Sunday, November 4, 2007

Refs Awful, PP Worse, Luongo Great, Sakic Unlucky, Hannan Bad, Svatos Great, Avs Average, Game Dreadful [Loss vs Canucks]

You know how you're about to fall off a mountain and suddenly your alarm clock goes off? It was just a dream, right? That's what this game feels like...but it's worse. It actually happened.

Despite outshooting the Canucks 32-22 in the game, the Avs lost their first home game this season, 4-2. But instead of giving you a game summary, lets gothrough the title.

Refs Awful: They stunk. I don't know if it's easier to count the actual penalties, the non-calls, or the calls they actually made. It's all too much of a blur. But I'll put it you this way. The Canucks had TWO 5-on-3's (and long ones!) and a 4-on-3, while both teams had a combined total of 14 penalties. Both goals the Canucks scored in the third period came as a direct result of a bad call by the refs. Don't get me wrong, I hate to blame the refs. But this was one of the most poorly officiated games I've ever seen.

PP Worse: Despite the refs being awful, the Avs did have six powerplay opportunities. How many did they convert? Yep, just one. Lets go through some names. Sakic, Stastny, Smyth, Wolski, Brunette, Hlinka, Svatos, Liles, Hejduk, and Arnason. Good names? You bet. The Avs are up there with the best teams in the league when it comes to foward depth and talent. Why can't we score on the power play? Better question: Why isn't it showing signs of improvement?

Luongo Great: Giving credit where credit is due, Roberto Luongo made 29 saves tonight. In an Avalanche powerplay with four minutes to go in the game, he made some amazing saves on Sakic, Wolski, and Svatos. Excellent work by the Nucks goalie.

Sakic Unlucky: Maybe not unlucky, but it's just weird that Sakic's wrist shot isn't that successful this year. It's not like it hasn't withstood the test of time. But when you see a wide open net and the puck is on Sakic's stick, you expect a goal.

Hannan Bad: Both penalties he took in the game were for holding. When a defenseman is called for a holding penalty, it means he was out of position. There is no excuse for that.

Svatos Great: Two goals in tonight's game and Svatos is officially back to his former self. He now has the team lead in goals with two and fought until the final second. (He scored with ten seconds left in the game.)

Avs Average: Sure, they outshot the Canucks 14-4 in the second period, but they didn't really show up until the third. The first period was pathetic, easily the worst period of the season so far. Just bad. The Canucks aren't a good team this year. They're mediocre at best and the Avs let them into The Can and lost the game. It's a bad loss. We need to bounce back.

Game Dreadful: You know when the adjective "great" is used with an opposing goalie and the adjectives "awful," "unlucky," and "bad" are used with Avalanche players then the game was dreadful.

Peter Budaj? I don't want to judge him for tonight's game. It was just too disgusting.

Shorthanded Goal: The Avs did get their first shorthanded goal of the season. It was scored by none other than Jeff Finger who is quickly becoming a blog favorite. Finger took a pass in Vancouver's zone, made a slick move past a defenseman, and put a backhand into the top corner!

Joe Sakic: He was literally being triple shifted late in the third period. Interesting strategy by Quenville.

Sedin Twins: Combined for four or five points tonight. I'm not looking it up because I can't stand to look at the box score anymore

John-Michael Liles: He can't clear the pucks. One of the only Avs I wouldn't mind seeing traded this early in the season. (Literally, he's one of the only ones I would be upset about if we could manage to get a defensive defenseman in return.)

Kurt Sauer's Delay of Game Penalty: Horrible. Actually, it was pretty funny. Shooting it over the glass with no one on you? But hey, at least his name isn't McCabe.

Power Play: Why don't the Avs take shots from the point? In the last powerplay sequence, there were eight guys down low. One player...an Avalanche player, was at the point. Why not let him put it on goal?

Three Stars of the Game

1. Marek Svatos (Two goals, a jump in his step all night, and the kid went to the net!)
2. Jeff Finger (His first time in this spot, as Finger not only scored a shorthanded goal, but managed not to get called on an invisible foul!)
3. Zamboni Driver (The guy did a great job between periods to make sure the ice surface was nice and smooth. Plus, no other Av really deserves it. The question is, how many more times will the Zamboni driver have a chance to get some points?)

Next Up

The Avs have a stretch of 15 Northwest Division games and their second one is on Monday against the Calgary Flames. As we all know, Avs-Flames games can get crazy, so as long as the Avs can come out fast and furious, we should be ok.

Who will be starting? Who knows?! It should be Theodore, but what do I know?

Northwest Division Standings (Record)

1. Minnesota - 18 Points (8-4-2)
2. Colorado - 16 Points (8-5-0)
3. Calgary - 15 Points (6-4-3)
4. Vancouver - 12 Points (6-8-0)
5. Edmonton - 10 Points (5-9-0)

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