Sunday, December 23, 2007

Avs Beat Nucks, Improve to 15-3 at Home

Some games are just fun to watch. This was one of them. It was nice to FINALLY see some things in this game that the Avs have lacked for awhile.

It was a 3-1 win in favor of Colorado, but look at some of these notes:

Cody McLeod may as well be credited with Colorado's first goal. His check in Vancouver's zone set the play up so Marek Svatos could put the puck behind Luongo.

With the game tied 1-1, Cody McCormick laid a huge hit on Ryan Kessler. He followed this up with the GWG a few minutes later on a beautiful shot that got past Luongo on the stick side. McCormick was physical all night long and this kid may have finally cracked the lineup for good.

Andrew Brunette's insurance goal in the third period was a thing of beauty. Planting himself in front of the net, Brunette used "Gordan Bombay's" triple deke to beat Luongo. It was, perhaps, one of his finest goals that he has ever scored.

Peter Budaj is now the #1 goalie again. His sixth straight start resulted in another win. With 21 saves, Budaj has been playing some great hockey.

Ben Guite, Ian Laperriere, and Cody McCormick make up the best fourth line this team has seen in awhile. Not only did they start the game for the Avs, they also finished it. They were consistently put out against the Sedins and contribute energy, grit, and great defensive hockey.

John-Michael Liles's 21+ minutes of ice time tonight was well-deserved. He has played his two best defensive games the past two games and consistently jumped up into the play tonight, taking calculated risks each time.

Special teams were a huge factor against Vancouver. The penalty killing (6/6) and power play (1-6) came through at the biggest of times.

This win helped move the Avs into FIRST PLACE in the Northwest Division before the Christmas break. They are doing all of this without their stars - Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth and are playing some of their best hockey right now.

The Avs have gone in and beaten two of the best goaltenders in the game (Luongo and King Henrik) and have tons of momentum going into their next game.

Three Stars of the Game

1. Cody McCormick (Talk about a hardworker. That goal was the biggest he's ever scored)
2. John-Michael Liles (An assist, tons of ice time, and starting to show some leadership)
3. Peter Budaj (21 saves, outdeuled Luongo)

Next Up

Hold on to your seats folks! The Detroit Red Wings are next up for the Avs as Colorado tries to keep busting out the wins. Detroit has been far and away the best team in the league this year, but Colorado is playing very good hockey right now. Look for Budaj to get his seventh straight start.

The game will be on Thursday, Colorado's first after the Christmas freeze.

Another great night in Avalanche Country!

Video Fix

A new feature on the blog! In future editions, you'll see more current action, but lets just start out with an old favorite! - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

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