To let up four goals on fourteen shots is embarassing. To let up four goals on fourteen shots against the Blue Jackets is super embarassing. The Avs, whose offense has now managed to put up 3 goals in the last 9 periods, lost last night and saw their record drop back to 5-5 after ten games.
A few weeks ago, I listened to an interview between the boys on XM's radio show NHL Live! and Detroit GM Ken Holland. Holland said that the key to making the playoffs is winning six out of every ten games. That puts a team between 96-98 points and that has been the magic number to make the playoffs in the past few seasons. Currently, the Avs are already behind the pace.
The goals Raycroft let in were less than spectacular. Derrick Brassard's goal on the second shot of the game beat Raycroft over his left shoulder. He should have had it, or he should have at least tried something more than what looked like a "shoulder shrug." The terrible goal was one that actually went through Raycroft's legs. Bad positioning. Bad reflexes. Bad goalie.
The night was capped off by Sakic and Hejduk colliding in the neutral zone. Just what the Avs need.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Peter Budaj (Who can argue with his 3 save peformance)
2. Paul Stastny (Goal, not named Arnason)
3. Third stars are another name for the second non-first stars.
Arnason showed a great scoring touch when he scored his second of the season late in third. It's too bad that the Avs were down 4-1 at the time. It seems as if Arnason can only score on wide open nets (when the puck is literally given to him) or when the Avs are too far behind to mount a comeback. Nicely done, Arnie.
The Avs take on the best team in the West - the Sharks - on Sunday at 8 PM ET. Budaj will undoubtedly get the start in goal. I've also said publicly that if he can get the win, I'll officially throw my support behind the guy. (We can all hope)