Saturday, October 18, 2008

Raycroft 2-0 - Avs Over Stars 5-4

When Brendan Morrow scored in the middle of the third, officially eliminating a 5-2 third period lead, I'm not going to lie - I almost punched a hole through my wall. How many times have we seen the Avs blow a big lead during a game? Way too often. Luckily, this wasn't one of those times.

After a lengthy review, it was ruled that Morrow hit the puck into the net with his hand; thus, the game remained 5-4.

Up until the third period, things were looking pretty good for the Avs.

Milan Hejduk scored two goals, officially making him the hottest play on the Avs.
Darcy Tucker scored his first goal as a member of the Avalanche.
Ryan Smyth scored a goal from the front of the net - a place he should be every time he's on the ice. Finally, he's being utilized correctly!
Tyler Arnason scored his first of the season. Not a typo. Tyler Arnason scored. Sure, it was mostly due to the fact that Turco misplayed the puck and Arnason was handed an empty net, but you have to give credit where some credit is due.
Joe Sakic recorded two more assists. That's five straight games in which Sakic has had a point to start the season.
Paul Stastny also had two assists on the day. Reports say that Stastny's agent is eager to reach a long-term deal. Lets hope that becomes a reality.

The Punch Line

After Cody McCormick, Cody McLeod, and Ian Laperriere all got into fights, Mike Haynes and Peter McNabb decided to name their line The Punch Line. I'm not sure if I'm feeling it yet. Colorado already has the "RPM" line and I'm not sure if we should be naming a line that has a couple of players who might be scratched on any given night.

Special Teams

While the penalty kill continues to be dismal (the Stars were 1-4 on the PP), the power play has been on fire. The Avs scored two power play goals in the second period.

David Jones

Jones was only on the ice for about 7 minutes and was a -1 in that time. With Willsie and Hensick waiting in the minors, it'll be interesting to see if his job is at risk. In the early stages of the season, I hope the Avs stick with Jones. He's shown loads of potential to be a productive power forward - a position the Avs need to have on the roster.

Andrew Raycroft

26 saves on 30 shots for the backup in his second straight start. He still looks very awkward when making saves and he certainly didn't finish strong. That being said...

Who Should Start vs LA?

As long as Peter Budaj is considered the started, there should be no splitting of time between the two netminders. Budaj should get the start, especially since Raycroft wasn't overly spectacular in either of his two wins. If Budaj gets shelled, then we'll talk.

Arnason Report

As previously noted, Arnason scored his first goal of the season (first point of the season) with two shots and just over ten minutes of ice time.

Three Stars of the Game
1. Milan Hejduk (Five goals in five games for The Duke. Is a fifty-goal season possible?)
2. Paul Stastny (His vision on the ice is incredible. Great passing on Hejduk's first)
3. Ryan Smyth (A player with weaker skills around the net wouldn't have been able to score his goal)

Next Up

The Avs play the Los Angeles Kings on Monday at 10:30 ET. This is a problem. Do I stay up and sacrifice sleep? Do I tape the game and hope no one tells me the score? If so, is it a problem if I may not have time to watch it? Do I simply read one of the other Avalanche blogs the next day? Decisions, decisions.

Video Fix

Sorry, I couldn't resist:

BallHyped.com - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

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