Kings. This shootout loss may seem defeating, but it is not too often that a team’s goalie can have a shutout, lose and still pick up a point.
The play of the goalies has really been a welcome addition to the ever-potent offense of the Colorado Avalanche. Semyon Varlamov and J.S. Giguere have been as close to flawless as a goalie can get in the NHL. This is just what the Avs need coming down the stretch. Everyone knows that a good foundation in the playoffs starts between the pipes. The way the Avalanche’s two goaltenders are playing, they are making a strong case as to why they deserve to be in the playoffs.
Tonight the Avs are recuperating in Manhattan awaiting their meeting with the Rangers tomorrow night. No question that most televisions in the hotel rooms will be tuned into either the Calgary/Edmonton game or the L.A./Anaheim game. The majority, I have a feeling, will be tuned to the first game mentioned. Since Calgary blew out Phoenix last night they are just one point behind the Avs and Coyotes and with a win would push the Avalanche out of the playoffs for now. Hopefully the Flames are out of it tonight because they are playing the back end of a back-to-back.
The Avs still need a bit of luck, but if they can consistently play the type of hockey they have been as of late, Colorado will have no need for luck. The Avalanche need to keep their focus and intensity if they expect to be rewarded with some extra hockey in the month of April and hopefully May.
1) (G) Brodeur NJ
2) (G) Giguere COL
3) (L) Kovalchuk NJ
|Actual Points Before Tonight’s Games||Predicted Points After Tonight’s Games|
|7th||PHX – 81||PHX – 81|
|8th||COL – 81||COL – 81|
|9th||SJS – 80||SJS – 80|
|10th||CGY – 80||CGY – 80|
|11th||LAK – 78||LAK – 80|
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