Avs Blow It – But the Candle Flames On


3. 103. Final. 4. 112

Tonight was a brutal loss for the Colorado Avalanche. No other way to put it, and having to assemble a cohesive and internet appropriate recap and reaction is going to be difficult. I’d much rather just scowl and fume.

The game was a roller coaster of emotions, especially late, that ultimately ended with the Avalanche getting a face-full of barf from the kid who ate one too many chili dogs three seats up on the ride. Loop-da-loop!

The first period allowed everyone to get a nice nap in, so they’d be nice and fresh for the dramatics that would soon go down. The Avalanche were out-shot 7-5, in a real defensive struggle. Both teams did a good job in defensive coverage, and zone-exits. The neutral zone was an area where many entered, but few emerged.

The second period was a fantastic frame for the Avalanche, although it was Calgary who scored first just 2:20 in. The Flames got on the board on a nice goal by Dennis Wideman, who jumped up in the play, and drove hard to the front of the net. He was rewarded with a slick feed from Johnny Gaudreau, which he was able to chip home from the doorstep.

The Avalanche responded with an appropriate amount of pressure. The Flames did a decent job of limiting the Avs’ chances, unit a 2-on-1 break resulted in a Matt Duchene goal for the Avs at the 13:23 mark. Ryan O’Reilly did a nice job of selling the shot, and providing the cupcake, which Duchene frosted and tucked in the top shelf for safekeeping.

The Avalanche got another goal just one minute later from newly branded forward, Nick Holden. The play was set up by Zach Redmond, who had a fantastic game.

2-1 Avs heading to the third.

The lead didn’t last long, because Tyson Barrie gave the Flames an early Christmas present behind the net. Barrie tried to make a cute pass to Duchene behind the net, which was easily intercepted, and dished out front. Glencross didn’t miss.

Then the former Flame scored the prettiest goal of the season. No, not Jarome Iginla. Alex Tanguay completely undressed the Flames d-man, Kris Russell, on a 1-on-1 rush, and then displayed incredible patience to out-wait the goaltender and finish it off.

The feelings were bubbly at this point. A beautiful goal , that seemed likely to be the game winner.

Instead the Flames gave the Avs a taste of their own medicine. With the goaltender pulled, Dennis Wideman scored his 2nd of the game, and 10th of the season (impressive for a d-man) with just 1:17 to go in the game. Razzam Frazzum Suckam Frazzum — We’re going to overtime.

The OT period started off with a bang, and Varlamov having to make a huge save on a Flames rush just 6 seconds in. He was up to the task, but the Flames kept the assault on.

1:47 into the period, Sean Monahan made a play that was anything but boring, by toe-dragging a puck from in front of the net that Varly thought he had covered for a clear shot. Monahan didn’t miss. Avs lose.

Here are some of my quick thoughts and reactions overall:

  • Tyson Barrie didn’t have his best game. He had a critical turnover that led the Flames first goal in the third period, and was a negative factor on two additional Flames’ goals. Barrie has been solid in his own zone of late, and you are willing to live with a few mistakes on D from time to time, as long as he brings the offense. But the mistakes he made tonight were killer.
  • Was nice having Varlamov back, and he made some huge saves, but just couldn’t come up with that one extra save the Avs needed tonight. Avs actually did a nice job of limiting the Flames to 25 shots, only 22 of which came in regulation.
  • Alex Tanguay‘s goal is going to be one of the best, if not the best, you will see from an Avalanche player this season. It’s been fun watching him at practice, because he tries that little move where he fades toward the corner, and tries to out-wait the goalie all the time. It’s working out for him! Even more impressive to do it with the spaceman helmet.
  • The Avalanche ultimately really blew this game tonight. They get a point, but they had two leads in the third period, and lost them both. A team trying to make up ground in the standings, can’t afford to have these types of games, at all, for the rest of the season. If they do, they’re hosed.
  • Hard to tell definitively if Briere touched the puck or not on that critical disallowed goals for the Avalanche. So, by default, doesn’t that mean the call on the ice of “good goal” should have stood? Most Avs fans will certainly think so.
  • The Calgary Flames logo looks like a flaming toilet bowl lid.