One word comes to mind after witnessing this game.
To think that the Avs were up 3-1 going into the third period, Pascal Leclaire left the game in the third period, and momentum was completely on our side. It seems like such a long time ago.
Despite goals by Finger, Hejduk, and Wolski to give the Avs a 3-1 lead, the Blue Jackets managed to tie the game and eventually take the lead, 4-3, with about 5 minutes to go. They didn't hold onto it for long, as Scott Hannan, who I'll get to later, managed to tie it up. Of course, during these stretches, teams tend to have no luck. Columbus marched right back down the ice and took the lead for the final time. 5-4. We lose. Disgusting.
But hey, it was a great game. By hockey standards, it's a game that should be shown to a national audience and used to market its potential.
He's a shutdown defenseman. He has one true job - take out the other team's best player. In this case, it's Rick Nash and on his two goals, Hannan didn't do his job. He either went to the puck carrier (or who he thought was the puck carrier) and didn't take care of Nash. Both times, Nash put the puck in the back of the net.
For a guy who was supposed to be a big time player in Colorado, he certainly has exceeded expectations...or even met them. Forget +/-. It's Hannan who consistently turns the puck over at the blueline, a feat which lead to ANOTHER goal in this game.
Cody McCormick got into a fight tonight. Yippee. Maybe it means we won't need Parker in the coming weeks.
I haven't exactly stated my position yet, but I'm coming very close. Blowing games like this - there's no positive for anybody. We'll see how Q gets them to respond against the Flyers, but Q is absolutely killing our goalies right now and Giguere needs to start looking around. A Pat Burns or Larry Robinson wouldn't be a bad place to start.
Hejduk Stays Hot
Two more points for Hejduk tonight. Team MVP thus far.
Player very well most of the night. I actually missed two of the goals because the feed on Center Ice went in and out, but on the three goals I did see, there was really nothing that could have been done.
To be fair, the Avs did work hard most of the night. They scored on the powerplay and will hopefully try and rally around this loss and try and go on a run.
Laperriere and Svatos Return
Both players were in the lineup and played pretty well. Svatos had a nice chance in the second period and hasn't appeared to have lost any steps. Lappy wasn't heard from most of the game.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Paul Stastny (Another multipoint night, and it's even more impressive since he's playing as the #1 center right now)
2. Milan Hejduk (He's a regular in the Three Stars right now. A bright spot)
3. Karlis Skrastins (Played well tonight, jumped up into the play, and made key plays which turned out not to matter)
The Avs return to home ice to play my second least favorite team, the Philadelphia Flyers. This one has personal meaning to me and I'll have a special post about it on Friday.
Tough night, Avs fans.