Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote were both on the ice but they couldn't help the rest of the Colorado Avalanche put the puck in the back of the net. The chances were there and the open nets were abundant but whether it be bad pass, a diving player, or getting "handcuffed", the Avs couldn't build on Joe Sakic's power play goal and eventually fell to the Minnesota Wild.
A few things to talk about:
The Power Play
The Avs have five power play goals in their last four games. There has been an amazing improvement and assuming the Avalanche do make the playoffs, special teams will be crucial. It is worthy to note that the Avs let up a power play goal, as well.
Where Does Forsberg Play?
We've mostly seen Forsberg play with Joe Sakic and David Jones thus far. However, with just two assists since his return and Jones playing better during the times Forsberg was OUT, there needs to be a change. I suggest these line combinations:
Sakic and Smyth had been developing chemistry before the injuries earlier this season and does anyone actually forget the AMP line? (Alex Tanguay, Milan Hejduk, Peter Forsberg)
There's no doubt Sakic has been playing very well with Jones so now it's just about find that second winger. If not Smyth, perhaps someone like Andrew Brunette would fit the bill.
I'm not one to blame games on referees, but this was a really bad game for the refs. Mick McGeough was the game's main ref with a rookie linesman. The linesman did ok, but McGeough made one call in particular that Avalanche fans are still shouting about.
Taken down in the corner, Forsberg was clearly interefered with and the linesman behind the play put his hand up. When the Wild touched the puck, the whistle was blown. But wait! McGeough was pointing at Forsberg!
Despite his hand never being raised, McGeough decided to call a penalty on Forsberg for diving. Foppa's reputation as a "diver" is well-known but McGeough is required to put his hand up if he sees a penalty. He can't just call it because the other referee called one on the other team.
I hope Stephen Walkom looks into the situation for a second. Imagine this happening in the playoffs where a power play chance can literally win the Stanley Cup for a team.
One More for 1,000!
Joe Sakic is just one assists away from 1,000. We'll see if Joe can do it next game!
Three Stars of the Game
1. Jose Theodore (28 saves on 30 shots, bounced back well)
2. Andrew Brunette (Hard work lead to Sakic goal, 100% on every shift)
The Avs will battle the Calgary Flames on THURSDAY NIGHT at 9 PM EST. The Avs lead the season series 4-2.
On the Bubble
With the win, the Wild have taken over the NW Division lead while no less than three teams are in a tie for second.
6. Vancouver - 84 Points (9 Games Remaining)
7. Calgary - 84 Points (9 Games Remaining)
8. COLORADO - 84 POINTS (8 Games Remaining)
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9. Nashville - 80 Points (8 Games Remaining)
10 Edmonton - 79 Points (8 Games Remaining)
Northwest Division Leader: Minnesota Wild - 86 Points - 9 Games Remaining
You're reading it correctly. Edmonton has battled their way back into the playoff race. Their chances are thin but they sit just five points back of a spot.
Tonight's Key Games
Minnesota vs San Jose
The Wild run into the hottest team in the NHL - the Sharks, who are 9-0-1 in their last 10 and unbeaten in their last 12. With a win, the Sharks move just three points back of the Detroit Red Wings for the best record in the league. A win for the Wild would obviously be huge to keep that advantage of having a game in hand over the Avalanche.
To ensure a playoff spot, the Avs are going to have to give 110% the rest of the way. Maybe they should listen to this guy: