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

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Post-game vs Calgary - Feb 20, 2007

A much needed win to preserve the meager playoff hopes of Avalanche fans worldwide. This moves the Avalanche over top of Edmonton as they lost in a shootout to Ottawa. The Wild stayed out of reach as they were able to get past the Stars in a shootout. So the Avalanche are now in 4th spot in the NW, 9th in the West but are still 8 points back from the Flames. That could be viewed as a good thing as these two teams still have 3 more games to play against each other, 2 of those being at the Pepsi Center.

It was a back and forth first period that saw 5 goals scored in total. Paul Statsny got the Avs off to a good start as he buried a PP goal. However Tony Amonte answered right back to tie it all up again. Not to be outdone, Stastny one-upped Amonte with his second of the night, banging in a loose puck in the crease. Double Dion himself scored his 11th powerplay goal to tie it all and once again, Paul Stastny helped overcome that deficit as he was able to get the puck to Milan Hejduk who fired a backhand through Kiprusoff.

The only goal in the second saw Kristian Huselius score the Flames 2nd powerplay goal of the night. I'm not sure just who Kristian Huselius thinks he is with all these points lately but it's getting tiresome. Then an untimely penalty on Jarome Iginla led to Liles putting Marek Svatos on a breakaway. Svatos made no mistake on this one and buried it top-shelf as Kiprusoff tried to poke check him. That held up to be the winner even with a brief 5-on-3 chance for the Flames.

Svatos' goal was scored during one of the mere 13 shifts he took. Hopefully this goes a ways to boosting his confidence again. He's still got wheels out there but he's not making the moves and getting those dirty goals in traffic like he used to. He's become a perimeter player and that's not going to get it done for him. He needs to be down low, sneaking around and making himself available. Unfortunately, it worked well when Turgeon was feeding him from down low or behind the net. It doesn't work so well when you're playing on a line with Ben Guite. No slight to Guite, who I am liking more and more, but he's not going to help Svatos break his slump.

Jeff Finger had his debut tonight and played well in the limited ice-time he had. And the limited times I looked up at the tv while trying to do some work. He was only out there for 8 minutes but I saw some good fight and decent physical play from him. Q may have seen something I did not since he saw limited ice-time. Or he didn't want to push him too far in his first NHL game.

Peter Budaj started shaky but really got into it by the end. He was a big part of killing the 3 third period powerplays. If a goalie is going to be shaky in a game, I'd certainly prefer it to be at the start rather than at the end. Of course, I'd prefer to not see it at all but I can let it slide since the team got the win.

The Avalanche tonight were actually the more physical team, at least by the stats sheet. They threw 19 hits to the Flames 11. I saw Klee finishing a lot of checks and Guite is also never scared to throw the body around. It doesn't mean that they played much better at digging pucks out of corners or getting to pucks first. I still saw a lot of defensemen let up on a puck and have the Flames forward get to it first then try to get it away. That's backwards if you ask me. If you get to the puck first then you don't have to take it away...because you have it. See how that works?

The Good
-3 PP goals for
- big 2 points
- against a divisional opponent

The Bad
- 2 PP goals against
- shaky start by Budaj

The Ugly
- Budaj taking one off the chin again


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