Shouldn’t Ray Whitney be retired by now?
I’m sure the Avalanche and their fans alike are asking that after Whitney tied last night’s game twice before Colton Sceviour buried the winner with 2:52 left in the third period. Whitney saw just a little over 12 minutes of ice time, but made the most of it.
Now, to be fair, it’s hard to be upset about the loss. The Avalanche had taken the first three meetings from the Stars and the law of averages was bound to get the Avalanche eventually. Going 3-1-0 against a team is not a bad season.
Without much further adieu, let’s get on with what we learned from Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss.
Law of Averages, But Still
As stated above, I felt like the Avalanche were bound to lose to the Stars because going unbeaten against a team you play five times in one season isn’t statistically likely unless you’re an elite team. The Avalanche are not an elite team.
That said, it sucks a little harder when you have the lead twice and this team that is clearly inferior to you manages to tie it up both times within a matter of minutes of the lead being taken.
You know what else sucks about this loss? Losing to Dan Ellis. Yes, he’s an NHL goaltender, but Dan Ellis sucks. There’s a reason he’s a journeyman backup with a piss-poor GAA and save percentage. You’re not supposed to lose to a guy like that if you’re a good NHL team or at least that’s my perception. But hey, I wanted the win.
Heating Up The Dutchy Oven
Don’t look now: Matt Duchene is getting hot again. He missed a little bit of time with an oblique injury and battled an illness, looking ineffective for a few games after his return from injury.
In his last four games, he has three goals and seven points with three multi-point games in that span. He’s looking like the dynamic playmaker we saw for the first 20 games of this season. Everyone knew he was talented, but this might be his coming out party as one of the league’s absolute best.
Keep your eyes on Dutchy as the year goes on; if he keeps up his pace, he could get his name in a few Hart Trophy conversations.
A Move On The Horizon?
Rumors have been swirling for a little while now that Joe Sakic and the rest of management have been shopping for a defenseman. Michael Del Zotto’s name came up, Jamie McGinn’s name has come up as a piece going the other way, but nothing has developed.
The defense has been shaky of late, partially due to injuries to Ryan Wilson and Jan Hejda and partially due to a regression to the mean (Nate Guenin being a healthy scratch against the Stars last night).
Sooner or later, it feels like if the Avalanche are seriously making a playoff run or think they have a chance to go deep, they’ll have to make a move to bolster the defense. Whether that is by trading McGinn, draft picks or future free-agent Paul Stastny, that remains to be seen.
Next up: 12/19 vs Edmonton