Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Final Score: Colorado Avalanche – 1 San Jose Sharks – 5
*This one didn’t start too well for the Avalanche. Reto Berra gave up two goals on the first five shots and was yanked by Patrick Roy in favor of Jean Sebastien Giguere.
*It was an uphill climb for the Avs from there on out and they just couldn’t work their way to even.
*The scoreboard doesn’t reflect how close this game really was though.
*I figured the team would get off to a slow start given that they played last night in Vancouver and didn’t arrive in San Jose until late in the afternoon. When that happens, you need your goalie to bail you out. Berra did the opposite of that.
*I’m not ready to write off Berra just yet. We’ll see what an off-season with Francous Allaire does, but he certainly doesn’t look worth a second round pick right now.
*On the flip side, Alex Stalock was very good in this game. He looked shaky early, giving up a lot of rebounds, but he settled down and stopped all but one bang-bang play where the defense hung him out to dry.
*Stalock’s biggest save came on P.A. Parenteau after the Avs had killed off a penalty. Parenteau walked in alone but Stalock made the save to keep it a 2-1 game.
*Giguere did his best to keep the team in the game, but an early third period deflection goal by Martin Havlat pretty much ended things.
*Havlat added two more in the third for a natural hat trick.
*Possibly bigger than the loss is the injury to Tyson Barrie. He took a late hit Jason Demers in the first period and left the game with an upper body injury that could certainly be a concussion. I don’t know if Demers were be suspended, but he probably should be.
*If the Avs don’t have Barrie for any period of time, that’s a huge blow to their defense. He’s not only the teams best offensive defenseman, but he’s also very reliable defensively and, as we’ve learned this year, comes up with big goals.
*John Mitchell was scratched in this one. I don’t believe it’s anything serious. Chances are that, because of Parenteau’s return, Roy wanted to rest Mitchell, who played a tough game against Vancouver and was stung after blocking a shot.
*Patrick Roy pulled Jiggy with 6 minutes remaining, down 3. It didn’t work. But it sends a message that there is no quit in the coach, which means that there is no quit in the team.
*We can’t win them all, Avs fans. This was always going to be a tough game given the travel circumstance and the fact that San Jose is really good, especially against the Avs on home ice. Stalock played outstanding and Berra didn’t give us a chance early. Things happen.
*Look at it this way: Last year at this time, we were praying to win the lottery. This year, we’re gearing up for the playoffs.
*The St. Louis Blues lost to the Dallas Stars, meaning the Avs are still in first place in the division. Both teams play on Sunday. The Blues play at 12:30 while the Avs don’t play until 8. So before the puck drops in Anaheim, the Avs will know what they need to do.
*It’s still possible for the Avs to win the West. If Anaheim loses in regulation to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, the Avs vs. Ducks game will be for first place in the West.
*My guess is that Semyon Varlamov starts on Sunday, no matter what is at stake. It’s possible that if the Avs have nothing to play for (meaning the Ducks would get a point against the Kings and the Blues would lose to the Red Wings), it’s possible that Giguere gets the start in Anaheim since it would be a fitting send off, but I think Roy wants Varlamov to be warm heading into the playoffs.
Next Game: at Anaheim Ducks on Sunday