Friday, October 17, 2008

So Begin the Raycroft Era? [Avs Win 5-2 vs Flyers]

The Andrew Raycroft era probably didn't begin last night, but I sure loved his blue pads.

Raycroft helped the Avs record their first victory of the 08-09 season by stopping 16 shots and by allowing his two goals on a penalty shot and a power play. He didn't play unbelievably well, but he played well enough. Did he prove that he's a competent backup? Not yet. The Flyers are struggling offensively and he wasn't tested enough to warrant a huge amount of praise.

As for the rest of the team, it seems as though they finally woke up. From the opening period (where they outshot the Flyers 17-3) to the closing seconds, the Avs played well defensively and really took it to the Flyers on offense. They were energized, creative, and organized.

"I don't know if it's pressure, but you knew you had to have this game," Sakic said. "We've played good hockey, we just weren't rewarded. We knew if we kept playing the same way we would get rewarded."
NHL Game Recap

After Simon Gagne scored on a peanlty shot, (one that wasn't deserved - he got the shot off didn't he?) the Avs responded almost immediately with a power play goal. The Flyers cut the lead to one on a Mike Richards goal, but Cody McCormick basically sealed the game by scoring in the final seconds of the 2nd period.

In the third, the Avs held the Flyers to four shots and added a second insurance goal to seal the deal. All in all, a pretty nice effort.

This game is a perfect example of the kind of goaltending the Avs need. Don't lose the game. The offense will get the job done on the majority nights. Last night, the goaltending got it done as well.

Other Notes

The Avs were 3/11 on the power play. That includes a beautiful tic-tac-toe play ending with a Marek Svatos goal. Hejduk and Stastny were the other power play scorers.

Ben Guite was a healthy scratch. Cody McCormick took his place on the fourth line and rewarded the decision with a goal. That makes two games in a row that McCormick has been a factor.

Another guy making a name for himself is Cody McLeod. He drew two penalties last night, playing his usual 10 or so minutes.

Defensively, the Avs kept their composure throughout the game. Besides a few penalties, the d-men were generally making thoughtful decisions. Though, outlet passes could still use some work.

Arnason Watch

Arnie had one shot and was a +1 in 12:19 of ice time. He actually looked good for the first time all season as he decided that he was going to create chances in the offensive zone instead of simply turning the puck over.

Three Stars of the Game

1. Joe Sakic (Three assists, he was all over the puck)
2. Cody McCormick (His goal was the turning point)
3. Paul Stastny (First goal of the season, Stastny played well on the power play)

Next Up

The Avs are headed to Dallas to take on the Stars at 1:30 PM ET Saturday afternoon. Marty Turco was scored on five times last night. Will he return to the net on Saturday?

Video Fix

A look at what the Avs might have to deal with against Dallas: - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

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