Iginla Inches Closer To 30 Goals: Storylines From Avalanche Win In Vancouver


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Game Recap

The game was scoreless after the first period, which was a welcome change for the Avalanche from last night. Those with short-term memory loss shall be reminded that the Avs fell behind the lowly Oilers 3-0 in the first last night.

The second period was good to the Avalanche last night, outscoring the Oilers 2-0. It proved to be even more delicious tonight, as the burgundy and white outscored the maroon and cream 3-0. The Canucks fell to 0-3 when donning their retro maroon jerseys.

Jarome Iginla opened the scoring, for his 26th of the season. Gabe Landeskog did the heavy lifting, circling from behind the net to the slot to get a shot away. Iggy was parked dangerously close to the handicapped blue, and his screen + deflection led to the goal. Tyson Barrie got his 37th assist of the season, and he is now 2 points shy of 50 on the season!

It always seems like whenever Iggy gets one, Tanguay does too. Tonight was no different, as Mr. Tangs twanged twine for his 22nd of the year. Ryan O’Reilly got an assist to extend his point streak to 7 games.

Gabe Landeskog got a power play goal late in the period, after a clinical set-up on the man-advantage by the Avs. Where in the world has that been all season? O’Reilly received a pass below goal-line, quickly found Tanguay in a soft spot out front, and Tangs whipped a pass across the front of the net to Landy on the far side. Tic-Tac-GOAL.

Vancouver came out swinging in the 3rd, outshooting the Avalanche 18-7. The Canucks got one of the goals back just fifteen seconds in, thanks to a Yannick Weber goal, but they couldn’t get them all back.

This is because Reto Berra shut the door. You did read this right. Berra was fantastic in his first start in who knows how long, stopping 33 of the 34 shots he faced.

John Mitchell added an insurance empty netter to seal the deal, thanks to a Matt Duchene pick-pocket in the neutral zone.


1. Jarome Iginla 

Iginla scored his 26th goal of the season, and now has 8 games to score 4 goals and reach 30! I think he’s going to do it, and there is good precedent that he will.

2. Ryan O’Reilly

I really want to take a moment to swoon on my boy, the Factor, Ryan O’Reilly. ROR is ROARing his way to the finish. His beard might as well not be a beard — it’s more of a mane. ROAR.

O’Reilly has now recorded a point in 7 straight games (4G, 7A). He has multi-point games in 3 straight. In fact, since Valentine’s day, there have been 5 games in which O’Reilly hasn’t recorded a point.

Ryan O’Reilly’s beard might as well not be a beard — it’s more of a mane. ROAR

That’s points in 14 of 19 games. He has 22 points overall during the hot-streak (4G, 18 assists). Playing this well for roughly a quarter of the season is almost beyond a hot streak. It’s bordering on general awesomeness.

I’d be lion if I said I didn’t want this guy to be in an Avalanche sweater forever. Please, hockey gods, make it happen.

3. Reto Berra

Hey hey hey!! Reto Berra got his first start in ages, and he made a statement. Mostly I’m just really happy for Berra, because this has certainly been a trying season for the Swiss netminder.

Avalanche fans should be stoked, because Berra playing well is nothing but good news for us. It’s good news all around really. I don’t want people getting ahead of themselves, because Berra still has a lot to prove in showing he can be consistent. But him playing well opens up options.

It’s still very likely that he will be back at training camp next year, and will look to earn a shot at beating out Calvin Pickard. For Berra’s sake, having an impressive couple of starts down the stretch might get him a look from a couple of other teams around the league. The Avalanche will have a hard time not having Pickard in Denver next season. Berra might just be playing for a chance to get traded to somewhere he might have a shot at playing. If isn’t traded, I think he probably gets beat out by Picks and ends up in the minors next year.

Anyways, I took a detour down analytical lane there. Tonight, Berra can just have a beer and enjoy the win. He earned it!

Next: Avs' Season: What to Blame for Lack of Success?

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