Another night on the DVR. There is a certain anxiety in these games I watch after work. I don’t want to watch the Avs lose, and certainly not to the Red Wings. Even though this is a rebuilding year, there is a feeling that these kids are ready for the big time, thanks to the hot streak they are on.
But of course I’m going to watch. Avs vs. Red Wings. The rivalry lives!
– Mike Babcock has bitter beer face to start the game.
– Todd Bertuzzi gets booed right off the bat. And what do you expect?
– I’m disappointed by the quantity of red jerseys and shirts around the glass.
– I wonder how Matt Duchene about the Red Wings. As a fan as a kid, does he have a reaction to the winged wheel? I hope so. I doubt we will ever know for sure, considering how coached with the media young hockey players are.
– It’s only 6 1/2 minutes into the first period, and the Red Wings look fairly ordinary. I may eat these words later in the game (and I will leave them here regardless), but they don’t look like the scary Wings of last season. Remember how hard it was last season to forecheck against them? Remember how hard it was to knock them off the puck? How about their short passes and quick decisions? There have been some nice moves by a few individual players, but as a team, they don’t look like the same elite team as last season. And as Tom and I talked about on episode 49 of the Rink Podcast, they are having salary cap issues that are changing their team strategy. And it’s fun to watch.
– I love watching hockey in HD. I would totally give up going to the Pepsi Center for a year to buy an HDTV. But I didn’t see an HD hockey game when Mike Ricci was playing.
– Double minor on Paul Stastny. This is not a position you want to be in against the Wings, even if it is the “new look” Wings.
– Was McNab just praising the work of Scott Hannan from the Canes game? Apparently, McNab was blinking when Hannan was shooting.
– Adam Foote is down from taking a puck in the face. He already is looking a little rough.
– I hate hearing the “Let’s Go, Red Wings” chant loud and clear at Le Can. HATE. IT.
– Bertuzzi conveniently slides into Craig Anderson, but gets away with it. Simply put, if Bertuzzi does anything suspect, he’s guilty of something. Perception is reality when dealing with him.
– With 5 seconds left in the first, Brett Clark thinks he’s Bobby Orr and skates end to end. Of course, he only makes it half way down the ice by the time the buzzer sounds, but why should that stop him.
– At the first intermission, we are treated to a Dos Equis commercial without any dialogue. I think it was greatly improved.
– DVRs are great. You can fast forward past Brian Engblom.
– Craig Anderson makes a stacked pad save on a breakaway, and gets up in a labored way. Taking a knee to his head could be part of it, but at this point, I sure hope Tyler Weiman is ready to stand on his head.
– The Wings get on the board first. Does that bother me? Maybe a little. Does seeing Todd Bertuzzi skate in smiling to congratulate Kris Draper bug me more? You bet.
– If I have any real criticism for the Avalanche right now, it’s that they aren’t making high percentage passes. You can’t pass the puck through three opponents and expect good results over and over. While it didn’t cost them much in the first period, it hurt them in the second.
– That’s the way to clear a puck, O’Reilly. Now show the rest of the team.
– It’s just past midnight, and the Avs have killed a penalty. I am a time traveller who only can see the past.
– Nice to see Marek Svatos working hard on the forecheck. It’s not like he had a few minutes rest in the penalty box. Oh wait.
– Wilson knocks down Bertuzzi, and the crowd goes wild.
– TJ Galiardi roofs it from the backhand. And the Avs not collapsing and forechecking the Wings led to the goal as much as anything.
– Look, I’m all for booing Todd Bertuzzi. In fact, if you put a sign or light up that signaled when I was supposed to boo, I would be happy to join in. But if I’m at the game, I have a lot more on my mind than watching one player I don’t like.
– Seriously, how much are the Wings going to abuse Anderson? This is getting old.
– Avs back in the box. Duchene takes a hooking penalty. That isn’t his first penalty in the NHL, is it? (the boys say it is)
– Quincey gets a little too cute in front of the net, and instead of clearing the puck on a penalty kill, he almost turns it over about ten feet from Craig Anderson. This is how you make a Tapeleg jump.
– As much as I bust on the Altitude announcing crew, I can’t tell you how happy I am to have the Avalanche feed of this game. If I had to listen to the Detroit homer instead of the Colorado homers, I would be going nuts right now.
– I don’t like hearing that the Wings are outshooting the Avs after two periods, but it doesn’t surprise me.
– Pavel Datsyuk is doing his best to prove John Buccigross wrong.
– :38 seconds into the Avalanche power play that starts the third period, and you start to see why the Wings aren’t the elite team they used to be. Not that they are a bad team (I hate them, but I can see them as a hockey team as well), but last season, they wouldn’t have been owned that bad in their own zone, even when they were a man down.
– When Quincey says “Go, Go,” you go. I don’t care if you are Scott Hannan, you freaking go.
– Chris Stewart gets the go ahead goal. As he was coming down the ice, I was barking, “Skate! Skate!” And he did. I consider myself qualified to be an NHL assistant coach.
– “It doesn’t look like he wants to go back to Cleveland.” Think about that sentence, guys. Next time you say it, think about how silly it sounds.
– My laugh line of the game? “Hey coach, this water bottle is broken.” You had to be there.
– Paul Stastny is going to take a lot of crap for getting his stick up high.
– Another penalty against the Avalanche. I have a new first name Scott Hannan, and it starts with an F. And it’s probably what you think it is.
– “O’Reilly lifts it out of the zone.” See? again, that is how you do it. And the lesson seems to have been learned.
– Stastny in the box again? You can see the frustration on his face when it happens.
– Who gave Mike Babcock the big boy crayons? He’s drawing on the bench again.
– It absolutely frustrates me to see players gliding to the bench when making a line change in a highly intense situation. The puck is cleared, Howard gets the puck and fires it up ice, and the next thing we see is an Avalanche player gliding to the bench. Too many players get away with this. We know you were skating hard for your shift, but your shift isn’t over until the door to the bench is shut.
– Brad May. Healthy scratch. That is what $500,000 dollars buys you these days.
– OK, Stastny, you are out of the doghouse. The empty net goal to seal the deal.
– Hannan. There is no way the Avalanche are going to lose this game, but Hannan can’t help but make it interesting. He is earning that new first name.
Avalanche. Win. The Avalanche beat the Red Wings at home. The Wings went 0 for 8 on the power play.
The Avalanche are tied for first place IN THE LEAGUE!
Craig Anderson gives the fans serious props, earning the love of the fans., myself included. You have to love this guy. Back to back starts, and he still comes up huge, making 48 saves, against a team hungry for a win, who still have some serious skill, even if their team makeup has changed dramatically.
I’ll have more on this Avalanche team soon. Until then. 8-1-2. Nuff said.