Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Quick Hits: Game Four at Minnesota Wild (Stanley Cup Playoffs Round One)


Final Score: Colorado Avalanche – 1 Minnesota Wild – 2 (Series Tied 2-2)

*Semyon Varlamov deserves better than this.

*The Colorado Avalanche laid an egg in game three. In game four, that egg hatched and laid another egg.

*The Avs had 12 shots in 60 minutes. 12 shots. three in the first period, four in the second, five in the third. They were down 2-1 heading into the third and managed a whole five shots. The most pathetic part about that, they only had one shot with three minutes remaining in the game. The other four came with Varlamov pulled and the power play.

*Speaking of the power play, it was terrible once again. 0/4 including a 6-on-4 at the end of the game.

*Jame McGinn lost his man in the offensive zone and Jared Spurgeon burned Varlamov with a wide open shot in the slot. This came after a long offensive shift where the Avs failed to clear the puck and got caught running around.

*The Wild second goal came after a lucky bounce when Jason Pominville’s shot hit off of Varlamov, into the boards, and then bounced right in front of the net where only Charlie Coyle saw it. He immediately slid it past Varlamov for the second goal of the game.

*It looked like the Avs might’ve had a little life after a good keep by McGinn led to a Ryan O’Reilly goal, but the Avs failed to take advantage of that as the Wild immediately went back to completely outplaying the Avs.

*I can’t say anyone on the Avs played well outside of Varlamov, but Max Talbot at least showed effort.

*Erik Johnson had a solid game defensively and with his skating, but his shot got blocked at least three times in the final minute. He has to get the puck through in that situation.

*Joey Hishon looked fine in his debut. He made a couple of nice passes. Again, no one played well.

*Did I mention that no one on the Avs played well in this game except Semyon Varlamov?

*Can we just clone Varlamov?

*Stefan Elliott needs to be in the lineup for game five. I don’t care if it’s Nate Guenin or Ryan Wilson who sits, but Elliott needs to play. He can’t be any worse than what he saw in game four from Guenin and Wilson and at least he provides an offensive element.

*Where have Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Paul Stastny gone? Yes, Minnesota gets the matchup advantage at home, but it can’t be just that. Great players figure out a way to do something, even if the matchup isn’t exactly favorable. MacKinnon, Landeskog, and Stastny need to be great again.

*I give Matt Duchene a 50/50 chance of playing in game five. I always said that he’ll be back if this series goes seven, but with the way the Avs have played in these last two games, Duchene might rush his comeback. Would it be smart? Maybe not. But Duchene is a competitor and hockey players are always praised more for their toughness than smartness.

*The Avs had 34 shots in 125 minutes in Minnesota. The Wild had 35 shots in periods one and three in game three.

*The Avs got outshot 78-34 in Minnesota. They’re lucky they were in both games because each of them could’ve been over after 20 minutes if not for Varly.

*That’s embarrassing and pathetic.

*The Wild isn’t this much better than the Avs. The Avs are just playing that poorly.

*This is now a best of three series and game five is much more important for the Avs than it is the Wild.

Next Game: Game Five vs. Minnesota Wild on Saturday

Tags: Colorado Avalanche