Post-game vs Detroit - Jan 20, 2007 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Post-game vs Detroit - Jan 20, 2007

The drought is over! The Avalanche beat the Red Wings tonight by a final count of 3-1, ending a 7-game winless drought against the Wings. I'm not about to look it up, but that may well have been a club record in terms of a losing streak against one team. Andrew Brunette potted the eventual winner halfway through the third and Joe Sakic added the insurance goal as he swept a backhand into the empty net with under a minute to play.

The story of the night, at least for me, is Lappy finally breaking his drought. Halfway through the first period he opened the scoring for the Avs and I can only imagine the relief. No, his role isn't to score goals but after the season he had last year, it still had to be a huge weight off his shoulders.

Brett Clark had a huge game in terms of ice-time tonight. He was out there for 26:49 which was the 2nd of all skaters, save for the machine himself, Nicklas Lidstrom. That included 6:39 of PP time and 3:03 of PK time. He also managed to block 5 shots and got off 4 shots of his own. It looks like he's labelled himself as the Avs #1 d-man for the time being. He certainly gives it his all every shift and is really showing some leadership in stepping in and helping stabilize the defense.

On the other end of that spectrum, Kurt Sauer and Kyle Cumiskey had the lowest ice-time of all Avs defenders. I'm all for that coaching decision. If the top 4 can step up and handle extra minutes without making fatigued errors, then by all means use them. There's no sense having that tandem out on the ice more than is necessary.

Sauer got significant PK minutes tonight which is a good way to use your biggest defender. He may not be quick but he's a big presence in front of the net to help clear bodies. Since the Avs went 3-3 on the PK, it seems like a sound strategy.

Ben Guite was in the lineup again tonight as Rycroft and Turgeon were the forward scratches. He logged 12 minutes, fired off a couple shots, dished out a couple hits and came away with an abysmal 25% success rate in the faceoff circle. So far it can be considered an anomaly as he's better than average in the circle for the most part.

Speaking of faceoffs, it looks like coach Q is going to Paul Stastny for a majority of the draws. He took 19 of a possible 45 faceoffs which is, if you have a calculator handy to verify, nearly half the draws. That just shows the kind of well-rounded player Stastny is. He scores, he backchecks, he kills penalties and he wins faceoffs. Unfortunately, well-roundedness does not equate to a spot in the YoungStars game as we know. If you have someone who can break up plays, then it'll be a much lower scoring game which would be no fun for the fans!

The Good
- beating the Wings
- 100% PK

The Bad
- 0% PP

The Ugly
- Kronwall taking a skate to the nose


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