Friday, November 16, 2007

Stars Light Up Avalanche in 6-1 Win

Ouch. Double ouch. Triple ouch. That was brutal. The Avalanche were beaten by the far better team tonight as much as it pains me to say about Dallas. They beat the Avalanche to every loose puck there was tonight and imposed their will on a team that looked a bit befuddled after a 4-day layoff.

First Period
First thing to note, there are 3 Smi(y)ths in this game, Mike, Wyatt and Ryan. That was possibly the most exciting event of the night for me.

Scott Parker, in his first shift of the game, takes an interference penalty which I felt was a bit marginal. Nonetheless, the crazy bearded man ends up in the box and the Stars go to work on the PP. It didn't take long as Zubov fed a streaking Jokinen who made a nice hip fake, danced between the 2 D and fired a shot over Theodore's glove. Good start.

The Avalanche then got a powerplay of their own and off to work they went. Their version of "work" was a bit different than the Stars. By work, the idea was: try to dance across the blue line, lose the puck, retrieve puck in own zone, rinse, repeat. How about a little dump and chase? Some loose puck recovery? No? Ok, well maybe next time.

The Avalanche are still very poor at clearing the puck which leads to more Stars chances. I'm not sure why they are so set against really firing the puck out. They always try a short chip and half the time it doesn't get out. Are they worried about puck possession? Icing? Looking too strong? Scoring too many goals? Not letting enough goals in? I don't know what it is but I'd like to see it change.

Brett Clark makes a goal-saving block as Theodore was out of position due to a deflected shot. If only that could have been a "turn the tides" style play where the Avalanche saw it and thought "That's what we need, some gritty hockey! Let's go boys!" Instead they seemed to have said something like "Wanna go catch Beowulf after the game?"

Second Period
An early 3-on-1 for the Avalanche but Brunette couldn't sneak the puck through Mike Smith's five-hole. If that one had gone in...whole different hockey game. I'd like to hope so anyways. And since you can't prove me wrong...I'm sticking with it.

Jussi Jokinen then pots his second of the net from a terrible angle. I don't entirely blame Theodore for being surprised by the shot because who the hell shoots from there. But that one should not have gone in.

The Stars continue the bleeding as Modano blasts one from the top of the circle and Jeff Halpern expertly tips it past Theodore. This isn't Theodore's (or the team's) night and thought he should have been taken out after that one.

The Stars then got their second, and final, powerplay chance of the night and made good on it. Zubov fed Jokinen a gorgeous pass after faking a shot and Jokinen had a tap in goal to complete the hat trick. It was the first of his career and I'm glad it could come at the hands of the Avalanche. Sigh.

The Avalanche then make a bad change which leads to a 2-on-1. Theodore makes the original save - a very nice save at that - but Jokinen gobbled up the rebound and buried it under Theodore's armpit. Finally, Theodore is out and Budaj is in.

Third Period
This one starts off with Kyle Cumiskey looking to step up and deliver a hit but instead gets flattened by Chris Conner. Can someone who isn't 5'2" on the Avs try to step up like that?

At this point, Dallas fell back into a defensive posture. And by that I mean they kept possession of the puck, even deep in the Avalanche zone, but seemed content to run down the clock. There was about a 9 minute stretch where there wasn't a whistle. Good in my mind as I wanted this one to be done.

Mike Ribeiro then pots his 8th of the season to make it a 6-0 lead. 6-0. My oh my that's hard to type, hard to read, hard to think about.

Jaroslav Hlinka broke Smith's shutout bid with just 3:45 left to go as he gobbled up a rebound for his second of the season. Hey, at least they didn't get shut out.

Odds and Ends
- Theodore is moving more smoothly with less panic in his stance
- I made that note before the whole "five goals on fifteen shots" thing
- Mike Smith looks like a giant in net (he's 6'3", 211lbs)
- Svatos keeps trying to dangle but it's not his thing, he's an opportunistic scorer not a highlight-reel scorer
- Wolski continues to finish his checks (as long as he does it, I'll keep saying it)

Tyler Arnason ends the night with 18:07 in ice-time and was a +1, the only plus player on the team. Did I fall asleep and wake up in bizarro-land?

Scott Hannan was the ice-time leader again with 21:23. He ended the night -2. Liles and Clark both put up just over 20 minutes and Liles ended at -1 while Clark was even on the night. I'm still liking what I see from Liles this year in the defensive end. At least compared to last year.

Wolski and Guite finished the night with 3 hits each to lead the Avs. It was mentioned at the start of the broadcast that the Avalanche are last in the league in hits per game with 9.9. Rock on.

Loui Eriksson, Phillipe Boucher and Trevor Daley ended the night at -1 for the Stars. How's that for bad timing

The Avs got off a grand total of 18 shots. That's 6 per period for those of you haven't played Brain Age on the Nintendo DS lately. You know what else it is? Sad.

They were also credited with more takeaways than giveaways which is a complete load of bullexcrement.

On a positive note, the Avalanche won 56% of their faceoffs tonight. It's the little victories that count, right? Right?

Related Links Event Sheet
In the Cheap Seats Recap (someone get DD a beer, stat!)
Jerseys and Hockey Love Recap
Mile High Hockey Recap Recap
TSN Recap


Tyler said...

Great recap Shane! I hope the Avs can find some sort of momentum this season.

Shane Giroux said...

Thanks, Tyler. 4 day layoffs are always tough on a team so I'm hoping this one was just an outlier in the season.