Saturday, April 12, 2008
When Mikko Koivu scored with just over two minutes to go, my heart dropped. The Avs were so close to getting it into another OT and now they were going to lose like this.
But after a Wild penalty and an extra attacker, Quenville told his players be strong on the walls. After the faceoff, Joe Sakic did just that, keeping the play alive as the power play got set up. With less than one minute remaining, John-Michael Liles, who returned to the game after almost getting killed by Boogard, took a shot from the point which Milan Hejduk deflected into the goal.
But lightning would not strike twice. Knowing they had to end this game quickly, Keith Carney scored in overtime to tie the series at 1.
However, this game revealed many things.
The Wild defensive pairs are completely beaten up. They were getting very winded down the stretch and with all of their injuries, it's going to be tough to play in a long series. They were turning the puck over almost every shift but the Avs just couldn't capitalize.
The Avs have 5,280 reasons to sweep at home on Monday and Tuesday. Playing in back-to-back games, the depleted defense of the Wild is going to have a tough time adjusting to the Mile High air. Add in the fact that the Wild were much worse on the road than they were at home and things actually look pretty good for the Avalanche.
Jeff Finger did another outstanding job on Marian Gaborik. In fact, all of the defensemen did. Gabby was left off the score sheet again.
Peter Forsberg was a monster last night, scoring the first goal of the game on a nice poke check by Jeff Finger. If Forsberg can get hot, then the Avs will be in every game.
Among the other advantages at home, the Avalanche will be able to make the last line change prior to faceoffs. This will allow Quenville to put the Forsberg-Stastny-Hejduk line against whomever he chooses.
Speaking of Joel Quenville, another fine coaching job last night. The play at the end happened because the players executed what he drew up.
Jose Theodore has proved he'll be consistent. He probably should have had Koivu's goal, but Theodore still played extremely well. He was matched by Nilas Backstrom the whole way.
Possible injury for the Avs is David Jones. No word on how he's doing.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Peter Forsberg (A goal, an assist, creating chances everywhere, playing physical)
2. Adam Foote (Valuable minutes, relatively good job on the defensive end)
3. Jose Theodore (Stopped 14/16 in third period, kept them in through the second)
Game three of the series will be played in Colorado, on Monday at 10 PM EST.
Last Night...In The Playoffs
(2) Pittsburgh defeated (7) Ottawa
5-3 (Pittsburgh leads series 2-0)
(3) Washington defeated (6) Philadelphia
5-4 (Washinton leads series 2-0)
(5) New York defeated (4) New Jersey
2-1 (New York leads series 2-0)
Tonight...In The Playoffs
(1) Detroit vs (8) Nashville
Game 2 - 2 PM EST - NBC
Detroit leads series 1-0
(1) Montreal vs (8) Boston
Game 2 - 7 PM EST - Versus
Montreal leads series 1-0
(4) Anaheim vs (5) Dallas
Game 2 - 10 PM EST - Versus
Dallas leads series 1-0
Try To Watch
All of the games are on national TV, but if you had to pick one, it would be Anaheim-Dallas. The Ducks are down 1-0 and should come out hitting hard. It's bound to be a close one.
Watch Alex Ovechkin score his first ever playoff goal - a game winner.
Posted by Geoff Rosenthal at 1:19 PM [Permalink]