Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: The Year That Was [Video!]

Ironically, the 2010 calendar year was all about the future for the Avalanche. Highlighted by an unexpected playoff berth, Avalanche fans were treated to stellar performances by Craig Anderson, the journey to super stardom by Matt Duchene, and the realization that the new-era Avs are here to stay. Here's a collection of my favorite moments from the 2010 calendar year:

January 1st: Paul Stastny is named to Team USA's Men's Ice Hockey roster
Stastny centered Team USA's top line, helping them to a silver medal with a goal and two assists over six tournament games.

January 9th: Matt Hendricks lifts Avs over Sabres in an 11-round shootout
The Avs blew a two-goal third period lead before winning in dramatic fashion.

January 22nd: Wojtek Wolski fights (and defeats) Steve Sullivan
HockeyFights.com declared Wolski (one career fight) the victory by a wide margin.


February 2nd: Ryan O'Reilly scores two shorthanded goals on same penalty kill
TJ Galiardi assisted on both of the goals and put the game against Columbus out of reach.


February 10th: Chris Durno dives, ties the game at 3
Down two goals in the third, the Avs were able to tie the game and win it in OT to become the Northwest Division leaders.


March 6th: Chris Stewart records a hat trick, four-point night; Avs net 7 against St. Louis
Stewart's penalty shot hat-trick goal was the first penalty shot of his career. (Check out his second goal - a wicked hard slap shot).


March 14th: Anderson saves 48 in a 5-3 Avalanche victory
Anderson was spectacular for the Avs in 2008, and this game serves as a microcosm for what he did for the team last season.

March 22nd: Galiardi ties game with eight seconds to go, notches crucial point in playoff race
In 7th at the time, the Avs needed a point to avoid the possibility of falling out of playoff. position.


April 6th: Matt Duchene sends the Avs to the playoffs
In a fairy tale ending, rookie and long-time Avalanche fan, Matt Duchene, helps Colorado prove all the "experts" wrong by beating the Canucks to lock-up a Western Conference playoff berth.

April 20th: Anderson saves all 51 San Jose shots; Dan Boyle tallies an own-goal, Avs take the series lead 2-1
In Anderson's best performance as an Av (maybe in his career), the goalie stole the show. The game was capped by a memorable and embarrassing Dan Boyle blunder.


June 26th: Avs go off-board, draft Joey Hishon with 17th pick
Criticized heavily at the time, Hishon is tearing up Juniors as we speak.


October 7th: Stastny's OT goal helps Avs start 2010-11 season undefeated
The beginning of the 2010-11 season was about proving that last year wasn't a fluke. Great start.


October 26th: Liles sets new NHL record for assists by a defenseman to start a season
Liles began the season with a nine-game point streak. Oddly, he failed to record a point in Game 10 which featured six Avalanche goals.

October 31st: Budaj stones Rick Nash
Taking over for the injured Anderson, Budaj announced that he was capable of carrying the load.


November 12th: Greg Maudlin scores first NHL goal - shorthanded!
Maudlin is tenacious on the forecheck and has been a big bright spot this season on the fourth line.


November 15th: Matt Duchene drops the gloves
Dutchy fought for the first time in his NHL career, putting up a nice effort against St. Louis' Vladimir Sobotka.


November 17th: Shattenkirk scores his 1st, Porter nets a beauty in OT
A lot to like in this 5-4 victory against the Sharks. Some great calls by Mike Haynes.


December 13th: Avs defeat Blackhawks in dramatic fashion
After giving up the lead, the Avs scored three times in the final 2 1/2 minutes (highlighted by Tomas Fleischmann's three points) to win the game 7-5.


December 15th: Tomas Fleischmann records a natural hat trick against Chicago
If the Avs ever play the Blackhawks in the playoffs, Fleischmann can be counted on to deliver.


December 18th: Matt Duchene wins it in Ottawa
"Bang bang, it's in the net" - check out that goal celebration! Duchene's second game-winner in three nights.


December 21st: The Bang Bang Dance
Adrian Dater revealed the origins of Paul Stastny's and Matt Duchene's victory celebration. Hopefully we see this in June 2011!

_______

It has been a tremendous year. The Avs have an incredibly bright future, and it is certainly a fun time to be a fan of this team.

If I missed YOUR favorite moment, let me know! I'm always looking for more!

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter.

Happy New Year to all, and thank you for reading!

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