Sunday, November 11, 2007

Avalanche Defeat Wild 4-2

I'm a bit late getting this out as I was at Remembrance Day ceremonies while the game was on. But the ol' PVR doesn't care if I'm at home or not, it'll record the show no matter what. It's probably not good to love an inanimate object but...I can't help it.

The Avalanche improved to 9-1 at home tonight as they took it to a Gaborik-and-Demtria-less Wild. I was surprised to see Backstrom in as I heard he injured his groin. Hopefully his miraculous recovery didn't involve any needles in...that...area...ouch.

First Period
What a dull start to this game. The Wild iced the puck about 8 billion times to start things off. Ok, it was about half a dozen but still.

After the Wild got all the icings out of their system, the game started to have some flow to it. The Avalanche got some good chances but had trouble finding the net. Seriously. Wolski and Brunette both had wide open cages but couldn't put it home. Wolski looked like he was going to bite the head off a chicken as he headed to the bench. He definitely should have had that one.

The Avs then took the first penalty of the game as Brunette headed off for hooking. They did an ace job killing off that penalty though and things were looking good for the PK.

Ryan Smyth decided to put that to the test as he took a penalty shortly after the Brunette one had ended. And again, a good kill. Way to go PK!

To make up for his penalty, Ryan Smyth got the first goal of the game. Hannan had the puck at the point, fired a pass/shot towards the net which Smyth promptly snagged on his backhand, moved it to his forehand and put it past a confused Nik Backstrom. Great goal.

Second Period
The Avs got an early PP as "blank" went off for the Wild. Seriously, it showed as nothing on the game summary as I was writing this. 2 hours after the game ended, one of the 2 games in this hectic night of hockey had obvious errors in the scoresheet. Kind of sad.

Nothing doing on that PP but the Avs got another chance as Sheppard went off for holding. Hejduk had a great chance off a beauty feed from behind the net but Backstrom was right there to gobble it up. Then Paul Stastny was able to avenge that nice save off a scramble in front. With Backstrom spread-eagled in the crease, Stastny shoveled the puck over top for a 2-0 lead.

The Wild answered back with their own PP goal less than 5 minutes later. With Hanna in the box for tripping, Eric Belanger was able to put one past Budaj to keep the game from running away. It was a bizarre goal too. Rolston took a shot which went wide, bounced onto the crossbar, then onto Budaj's arm, then to the ice where Belanger was able to poke it home. You don't see one like that too often.

But Paul Stastny would have none of that. "1 goal leads are for wusses" he declared shortly before flying down the ice with Wolski in tow. He then cut back to the middle, used the Wild defenders and Wolski as a screen and fired the puck past Backstrom. This kid loves playing at home this year as 18 of his 19 points have come at home.

Things were looking good as the Avs were about to take a 2-goal lead into the third. That is until Jaroslav Hlinka got called for tripping with just 17 seconds to play. 12 seconds later, the puck was in the back of the net as Nummelin fed a great pass to Bouchard who wired it home. Whoops.

Third Period
It was at this point that may desired to play my new Nintendo DS started getting the better of me. And I have no regrets as the DS is amazingly fun! Nonetheless, I may have missed a play or two here or there so be gentle.

The Avalanche got an early PP to try and go up by two goals again. They got some solid pressure going but their best chances came when they got the puck back to the point to create more space. Let's face it, cycling down low is fun and kills the clock but it's damn tough to work in such a confined space.

Tyler Arnason then had a great rush which led to him getting hauled down to draw a penalty. He hung around on the ice a bit longer than I would like but maybe he was a bit winded. Sure, let's go with that. I'm one of those guys where if you're not bleeding profusely from your eyeballs, you get the hell back up and into the play ASAP. None of this "lying around looking for a penalty" stuff. Ok...calm down, Shane.

Nothing materialized on the PP and the Wild really started pressing for the tying goal. You know what doesn't help when trying to tie the game? Taking a penalty with just under 2 minutes left to play. That's what Radivojevic did and it cost the Wild dearly.

The Avalanche applied good pressure to keep Backstrom in the net. Once he was able to get out, it was just 5-on-5 with an empty net. The Avalanche had a fairly easy task at getting up the ice and getting an empty-netter. Stastny tossed it towards the net and Wolski dumped the rebound in. That assist got Stastny to the 100-point mark in 99 games. Not too shabby.

And it gave the Avs a 4-2 win over a divisional opponent.

Odds and Ends
- Hejduk had his afterburners on tonight!
- Laperriere left the game after a weird collision with a Wild D-man in the 2nd
- Hannan had a good game tonight
- Wolski continues to finish his checks on nearly ever play: I love it!
- Svatos was a non-factor tonight
- Budaj had a solid game and was the 3rd star

Hannan led the way in ice-time again with 23:43. Clark was next with 22:02 followed closely by Sakic and Smyth with 21:24 and 21:13 respectively.

Clark was a +2 with 8 blocked shots. That's right, 8. Hannan had 4 blocked shots and Liles had 3.

Stastny was 67% in the faceoff circle tonight which is more than acceptable. The team finished at 63% which is shocking. I think that's the first time they won the overall faceoff game this season. Tyler Arnason led the way going 10 for 14. Double shock.

Related Links
In the Cheap Seats Recap
Mile High Hockey Recap
TSN Recap Recap Scoresheet

Friday, November 9, 2007

Avalanche Dominated by Canucks; Come Away with 2-1 OT Loss

(AP Photo/Sam Leung)
It was Jose Theodore vs. Roberto Luongo as the Canucks looked to stay perfect against Northwest division opponents. Or Robert Luogno according to the game description in my program guide.

First Period
Although there were no goals scored, this was a pretty exciting period. Some good end-to-end action, some good scoring chances, lots of pressure - mostly against the Avs - and some goods saves - mostly from Theodore.

Colorado got the first powerplay chance as Daniel Sedin went off for holding. There wasn't much manufactured on this powerplay as the Canucks were very aggressive and never gave the Avs time to set up.

Vancouver then got a powerplay chance of their own as Hejduk went off for interference. The Canucks has a better looking powerplay than the Avalanche did but weren't able to put the puck behind Theodore who was out challenging the shooters at every chance.

At that point, the Vancouver announcers decided to start arguing about Colorado's goaltending situtation. Hughson arguing that Theodore was about to take over the #1 position while John Garret argued that the Avalanche "liked" Peter Budaj too much to let that happen. Uh huh.

Kurt Sauer took a late penalty with just 1:31 left to go and the Canucks almost cashed in. The puck got fired wide, Daniel Sedin then did a nice spin move to bat the puck out of mid-air and in front of the net. Theodore saw it, stuck his glove on it, then Henrik Sedin came in and poked under Theodore's glove to put the puck in the net.

The ref immediately waved it off declaring that he'd blown the play dead. The announcers declared it, correctly, an unreviewable call. So we were all a bit surprised when there appeared to be a brief review. But the call on the ice stood and the Avalanche were lucky walk away with a 0-0 tie in a period they were badly outchanced in.

Second Period
The outchancing (is that a word?) carried over from the first to the second period. It just seemed like the Canucks would set up shop in the Avalanche end and there was nothing Colorado could do about it. And this wasn't just the Sedin line. Kesler and Linden's line were also moving the puck around at will.

It was at this point that I started disliking John Garret, the Canucks color commentator. I like Jim Hughson, I think he's got a great voice and calls the game well...but I think even he got a bit annoyed with this guy. He started by declaring the hit Cooke laid on Langkow last night as "questionable" and the worst part of the hit, according to him, was it was poor timing by Cooke seeing as they were up by 3 goals. No, the concussion wasn't the worst part. It was the poor timing. I mean, come on.

The Canucks were then able to cash one in though not without some controversy. Theodore made the initial save, the puck flew straight up in the air and Henrik batted it in. The ref called it a goal but Sakic and everyone else on the Avs was all over the ref saying it was a high stick. So of course, the call goes out to Toronto for the guys in the "war room" to check it out.

Immediately, without having yet seen a replay in any form, John Garret says "Oh, this one will count". So he's got the quickest eyes in the west apparently to be able to see the puck was conclusively hit below the crossbar. Then, after seeing a replay showing how close it was, there was a pause before Hughson finally said "I don't know..." and then Garret abdicated his position a bit. He still waffled around and then, on the one angle where I thought it looked like the stick hit the puck over the crossbar, he declared it "the best angle in favor of the Canucks". Whatever.

In the end, it was a goal and rightly so. The call on the ice was a goal and there is no way any video evidence could be conclusive on such a close play. Garrett then proceeds to say Quenneville was upset about the call because he must have felt there was a "home field advantage". That one nearly put me over the top. The guys in Toronto reviewing the goal could give a flying pigs fart about which team was the home team and Quenneville could have cared less if this game was played in Kuwait or Calcutta. He was upset because he believed it was a high stick and shouldn't count. Simple as that.

Ok, off my soapbox. The Canucks continued dominating this period with Theodore making some nice saves to keep the score close. He's still kicking out rebounds to some odd places but is looking confident while doing so. That's gotta count for something.

Towards the end of the period Colorado decided to show up a bit. They had some sustained pressure of their own which led to a couple chances but Luongo was there for all of them. On one, Ryan Smyth redirected a Jeff Finger shot just wide. The color guy said the reason Smyth didn't get a good redirect was that it was "23 inches off the ice". Yep. 23. He measured. I guess.

The Canucks then had a rush of their own late but it was just offside. On the replay, it was actually tough to see but the color guy said "See, his right skate was in before the puck." Ok. What about the left one? Maybe he should review the rule book on how you actually go offside. Two skates, not one, need to cross that blue line before the puck does.

Oh, and Daniel took another penalty towards the end of the period and the Avalanche did nothing with it.

Third Period
But they did something with the rest of the Sedin penalty to start the third. After being derided for not having a shot from the point - which is true - the Avalanche scored with a weak shot from the point by Liles. It appeared to get redirected by Willie Mitchell's foot and in. I can't see any other way this one would have got past Luongo.

This didn't stop the Canucks or give the Avs that much of a boost. They got a few more chances but it was still all Canucks for most of this period. And again, Theodore made some nice saves to make up for mistakes by the defenders. Most notable were a snazzy glove save after Finger whiffed on a clearing attempt and a good shoulder save on a redirected shot from the point.

The third line combo of Laperriere and Arnason played well for most of the game. This tended to be the line where I was least nervous when they were on the ice. Likely because they weren't playing against the Canucks tough lines. Still, they manufactured a few chances but couldn't get past Luongo.

The Wolski-Stastny-Hejduk line was virtually invisible all night but they broke through late in the third to get a couple chances but again, nothing went in. Wolski, in particular, seemed quite invisible tonight. But that'll happen from time to time so no need to worry.

Mike Weaver took a late hooking penalty as he got a stick around Joe Sakic so the Avalanche had a chance to close this one out. Unfortunately they cycled the puck too much and never really got through for any scoring chances. The Canucks PK was again quite good.

Both goaltenders were playing well and they're the reason this one went to overtime. It was a pretty brief overtime though. Shortly after Finger had nailed Kesler and sent him doubled-over off the ice, the Sedins came on. That's trouble. They cycled the puck down low for about 5 hours, then finally brought it out front where Henrik tossed it on net and Kurt Sauer deflected it past Theodore.

The announcers said it went off Finger, I saw it go off Sauer. Either way, it went off an Avalanche defenseman and in. Tough one. But hey, at least they got one point out of tonight. They really shouldn't have.

Odds & Ends
- Hlinka was back in after sitting two straight
- Finger keeps on putting the body on people
- Brunette played a solid game and was the best Avalanche out there
- Guite played very well and had some key shot blocks
- the Sedins are just frightening (both looks and skill)

Paul Stastny was 9 for 10 in the faceoff circle. Yep, 90%! That's some good faceoff work. Guite and Sakic...not so much. They were 33% and 25% respectively.

Brett Clark was the ice-time leader for the Avalanche with 22:56 followed closely by Scott Hannan with 22:21. Clark was on the ice for a loooong shift at one point as each time he tried to get off, the Canucks regained position so he had to stay on to help out.

Scott Hannan had 6 blocked shots on the night. Jaroslav Hlinka had one but that might have been accidental.

Marek Svatos was dropped to the fourth line and saw limited minutes with just 9:59 in ice-time. Jaroslav Hlinka saw even less with 9:05.

Related Links
In the Cheap Seats Game Notes Recap
TSN Recap

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Avalanche Acquire Bacashihua for 7th-Round Pick

In a surprise move, the Avalanche have acquired Jason Bacashihua from the St. Louis Blues for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2008.

It's surprising for a couple reasons. The goaltending duo so far has been doing all right and Tyler Weiman was showing promise as the goaltender of the future for the Avs. At this point though, I believe it's mainly a depth move and, for the price, a bit of a steal actually.

He's already headed down to Lake Erie which is likely where he'll stay this year. There is a good chance that Michael Wall is headed down to the ECHL as he's been playing very poorly for the Monsters.

Looking at Bacashihua's stats - and incredibly bizarre lastname - you'll notice he's basically been a minor-leaguer posting up average yet unspectacular numbers. He's been touted as having the ability to be a #1 but has yet to realize that potential.

At only 25, he's still got a couple years to prove his abilities. But he's getting awfully close to the "bust" point in his career.

There is the possibility that this is setting up another trade and FG wanted to bring in a backup with NHL experience. Possibly. Not probably. Not anywhere near probably in my mind.

Related Links Trade Announcement
Spector Weighs In

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Avalanche Squeeze Past Oilers 4-3 in SO

Ok, in the interest of full disclosure, you'll have to cut me a break if I missed something good as it's election night here in Saskatchewan. So I was flipping back and forth between the game and the results coverage. It was official by halfway through the 2nd period though so if I miss something there...I've got no excuse.

First Period
In the interest of keeping this brief, I'll quickly outline the goals since there were 5 of the darn things.

The game started off good as the Avs got on the board first. The fourth line was out providing some good energy and got rewarded for it. Jeff Finger took a shot from the point and Lappy provided a soft deflection to put it between Roloson's pads. Roloson knew he should have had that one. Stick down Roli!

Edmonton was able to answer back just over 5 minutes later. A bit of a scrambly play out front and Kyle Brodziak was able to put the puck past Budaj to tie it at 1.

Then 3 minutes later, Colorado scored a goal and I completely missed this one. And didn't have the energy to rewind. I hope you all forgive me. It was Arnason getting his 3rd of the year with assists from Bruno and Lappy.

Then about 30 seconds later, the ping-pong game continued as Dick Tjarnstom buried a shot high blocker on Budaj. Budaj was out challenging pretty well but may have lost his position a bit. It was a pretty darn good shot though.

And a minute later, Edmonton took the lead as Ales Hemsky did his magic again. He danced around Kurt Sauer - seriously, Sauer never even touched him - and buried a shot on the far side just over Budaj's pad. Hemsky has some sweet moves but Sauer still should have been able to plaster him. Hemsky's known for big goals and being on the receiving end of big hits.

Second Period
Ok, let's jump in halfway through the action as I was listening to concession and victory speeches from the NDP and Sask Party respectively.

The Oilers got a PP chance at the 12:41 mark. The reason for the penalty...Cumiskey is the David to Penner's Goliath. These two were battling on the boards and the only chance Cumiskey had at winning was to hold on to Penner's stick. Or kick him in the shins. That's frowned upon though. The Oil generated a few chances but couldn't cash in. For a terrible PP, they looked not bad tonight.

At this point, the Oilers were really starting to take over the play in this period. The Avs initially had a 9-1 shot advantage but ended the period with a 12-9 advantage. The boxscore was wrong on the shots, at least according to TSN's numbers.

Wolski had the Avs best chance of the period as he took a shortside feed but Roloson was not fooled. That move - circle the net but backhand a pass to the shortside rather than go around the net - has really become prominent this year. In fact, it was Marty Turco's subject on CBC's little vignette of "That's Hockey" on HNIC last weekend. At least I think it's called "That's Hockey". Give me a break, I'm not sleeping much lately.

Peter Budaj then had his own opportunity to bail his team out as he came up huge on two different occasions. The first was a big save on Hemsky who danced around the defenders again. Liles made a heads up play to clear the puck which was looking to trickle into the net. He then made a huge save on one of those backdoor shortside passes from Nilson to Torres. Man I hate Torres. Just wanted to throw that in.

Third Period
The Avs go into the third down by 1 but they wouldn't live with that for long. Just 2:20 in and Ian Laperriere picks up his 2nd goal of the night. Andrew Brunette put in some hard work along the boards and that'll always pay off. He was able to dump it back to Arnason who then fired it at the net. Lappy was going hard to the net - that'll always pay off too - and it went off his stick and in.

Healy, as he always does, began complaining about goaltender interference since Lappy's stick got up in Roloson's grill. Only problem...the puck was in before Lappy touched Roloson. And he apologized after so it's all good.

The tempo really picked up after this goal and frankly there was so much action that my eyes were glued to the television and I wasn't taking notes. Budaj came up with some solid saves during this action to keep the tie going. His most notable was a slick glove save on Torres after Hemsky danced in around the D again. I'm noticing a theme here with Hemsky. He tends to make the Avalanche defenders know what...when he plays them.

The Oil then got an early PP on a Paul Stastny high-stick. This was one that the Avalanche got very lucky on as it should have been a long 5-on-3. About 30 seconds into the PP, Wyatt Smith took down Grebeshkov in a blatant trip, right in front of the ref...and no call. Mac T was livid and I don't blame him.

Sauer even made up for his play tonight as he sprawled to stop a late 2-on-1 with Hemsky and Stoll. That could have been the game right there. Sauer did not have a good night tonight as Hemsky exposed his slowness on many occasions.

Overtime was a prototypical OT. A few chances on each end but no team really having a ton of sustained pressure. I fear too many teams are playing for the shootout these days but I have absolutely no stats or even any solid logic to back it up. I just fear it. And I can fear whatever I want. Including large spiders and small birds.

After a ridiculous delay thanks to the Oilers "not liking the ice", the shootout began.

Wolski starts it and basically turns Roloson inside out with a sweet, sweet move.

Gagner is denied.

Smyth is stoned by Roloson who seemed to know exactly what Smyth would do. I wonder why?

Hemsky tries low-blocker again and misses the net. Try something else Ales!

Sakic for the win and...denied by the post! He had Roli beat glove high but that darn post got in the way.

Torres to tie it...5-hole on a quick release. Man I hate Torres.

Svatos to put the pressure on the Oil and...he basically lobs it over Roloson's glove. Weird looking goal but whatever gets it in the back of the net.

Reasoner to keep the SO going and...MISS! The Avs win the SO and push their home record to 8-1.

Odds and Ends
- Sakic kept trying 5-hole on Roloson but had no luck
- Finger plastered Penner along the boards in the 2nd period
- both teams did a good job staying out of the box with just 8 penalties between both teams
- Svatos has been making good defensive reads lately
- Hemsky loves going low-blocker on goaltenders
- 5 goals in 9:52 of the 1st, then no more until 2:20 of the 3rd...crazy night!
- the Avs are now 6-2 against divisional opponents
- they are also 1st in the Northwest!

Ian Laperriere was the beast of the night with 2 goals and 1 assist. The third line was in on all the Avs goals and was a combined +7 with 7 points.

Brett Clark had monster minutes of 28:43 tonight. I didn't notice him that much so with that amount of ice-time, that can only be a good thing. Sauer was next with 23:49. I noticed him a lot. And that's not a good thing.

Scott Parker was at the low end with just 56 seconds on the ice. Seriously. Q sits Hlinka in order to give Parker 56 seconds of ice time. I may not be an NHL coach but that just seems ridiculous.

Sakic, Hannan and Smyth were -2 on the night. Aren't those our most defensively responsible players. What gives?

Sakic blasted off 8 shots. Each one going for the 5-hole I think.

The Avs were credited with 6 hits. And this was on home turf! But they only gave Finger 1 hit, likely his one on Penner, even though I'm positive he hit more guys than that.

Related Links Gamesheet
TSN Recap Recap
In the Cheap Seats Game Notes
Hannan Unfazed by +/-
Richardson Cleared to Play

Monday, November 5, 2007

Avalanche Dowse Flames 4-1

I'm back. Not 100% yet but enough that I can do a write up or two to get my mind going again. It's amazing what 2 weeks of lying on a couch will do to your mental capacity.

This was a game I had to shell out $12.95 to watch on Flames PPV. With that cash, I was treated to a sloppy team in the Calgary Flames and a sloppy drunk in Theo Fleury, who was doing color commentary.

Ok, I can't say for sure if he was drunk but he took a long time to finish sentences and had trouble with words like "opportunities". But that's as much as I'll rag on Theo. He's had a life filled with crazy highs - last one I swear - and some pretty terrible lows.

First Period
This one started off looking like it might be a rough night. With the Flames on the PP and Theodore playing "snow angel", Alex Tanguay snagged the puck and roofed it for the first goal of the game. They later gave credit to Iginla for the goal but I didn't see Iginla touch it. Unless Iginla truly is that good that he can deflect pucks simply by being in their presence. Kind of like a black hole of suckitude.

You'd think the Flames at this point would turn things up and put the pressure on. Instead, they found themselves worrying more about keeping Ryan Smyth and the rest of the Avs away from Kiprusoff than from keeping the puck out of their net. Or clearing the puck. Or maintaining possession of the puck.

The Avs got their own PP goal to even things up late in the period. With Conroy in the box for the second time of the period, Joe Sakic found Andrew Brunette at the side of the goal. Joe rocketed a pass to Brunette and he buried it in the twine. Did they ever actually make goal nets out of twine?

The Flames ended the period a man down as Tanguay shot the puck over the glass. Roger Millions and Fleury figured that since it hit the camera, it shouldn't count. Well, since the camera is above the glass...well I think you can see where I'm going with this.

Second Period
The Flames came out flat and soft in this period and the Avalanche did their best to make them pay. Kiprusoff was up to the task for the most part and really kept his team in the game.

Halfway through the period though, the Avalanche were able to break through. Hejduk and Wolski went flying in and Wolski tipped a beauty Hejduk feed through Kipper's pads. Wolsk is flying lately and playing like a completely player. Goals, checking and backchecking. Great to see.

The Avs had two glorious chances to salt this one away early but Kiprusoff made two even more glorious saves. The first was an amazing glove save on Stastny which had everyone in the arena off their seats thinking it was a goal. He then proceeded to deny Andrew Brunette on an in tight chance by what appeared to be the ability to dislocate both his hips to get his toenail on the puck.

Third Period
The Wolski-Stastny-Hejduk line continued their domination this period and were able to get on the score sheet twice to finish this one off.

Just 45 seconds in, this line put on a beauty of a rush. These 3 were reading each other so well tonight I wondered if they had mic'd their helmets on a private frequency. Either that or they learned telepathy. They were passing behind each other, across the crease and finally into the back of the net. Just exciting hockey to watch when this line was on the ice.

Then about halfway through Stastny found himself wide open and staring into a wide open net. Wolski appeared to bat the puck back to him and Stastny made no mistake. That ended the night for Kiprusoff but through no fault of his own.

The Avalanche then fell back into defensive mode and looked like they actually knew what they were doing. At the end of the night, they had dealt the Flames their third straight 4-1 loss. Ouch. The Flames self-destructed in this one after about 10 minutes of decent effort.

Odds and Ends
- Guite plastered Phaneuf at least twice, once sending him flying from the blue line back to the red line
- Laperriere and Nystrom scrapped and Lappy got the worst of it (why was Parker dressed if he wasn't going to do this?)
- Lappy congratuled Matt Keetley on his first NHL save (it was a pretty decent one)
- Parker got a 10 minute misconduct at the end of the second but I wasn't privy to why

Dion Phaneuf finished at -2 on the night and I'd mark him as -4 for the two times Guite crushed him.

Liles and Clark put in the most minutes with 22:17 and 22:18 respectively. Liles had 6:46 of PP time. And no points to show for it.

The Wolski-Stastny-Hejduk line was a +9 collectively on the night. Hejduk had 3 assists, Stastny 2 assists and Wolski 1 goal and 2 assists. Clark and Sauer finished at +2

The Avs fired off 36 shots with 7 coming from Sakic's stick. Stastny had 5 and Liles had 4.

Story Time
I couldn't resist on this one as someone sent Theo Fleury a question asking about the point scoring race he had with Joe Sakic in juniors. In the WHL, Theo played for the Moose Jaw Warriors and Joe of course played with the Swift Current Broncos. These two had a long running rivalry in their time, particularly since the Broncos and Warriors were always rivals due to their proximity.

Well, my dad had season tickets to the Broncos from the minute they came back to Swift and we made that 50 minute trip more times than I can remember. The game Fleury referred to tonight was the one I remember most of all. Well, that and the game against the Raiders when there were 5 fights in the final 10 seconds. Friggin' PA I tell ya.

Now, here is where I may be fuzzy on a detail or two - I was only 8 at the time! - but I'll do my best.

Going into the game, Sakic and Fleury were tied in the point scoring race in the WHL with 150 each and all the buzz around the game was about who would walk away with the title. Nobody cared who won the game, it was all about the personal accolade for our hero. Obviously we all were rooting for Sakic, especially since Fleury was that little, tenacious, loud-mouthed bastard who everybody just hated with a passion. Ask me about the "It must have been your mom" comment if you want to hear what Theo was like on the ice. He knew how to get under players - and fans - skin.

The game ended up being an absolutely ridiculous game. The final score was 14-9 - at least that's what Theo said on the broadcast - with Fleury and Sakic matching each other point for point. Now I can't remember what time the final goal happened for the Broncos, but it was late in the game and everybody was on the edge of their seats. Joe needed one more point to claim the glory.

And as always, he didn't disappoint. It was an assist that put him over the top and as soon as that puck went in the net, the roof damn near blew off the Civic Center. Sure, the Broncos had won the game but by golly, Joe had won the scoring title. Never was that city more proud.

They didn't win the Memorial Cup that year but did manage to capture it the following year. By then Joe had moved on to the NHL but I'm sure he still played a part in that win.

Related Links
In the Cheap Seats Game Notes Recap
TSN Recap

Friday, November 2, 2007

Coming back soon...

The trip to Denver had to be cancelled due to illness (thank you travel insurance) but the blog will be starting back up soon. I'm still watching the games but not with enough energy left to expend in putting up my lengthy posts once the game is done.

Stay tuned and you'll be subject to my "triple R's" soon enough (ramblings, rantings and ravings)...