Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Avs Defeat Predators, Hope Presents Itself

The sun is shining. The birds are singing. I just had french toast for breakfast.

Life is good.

Oh, the Avs are four games over .500 and are 2-0 since losing Paul Stastny for 6-8 weeks.

Life is great.

To be honest, I missed the first two periods of the game; thus, I missed four Avalanche goals. I was shocked to see that two of them were by Cody McLeod, but I wasn't surprised at all to learn that Tyler Arnason still had no points as the #1 center.

That's ok. The Avs basically kicked Nashville in the nuts.

Not only did a fighter (McLeod) score, but also a rookie (Stewart), struggling sophomore (Jones), and an underrated-overrated defenseman (Liles). Ouch, that's gotta hurt Pekka Rinne.

Peter Budaj continued his solid play with 26 saves, with his only blemish coming in a 15-shot second period.

The highlight of the game was McLeod's sidestepping of Jordan Tootoo which resulted in Tootoo's entire body winding up in the Colorado bench. When McLeod was asked about it after the game, his toothless grin said it all.

McLeod is quickly becoming a prime candidate to fill the spot at the top of the site (currently taken by Sakic) after Super Joe retires. I have been considering several re-designs and Stastny, Laperriere, Hejduk, Liles, and Smyth have all entered my thought process. Add McLeod to that list.

Minutes

Who is the #1 center? Looking at the time-on-ice, I'm not sure.

PLAYER-EV TOI
Arnason: 9:48
Hensick: 10:55
Guite: 13:11

Guite's elevated time is probably due to the fact that this was a throwaway game after the second, but Arnason played two fewer minutes than both Hejduk and Smyth.

We'll have to wait until a 2-1 or 3-2 game occurs to look at this situation in closer depth because time-on-ice is skewed when the game has been won with 15 minutes to go.

Avalanche Fantasy Impact Player
Which Av had the greatest fantasy impact?

Marek Svatos
2A, 2P, 1PPP, +3, 2PIM, 2SHOTS

Next Up

The Avs will take on the Phoenix Coyotes on New Year's Eve. A quick look at the standings tells you that Colorado has a huge opportunity to enter 2009 riding high.

Colorado (36 GP) currently sits in seventh with the same amount of points as Phoenix (37 GP). A win for the Avalanche will put them just one point behind Anaheim for the sixth spot and two points behind the Canucks for the fifth spot. Furthermore, it will put them four points ahead of Edmonton in the ninth spot. Come on boys, get two points.

Can anyone feel that? I think it's hope.

Eh, maybe not. We've seen this before. Optimism can be ugly.

Video Fix

Cody McLeod's hit...or lack thereof it:

BallHyped.com - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

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