Sunday, February 28, 2010

USA-Canada Gold Medal Game

If you're not watching this game, you're either a) not from North Ameirca or b) someone who hates hockey more than anything in the world.

This game has the chance to convert countless people into hockey fans. A USA win wouldn't be a miracle, but for the current generation, it may very well go down as one of the most memorable games we will ever see.

An Avalanche fan's dream?

Paul Stastny - winner in OT.
Would the Pepsi Center NOT be sold out for the rest of the year?

Every smart hockey fan is taking Canada. They have the best lineup in the tournament, though we've already seen them lose to the apparently much less talented USA squad. Since then, Canada has changed their lines, their goaltender, and their crowd chants.

They wanted Russia. They got 'em...and destroyed them.
They wanted Sweden. They got Slovakia...barely hung on in the dying seconds.
They wantned the USA. They have them. Can Ryan Miller shut Canada down again?

As a smart, yet American hockey fan, I'm going to go patriotic.

5-3 USA.
Lets do it. - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Stastny Scores, USA-Canada in Final

For once, the USA team didn't leave us holding our breaths. They took care of business in a decisive 6-1 win, with all six goals coming in the first period. Paul Stastny scored his first Olympic goal, and recorded his second Olympic assist on a beautiful feed to Zach Parise.

The US will have a chance to win their first gold medal since 1980 when they take on Canada, who survived against the Slovaks last night by a score of 3-2. Canada was in control for much of the game, but the Slovaks scored two quick ones late in the third to make it interesting.

Earlier in the tournament, the US and Canada played in perhaps the most entertaining game in the tournament. The Americans came away with a 5-3 victory.

The Gold Medal Final is set for Sunday at 3 PM on NBC.
Ryan Miller did not guarantee the gold.
Go USA - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Paul Stastny - First Olympic Point

Congratulations to Paul Stastny, who recored his first Olympic point with a secondary assist on Zach Parise's third period goal against Switzerland. The US won the game 2-0 and has advanced to the medal round where they will face either Finland or the Czech Republic. - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Avs Olympic Update

Today marks the end of Group Play, with a trio of marquee matchups. Sweden-Finland, USA-Canada, and Czech Republic-Russia will all do battle to pretty much determine who gets automatic buys into the quarterfinal round. With that, lets check how our Avs are doing thus far in Vancouver:

Paul Stastny - USA

Playing primarily on the top line with Zach Parise and Patrick Kane, Stastny hasn't been able to get himself on the score sheet. He has just two shots on goal and has yet to record a point. However, Stastny has been playing well, drawing penalties and going hard to the net. The US is undefeated after routine wins against Switzerland and Norway. Stastny is among the team leaders in total ice time.

Ruslan Salei - Belarus

Salei's playing time in Vancouver? 63:35. The captain, Salei has actually enjoyed a nice return to hockey after being injured for much of the year. In a tied game with Germany on Saturday, Salei took a blistering shot from the point that found the back of the net. A game-winner, it was Salei's first goal of the Olympics on his first shot on net. Belarus is 1-2 after Group Play, but is not considered a serious medal contender.

Jonas Holos - Norway

The obscure Avalanche prospect is a stud on the Norwegian blueline. He has played a stunning 86:03. The next highest? Defenseman Mats Trygg at 76:15. Norway, likely headed to the relegation game, is 0-3 in Vancouver. Holos is a -4 with three shots on goal and no points. Norway is hardly an offensive force. They combined for just one goal in their first two games, and then managed to score four in a losing effort to the Swiss. I have no idea if this kid will pan out, but he's the best Norway has to offer at least.

Peter Budaj - Slovakia

Slovakia provided fans with the first "upset" of the tournament, a 2-1 shootout win over Team Russia. Jaroslav Halak has started all three games for Slovakia and has made 78 saves on 82 shots. It is unlikely Budaj will see much playing time in these Olympics, no doubt all part of a master plan laid by Joe Sacco to go NHL09 on us and inexplicably start the unbelievably well-rested Budaj in the playoffs.

Quiet start for our Avs, but I have a feeling Stastny may change that tonight.
USA-Canada. 7:30. CNBC.

Just typing NBC makes me want to go on a rant, but I'll save it. No energy.
Enjoy the games. - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cumiskey's Overtime Goal

Thought it was too good not to post on here. Courtesy of NHLVideo: - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Avs Come From Behind - NW Division Leaders!

Blogging on pure adrenaline. When it was 3-1 in the third period, there was NO WAY the Avs were going to beat Atlanta. Awful, awful effort. And then...

Chris Stewart scores.
Avs wake up.
Chris Durno dives after a rebound - puck goes in.
Game goes to OT.
Cumiskey ends it in nine seconds.

Seriously, it was a blur.

Durno's goal is SportsCenter worthy, and Cumiskey's was a thing of a beauty. He burst into Atlanta's zone, stopped, then just flew around two defenders and lifted a neat backhander over Hedberg. Good enough for first star of the game.

Paul Stastny had three assists on the night.

I feel that Peter McNabb summed it up best after Cumiskey's goal:

"Holy cow."

This marked the first game I spent on Twitter. Interesting, to say the least.

Two more games until the Olympic break - Los Angeles and Phoenix. Points in those games won't be easy, which is what makes the two points tonight so important. What a third period for this team.

This is honestly the kind of game a team can look to down the line and say, "We can do it, we've done it before."

Great end to a snowstorm. - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Snowed In

Huge blizzard in the Northeast today. There's about two feet of snow around my house, and by the looks of it, the sky isn't close to done.

Out of my insane boredom, I created a Twitter account and have watched more YouTube videos than I care to speak about.

Thankfully, the Avs play the Thrashers tonight. You know, the Avs lost both games against Atlanta last year, and if it hadn't been for those two losses, the Avs may have ended up with the second pick in last year's draft. Would Greg Sherman have been tempted to pick Victor Hedman over Matt Duchene?

This season is a different story, however. There can be no positive in a loss to Atlanta. Ilya Kovalchuk would have been scary to watch, but he's in New Jersey now. Instead, the Thrashers are lead by Maxim Afinogenov, Nik Antropov, and master penalty killer Rich Peverley.

Tonight will be the first meeting between #3 pick Matt Duchene and #4 pick Evander Kane.

The Thrashers sit three points out of a playoff spot in the East. They traded longtime injury-riddled goaltender Kari Lehtonen to the Stars yesterday.

Goaltending matchup will be Anderson and Hedberg.
Game time is at 9 PM ET.

Avs take the division lead with a win.
Go Avs. - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Collection of Avalanche Videos from HNIC

Paul Stastny Part 1

Paul Stastny Part 2

Joe Sacco Part 1 (Make sure you watch Sacco's reaction upon being called "Sakic." I thought there was going to be an on-screen assault.)

Joe Sacco Part 2

Avalanche Praise on Coach's Corner (I can't figure out why Galiardi's name is so hard to pronounce.) - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Avs Dominate, Shutout Oilers 3-0

If it hadn't been for Jeff Deslauriers, the score would have been 10-0 after the second period. The Oilers netminder was brilliant, and he actually kept the Oilers in the game until late in the third period when a Ryan Wilson shot squeaked through. The Oilers, to put it lightly, are not a good hockey club, and the Avs needed to take it to them all night. They did.

Matt Duchene was everywhere. The first goal came after he knocked down a puck out of mid air and made a nice drop pass to Wojtek Wolski. Dutchy also hit the post later in the game, extending his league lead to 1 million in the hit posts category.

Brandon Yip is CBC's new favorite player. Color commentator Kevin Weekes talked about him for what seemed like the majority of the night. Yip ended up with an empty net goal, but it's his defensive zone work and his physical style that's really starting to get him noticed. He's easily been one of Colorado's best players since he was called up 21 games ago.

John-Michael Liles was scratched again. By now, we all know the deal. Someone is getting traded, and if I had to put money on it, that someone is going to be Liles.

Marek Svatos was definitely more involved. He almost scored a couple times and had a handful of brilliant chances. I just don't see where Svatos fits on this team once Hejduk and Jones come back.

Craig Anderson recorded his third shutout of the season against the Oilers and gave my fantasy team a much needed boost. Andy has started 12 games in a row and it looks like he may not get any rest until the Olympic break. Peter Budaj has to play eventually...right?

Paul Stastny and Joe Sacco were on Hockey Night in Canada's After Hours after the game. I'll have a video of that later. Don Cherry also mentioned the Avs on Coach's Corner, which will also be posted.

Avalanche picked up a point on Calgary and kept pace with Vancouver. Off to St. Louis on Monday night.

Go Avs. - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Must Win Game Against A Last Place Team

The Edmonton Oilers have been awful this year, but they've actually been, well, less awful, over the last three games. They ended that awful losing streak by beating the almost-equally terrible Carolina Hurricanes, and then they defeated the surging Philadelphia Flyers 1-0. The Oilers are coming off a 4-2 loss to the Wild, a game in which the Wild scored three third period goals.

This is a HUGE game for the Avalanche. Last time, the Avs defeated Edmonton by an impressive score of 6-0. At the time, Colorado fans were thrilled that the Avs played a 60-minute game against a team that had no business skating with them. Unfortunately, the Avs have stumbled as of late, and now find themselves a little less comfortable in the Western Conference playoff race.

The Avs sit in the sixth spot, two points ahead of Calgary and Nashville, four points ahead of 9th place Detroit. Calgary, however, has played two more games than either Colorado or Nashville.

Vancouver's win today against Boston means the Nucks are four points up on the Avs for the division lead. Calgary is also in action tonight, looking to extend their win streak to three games.

Colorado gave themselves room to stumble with that six game win streak, but they're slowly running out of wiggle room. They must capitalize against the league's 30th rank club. Edmonton has won just seven games on the road this year, and since it's Mike Ricci Night at the Pepsi Center, the Avs should come out with some energy. Joe Sacco needs get these guys pumped not at the first TV timeout, but before the first puck is dropped.

Anderson-Deslauriers is the goaltending matchup.

To get you excited for tonight's game, YouTube user "zone93" put together this video:

Go Avs. - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wolski's Story [Video]

For those of you who missed it, take a look at the story of our very own, Wojtek Wolski: - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

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