Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Avs Jump to 7th (Win vs Kings/Canucks) - Forsberg Returns/Svatos and Smyth Out

The first two games in March were eventful ones. But both of them for very different reasons.

Los Angeles

After LA scored the first goal of the game, the Avs came roaring back thanks to two Ryan Smyth goals.

Ruslan Salei also got his first goal as an Av and Brunette and Sakic scored as well.

The Avs won 5-2.

But...

Injuries

First it was Svatos. Cross-checked into the boards, Svatos is listed as day-to-day but given his injury history, it doesn't look that good.

A few minutes later, Smyth was checked near the benches when his helmet popped off and he hit the ice with a thud. According to sources, he's out for the season with a torn MCL. No word on a possible return for the playoffs.

Three Stars of the Game

1. Ryan Smyth (Two goals, one assist before going down)
2. Jordan Leopold (Three assists - showing us his offensive upside)
3. Ruslan Salei (Great defense, great goal)

Foote Assist

Congratulations to Adam Foote who got his first point as an Av this season - an assist.


Vancouver

The Canucks were tied with the Avs in the standings but had a game in hand to bolster their confidence.

It was a very tightly played game. Wolski and Parker were both in the lineup.

The Avs won 2-1 on goals by Stastny and Liles but the big story was...

Foppa Returns

Greeted with a standing ovation and a tribute video, Forsberg played on a line with Sakic and Hejduk all night and helped quarterback the powerplay.

Forsberg played for 19:57 and had three shots and helped create twice as many scoring chances. He was effective, playing his old physical style and took a few licks along the way. It's clear that teams will target him in the coming games.

Three Stars of the Game

1. John-Michael Liles (Game-winning goal)
2. Andrew Brunette (Two assists, including a great pass on the powerplay goal to Liles)
3. Jose Theodore (26 saves, including one with at the last second)

Next Up

The Avs will face the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night. The Ducks hold a 2-1 edge in the season series but have yet to see the Forsberg/Foote/Salei driven Avs.

Streak

The Avs are currently on a four-game winning streak.

On the Bubble

There have been some big changes over the past couple of days.

6. Calgary - 79 Points (15 Games Remaining)
7. COLORADO - 76 POINTS (15 Games Remaining)
8. Nashville - 76 Points (15 Games Remaining)
9. Vancouver - 74 Points (16 Games Remaining)
10. Phoenix - 71 Points (16 Games Remaining)
Northwest Division Leader: Minnesota Wild - 79 Points - 15 Games Remaining

A big fall by the Canucks puts the Predators in the playoffs while the Avs have kept pace with Calgary. They still play plenty of games against all of their divisional foes and still have a shot at taking the whole division

Tonight's Key Games

Phoenix at Dallas

A Coyotes loss would be devestating to a team already five points out of the 8th spot.

Go Avs!

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