Sunday, January 13, 2008

Svatos Shines in Third, Completes Comeback

"Not all wins are created equal."

That quote is certainly true about the win the Avs picked up over Carolina last night. Completely outplaying them in the first period, the Avs couldn't put the puck past Cam Ward and even after outshooting the Canes 14-7, the Avs went into the locker room with a 2-0 deficit on their hands. Both goals were soft ones which Theodore should have had.

In the second, the top line FINALLY woke up as Milan Hejduk scored a goal after a long stretch where he just couldn't register a point. In the game, Cody McLeod started with Hejduk and Stastny, but that position was eventually taken over by Andrew Brunette, who had an assist on the goal.

The Avs couldn't get the game-tying goal because Carolina struck back just three minutes later to make it 3-1. Not to be outdone, Paul Stastny a beautiful goal by picking up a rebound, holding onto it, and putting it by Ward.

However, for the second time in the game, it took just three minutes for Cory Stillman to give the Canes a two goal lead (again) and the score remained 4-2 going into the third.

Enter the biggest period of the Avs season so far.

It took ten minutes, but Cody McLeod, who has been one of the best Avs in his first 11 games made a beautiful fake from behind the net and caught Ward cheating to the right side. He wrapped the puck around and put it in the back of the net.

Three minutes later, it wasn't the Canes, but the Avs who scored the goal. Marek Svatos continued his wonderful hot streak as he scored yet another goal from the front of the net.

With under seven mintues to go, the game was tied. The Avs needed someone to step up, and scoring his second goal of the night was Marek Svatos. Where was the goal scored? The front of the net.

Svatos is probably one of the best players in the game at getting to the puck down low and putting it behind the goaltender. For such a small guy, he spends all of his time near the crease and the hard work is paying it.

On the goal, Arnason got his second asssist of the night while Wolski also picked one up.

The Avs hung on to win the game, 5-4.

Turning Point

In the middle of the third period, Jose Theodore robbed the Hurricanes in front of the Avs net by making a terrific glove save. Props to Theodore.

Very Weird

In the past three games, Theodore has given up 1 goal (loss), 2 goals (loss), and 4 goals (win).

Maybe the key to the season is to give up more goals and make the offense work harder?

Whatever works, right?

Top Players Show Up

Common theme to the win? Milan Hejduk and Paul Stastny combining for three points in the game. That's the kind of production the Avs are going to need to win games over the next few months.

Three Stars of the Game

1. Marek Svatos (Also NHL.com's second star, Svatos has been Colorado's MVP the last two weeks)
2. Paul Stastny (A goal and an assist as Stastny was all over the puck last night)
3. Cody McLeod (Got the big third period goal and added his first career NHL assist)

Next Up

The Avs go right back on the ice TONIGHT against the Florida Panthers. Jose Theodore will get the start.

And Avalanche fans will get a chance to see old buddy Brett McLean. It should be a fun one.

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