Heading into Saturday's game against Edmonton, the Oilers trailed the Avs by five points. Few teams have been hotter than Edmonton, a team that has scraped its way back into the playoff chase over the past few weeks.
This was a must-win for the Oilers, thus making it a near must-win for the Avalanche.
But before you could blink, the Oilers had put three first period goals past Jose Theodore, who was pulled quickly for Peter Budaj.
After two really dismal periods of play, with the score 4-1 and almost a sure Edmonton win, the Avalanche decided to show up, scoring three quick goals in the third.
With the score tied 4-4, it looked as if the Avs might be able to pull off a miracle, when don't you know it, Budaj didn't cover up a puck and Edmonton took back the lead. The Oilers extended that league 6-4 a few minutes later and it looked as if the Avs were cooked until Colorado scored with two minutes remaining.
However, an empty-net goal later, the Avs were going home in shame, losing to the Oilers 7-5 and extending their losing streak to four.
Joe Sakic registered assist #1,000 on a second period goal by Tyler Arnason. He registered #1,001 in the third, setting up Wojtek Wolski.
Goal scorers for the Avalanche included Arnason, Salei, Wolski, Hejduk, and Liles.
The only players with an even or better +/-? Stastny, Liles, Salei, Hejduk, Brunette, and Sakic all managed to finish even.
Quenville's PP Blunders
Quenville needs to smarten up and tell his players to start shooting from the point on the power play. How many times do we watch this team work down low for 30 seconds only to stuff one wide or to fumble the puck and have it cleared? It's time to dish it back to Liles or Salei and have they start shooting.
Because teams collapse towards the net on the penalty kill, what works 5-on-5 doesn't always work with the man advantage. Salei has shown he can shoot from the point and Smyth has shown he can deflect those shots. Lets start putting a plan in action.
Quenville's Goalie Blunder's
I understand Jose Theodore is the #1 and the hot hand, but he hasn't exactly been solid the past few games. Peter Budaj's career record against Edmonton is 9-1. Think he should have been given the start?
Three Stars of the Game
1. Joe Sakic (Two assists including #1,000)
2. Ruslan Salei (20+ minutes of ice time, three shots, 1 goal)
The Avs will take their four-game losing streak to Calgary TONIGHT at 9:30 PM EST.
On the Bubble
The Avs still control their own destiny but they better start winning again.
6. Calgary - 88 Points (7 Games Remaining)
7. Vancouver - 86 Points (7 Games Remaining)
8. COLORADO - 84 Points (6 Games Remaining)
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9. Nasvhille - 82 Points (6 Games Remaining)
10. Edmonton - 81 Points (6 Games Remaining)
Northwest Division Leader: Minnesota Wild - 89 Points - 6 Games Remaining
Tonight's Key Games
Minnesota vs Edmonton
If Colorado pulls out a victory tonight against the Flames, the Oilers must win this game to keep pace. Falling five points back with five to play could be detrimental to their playoff chances.
In honor of Q possibly getting fired if the Avs miss the playoffs, here's a video of him in the good old days.