Sunday, December 27, 2009
Three things to hit in this late (morning) post:
Chris Stewart: When David Jones went down, we knew SOMEONE was going to have step up. We hoped it would be Duchene (he has) or Svatos (he has not) but the biggest surprise has been the play of Stewart. With two more goals tonight, Stewart is now third on the team in goals (11) and tied for third in points (25). In the month of December, Stewart has 9 goals and 4 assists. His ice time has skyrocketed. From a season low against Philly on November 23, Stewart is now getting over 19 mintues a night. As Haynes and McNabb mentioned several times tonight, this was a player whose NHL career was in serious jeopardy earlier this season. Now he's a legitimate third line winger. Unreal.
18,007: Adrian Dater has been beating the attendence issue to death this year, but he'll have no reason to complain about tonight. A sellout crowd in Denver for (I believe) the second time this season. Joe Sakic Night, of course, was packed. It definitely helped that it was the night after Christmas, it was a weekend, and fan favorite Adam Deadmarsh was being honored, but the atmosphere in the Pepsi Center was extraordinary. Hopefully this is a sign that the fine people of Colorado are recognizing that this team has the chance to be something very special this a year.
50: Finally, who thought that the Avalanche would have 50 points after 40 games? What a season this has become. This has been one of the most exciting years of Avalanche hockey in a long, long time.
Great win tonight against Dallas. Congratulations to Chris Durno on his first NHL goal. He's the sixth Av to score his first NHL goal this year, joining Brandon Yip, Wilson, Duchene, O'Reilly, and Hendricks.
Peter Budaj was excellent tonight, proving once again that he is a very capable backup. Perhaps tonight will give Sacco confidence that he can give Andy a few more days off without sacrificing the team's chance to win. It's time to start looking long-term at a possible playoff run. Anderson must be fresh come April. The only way to ensure that is to limit the number of games he plays.
Also, congratulations to the USA Juniors today for their 7-3 victory over Slovakia.
A nice three-day break will take the Avalanche to Ottawa on Wednesday night at 7 PM ET. That's just a prelude for:
Get it done.
Posted by Geoff Rosenthal at 1:59 AM [Permalink]