A five game losing streak. Ouch. It's starting to feel like a trend. Three makes a pattern. Four makes a slump. Five makes a worse slump. Six makes a trend. The Avs have one more game until they feel the ultimate wrath of the blogosphere.
To be fair, they played decently last night after letting up three quick first period goals against a team they knew plays well when they're ahead. The lone goal in the 3-1 loss was scored by Darcy Tucker, who is now taking heat from Jibblescribbits.
I have to agree with Jibbles. If this is true, I don't want Tucker in an Avalanche uniform. After the Steve Moore incident, Avalanche fans know what a dirty play looks like. There can't be any tolerance for it and I hope the coaching staff does something to straighten Tucker out.
A few notes:
Hensick > Arnason
Although I felt that Arnason played a pretty game, there is now no doubt in my mind that Hensick is the better player. Arnie finished with his usual 0, 0, 0 while Hensick assisted on Tucker's goal and won several key faceoffs (especially at the end of the second period) in over fifteen minutes of ice time. Once Joe returns to the team, it's up to the coaching staff whether or not they send Hensick back down. If they're interested in winning, they'll get Arnason out of the lineup for good.
Due to "flu-like symptoms," Hannan was replaced by Kyle Cumiskey. Ironically, Daniel Tjarnqvist who has been waiting all season to play, was scratched with a foot injury. Go figure.
The Penalty Kill
The goal scored by Pouliot was pure garbage. He shouldn't have been allowed to touch the puck much less receive a pass and stuff it pass Budaj. Speaking of which...
It was awful. Budaj's saves look like random acts of charity. His lateral movement is shaky at best and the guy can make a save unless it hits him in the chest. I'm sorry, but watching Niklas Backstrom and then watching Budaj was terrible. I just felt that if the goaltenders were reversed, the Avs would have snapped their streak last night. Instead, Backstrom came up with some brilliant saves while Budaj managed to keep his save percentage at .850. Great.
Three Stars of the Game
1. TJ Hensick (Big faceoffs, an assist, PLEASE KEEP HIM!)
Saturday, 9 PM ET, vs Nashville. Believe it or not, a win puts the Avs one point away from the 8th seed. The season isn't over yet.