Saturday, March 24, 2007

1 Point Good, 2 Points Better - Avs Lose Ground

How bad was that game last night? Two minutes from another two points, and Edmonton ties up the game and later wins it in the shootout.

If we were in October, I'd be happy with it. We had over forty shots, got it to a shootout, gave our best player a chance to win it, and came up a bit short. Cool.

But this is March. And wins are all that matter. I know, you've heard it a hundred times.

The Avs played a great game, but in the third period, they went into a defensive shell. And in the NHL these days, that just won't cut it. ATTACK. ATTACK. ATTACK. The Oilers were a team who hadn't won since the deadline. You can't just sit back.

Dwayne Roloson won the game for them in the end. A great save on Joe Sakic. Sakic went to his backhand in the shootout and was robbed by Roloson.

The Avs no longer control their own destiny and the two games against the Flames are now truly must wins.

I'll be in Italy from March 27th to sometime near/on April 8th-9th, so my blogging is done till then.

Sorry bout that.

I will be keeping track of the Avs, of course!

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Calgary Wins, and Keeping Pace isn't Enough

Thanks to a game-tying goal by Craig Conroy with just over three minutes to go in last night's Nashville-Calgary game, the Flames got a much needed point and an extra one in OT. This marks two straight wins for the Flames the top two teams in the conference, Detroit and Nashville.

The Avs have done just as well, beating the Oilers 5-1 on Wednesday with another game against Edmonton tonight.

But keeping pace isn't enough. True, the Avs control their own destiny, but that's assuming we win the rest of our games, including the two remaining against Calgary.

The Flames are the best home team in the league, and it is very likely that we will split the remaining two games. If that scenario were to take place, the Avs would no longer control their own destiny. Of course, the second of the two games happens to be the final game of the regular season.

Focusing on tonight's game, it's one that should be a win for the Avs. But how many times have we said that when the Avs end up on the wrong side of the scoreboard? After getting out to a 5-0 league, the Avs played a reserved third period, and if that carries over into this game, this could very easily turn into Edmonton's first win since the deadline.

And I will be blogging right after the game tonight.

And to all of the people out there reading, spread the word, tell your friends, and leave some comments.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Avs Beat the Sharks - Progression Shown

Another win for the Avs, and we now sit just four points back behind the Flames for the final Playoff spot. Remember, the Oilers did the same thing last year as we're doing this year. It's even more amazing because if we grab the last spot, we might end up playing Nashville in the first round, a team we're 3-0 against this year.

The biggest thing that struck me in tonight's game was the progression of the team. All year long, when the games against San Jose have come up, I knew I was in for a long night of physical hockey and most likely, an Avs loss. And for the most part, I've been right. Before last night's game, the season series between the two teams was 2-1 in favor of the Sharks. In those games, when the Avs were down in the third period, we could never catch up. But the team that came out last night fought the entire way, and somehow made up for it's lack of size to beat one of the most physical clubs in the NHL.

Those are the kind of games you need to play in order to make a Playoff run. The Avs have had countless games where they have had the lead in the third period only to have sloppy play in their own end make it so they couldn't even get a point.

But that's the past, and this may be the most exciting late season run in Avalanche history. Enjoy the show folks.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Avs Win! Lesser Knowns Show Up + Jordan TooToo

Fresh off another Avs win, I couldn't be more thrilled. Now six points out of the Playoffs, the Avs have two game in hands, and actually control their own destiny.

As for the game, the Avs started off with a 2-0 lead, but I think they fell into the trap I talked about before. They got down 3-2, when Joe Sakic scored his second of the game to tie it up. The Avs took the lead in the third period, and Richardson and Stastny capped the game off to win 6-3.

What impresses me most about the Avs is the fact that their third and fourth line players continue to show up. Ben Guite scored the go ahead goal in the third period, only the second of the season. But it's not like he took a perfect pass from Sakic. He blocked the shot, picked up the puck, and took it in alone.

Jeff Finger, since his first few games, has actually matured into a nice, reliable defenseman. When a Coyote shot the puck way after the whistle early on in the game, Finger did what every hockey play should/would do, and took issue with it. Not only is that the sign of a muturing player, it's the sign of a team that really has bonded together.

Mark Rycroft had his second fight of the season with under two minutes to go, after a little shoving match between the two teams.

These are guys who give the team a certain "underdog" feeling, as opposed to the Alex Tanguays and Brad Mays we have once had.
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Now I'm not making it a rant, but that Jordan TooToo hit was disgusting. Just after Chris Simon gets suspended and we hear all of this talk about disrespect amongst the players, you'd think they'd be a little bit more responsible. If Bettman is smart, he starts giving every head shot an indefinite suspension.

The video has not yet been uploaded to YouTube, but I'll post it in my next entry. Actually, just look on the National Hockey League website tomorrow. It'll be a top story.

And at least ESPN will have something to talk about between March Madness and Rodeo.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Playoff Push - Eight Points [Rant 1 - Points for a Loss]

As of now, only one thing matters for the Avs. Winning. With thirteen games to go, they find themselves eight points behind Calgary for the final Playoff spot. After a bad loss to Dallas last night, Calgary gave the Avs a game in hand which Colorado will try to capitalize on when they visit Phoenix on Saturday.

With the Avs being 6-0-1, they need to be careful not to overlook the Coyotes. A loss in this game kills all of the momentum they have built up and it lets Calgary off the hook.

Now that I've told you what you know, here's my rant.

Why is hockey the only game that awards a point for a loss? In basketball, the most boring sport on the face of the Earth, they play until a winner has been decided. Same in baseball. This isn't a kids league. COMPETITIVE sports is the key word, and we don't need to award a team from playing a good sixty minutes. A team could potentially not win a single game all season and still have 82 points.

You also have to ask yourself: If the NHL wants to put the excitement back into the game, then why do they allow teams like Minnesota to have the benefit of shutting down the game with 10 minutes to go, and then going for the win in OT? Take away the one point for a loss and Minnesota can't take that chance anymore.

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About the Blog

Welcome to "The Avslova Factor", a name inspired by the very popular show on Fox News. People visiting the blog either know me as GEO or avslova and probably know that I'm a huge NHL and Colorado Avalanche fan. Since two of my favorite things are ranting and hockey, I figured I may as well combine them. Over the next few months, I'll be talking about issues and events relating to the Avalanche and the National Hockey League. I will be doing game reactions after each Avs games, and those will be posted the next day. Hopefully somebody will feel like reading it, and I do welcome your comments. Like I said, I love to debate. The banner at the top was the one used for "Avalanche Warning" but until we start working on that again, I'm going to use an edited version. Also, if you want to hear more of my views, or other views from around the globe, check out http://talkinsports.proboards32.com

I'll be formatting each post by giving a summary or just my thoughts on something going on in the league or Colorado, and end with a rant.

Enjoy.

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