Post-game vs Florida - Feb 6, 2007 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Post-game vs Florida - Feb 6, 2007

It's possible if you believe! The Avalanche had yet to win after being down headed into the 3rd period. Well tonight they ended that streak with a 5-4 OT win against the Panthers. Things looked bleak as the Panthers pulled out to a 3-1 lead early in the second. Tyler Arnason answered back but was trumped by Jozef Stumpel as Florida took a 4-2 lead into the third. The Avs came out flying and quickly chopped it down to a 1 goal game early in the third. It then took them 17 long minutes, until the 19:23 mark, to tie the game while on a 6-on-3 powerplay. Then OT had just begun and who other than Joe Sakic to streak in and seal the deal!

The Avs came straight from their afternoon nap it appeared as Florida managed to fire off 16 shots in the first period alone and followed that up with 12 shots in the 2nd. Florida was taking advantage of Colorado's turnovers, of which there were many, and had so many 2-on-1 chances it was almost unbelievable. The D appeared to be sleep-skating and felt it was not their responsibility to get the puck out of the zone. But Q must have pulled out his trump card, whatever that is, during the 2nd intermission because the Avalanche kept Florida to only 4 shots in the third and really put some pressure on Florida. Maybe he finally convinced them to give their goaltender a hand by not turning the puck over in their own zone every third play.

Tyler Arnason had an incredible night. He started off by firing off 5 shots on goal through the first half of the first period and ended up with 9 on the night. He unfortunately coughed up the puck in the slot leading to the Panthers second goal but he made up for that by pulling the Avs within 1 in the 2nd and then contributing to the game-tying goal by firing a backhand on Belfour, who kicked a rebound straight out to Paul Stastny who buried it to tie up the game. I heard Arnason's name more times than I could count as he really seemed to have his wheels out there. He's been mired in a cold spot lately but wasn't playing terrible during that stretch, save for lazy backchecks, so it's good to see him break out of that in style.

Paul Stastny and Joe Sakic were the tandem that closed out the game tonight. It was well deserved as they both put in a good effort tonight. Sakic won a crucial draw to set up the game-tying goal of Stastny's and then Stastny was in on the game-winning goal by goal. A credit has to be given to Brett Clark as well who pulled the team within one and started the game-winning play and got an assist out of that deal. Clark has been putting up some big points out there lately.

The Avalanche went with 7 D tonight as Liles was placed in the lineup after the morning skate. Liles took it easy with only 14 minutes of ice-time which left the bulk of the ice-time to Clark and Leopold. Although it shifts a bit from game to game, it looks like Clark is providing #1 minutes on the back-end. That's both good for Clark and bad for the Avalanche. Brett Clark is not a #1 quality d-man, no matter how hard he works out there. I'm glad he's been playing well but the Avs are stuck with a group of top-four defenseman and no bonafide #1. But you have to give credit to Clark for trying!

Jose Theodore played a good game, even with 4 goals against. He was left to dry in the first period and first half of the second period but came up with saves when they were needed and the team found a way to get the win. Once I get a chance to watch the whole game I'll form better opinions on the goals, however 4 goals against doesn't scream "he's back!" but him being in net for a win is likely a huge confidence boost for him.

The biggest problem this game...well lots of games that the Avalanche gave away the puck 15 times. 15. Let that sink in. 15. Those are the "official" giveaways which didn't even count Arnason's cough up on the 2nd goal. If the Avalanche want to win games, they should really concentrate on having the puck more than the opposition does. The majority of the giveaways came in the first and second and seemed really to be just a lack of focus and intensity. Players seemed to not care that they had the puck on their stick. Maybe that's because they knew it would soon be taken away?

Let's not even mention the amount of 2-on-1s the Panthers had. It makes me sad to think about it and I want to stay happy with the win tonight!

The Good
- coming back for a big win
- Arnason looking like he had something to prove
- no PP goals against
- a couple PP goals for

The Bad
- having to come back for a big win
- forgetting about the whole "60 minutes" concept
- defense asleep at the wheel for

The Ugly
- the accidental high-stick from Vaananen (ouch!)


Mike Thompson said...

Saw only the third, so I have no idea how Theo did, since he saw only 4 shots in the period and they were all in one bunch, if I recall. He had it pretty easy down the stretch as the Avs kept the pressure on. It was nice to see the Avs get some jump late in a close game.

You're right, Arnason was all over the place, especially the last period. He was very deserving of his second star status.

How'd you like the cheap shot to the kidneys Belfour delivered to Clark while he was wrestling with another Florida player in front of the crease? Classic. No wonder he is so beloved...

Shane Giroux said...

Theodore played well. Not spectacular since he did give up 4, but he was there when it mattered and got the W. It sounds like both he and Budaj were pretty loose in practice the next day.

Yeah, Belfour is turning into a crotchety old man out there. I know why he got angry. It was accidental when Mclean swiped him near his face with his stick. I think the over-reaction of the players got Belfour into it. He didn't do much until all his players were there and had Mclean in a headlock. Then he got tough ;)

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