Red Wings Shut Out Avalanche - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Red Wings Shut Out Avalanche

(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
This was a hard game to watch. Not only was the blood pressure up watching the Wings dominate the Avalanche but it was further boosted by the hope that maybe, just maybe, the Avs could pull out one point by taking the game to OT on the back of Peter Budaj.

Those hopes were dashed with only a couple minutes left to play as Henrik Zetterberg finally got one past Budaj. Kris Draper then iced it with an empty-netter for the 2-0 final.

I didn't find out about those two goals in the normal sequence of things though. I began watching my recording of the game after about half of the live game was over. I was slowly catching up to the live action as I fast-forwarded through Pierre's awesome between-whistle insights though. At about the 10 minute of the third period I figured the game had likely been decided but I was so into the hope for OT that I didn't want to spoil myself and zoom ahead to the end.

Then my mom called. I answer "Hello" and she says "Yeah, I know it's not a good time since your team is losing 2-0..." D'oh! I told her she didn't ruin it for me as the team was obviously going to ruin it for me anyways but in the future, the first words should be "Are you watching the game?"

And that goes for anybody. If you've got a die-hard Giants fan in your office, then come Monday morning do not give them a high-five or, more likely, a conciliatory pat on the back. First ask "Did you see the game?" Maybe the poor soul was called in to work and had to record the game, delaying the inevitable disappointment.

But let's get back on track.

Peter Budaj? Rusty? Those two words do not belong in the same sentence. Peter Budaj shook off whatever rust he might have accumulated on the bench and turned in an absolutely stellar performance last night. He made some flat out amazing saves and ended up turning aside 34 of 35 shots which earned him "Monster of the Game" from Pierre McGuire. No wait, he gave that to Nik Lidstrom who he was polishing off all night long.

There were some folks who thought that Budaj would get shellacked since he "doesn't have enough experience" and "couldn't handle Detroit". Well, how does the crow taste this morning folks?

On the other end, Dominik Hasek put in his usual performance. He made the easy saves he needed to make, flopped when he needed to flop and pulled out a 15 save shutout. I guess my poke at him being a flopper in my pre-game was a harbinger of things to come. Not that it was an "off the wall" prediction.

I will say this, the team certainly paid attention to defense. Unfortunately it wasn't controlled and relaxed. It was more like "Oh crap, Zetterberg has it, I gotta get him...Oh wait, he dished it to Datsyuk...Wait, where'd Datsyuk go? Oh, the front of the....wait, he passed it back to Lidstrom..."

The Wings moved the puck around so well that the Avalanche were continually scrambling to cover their assignments in the defensive zone. Then when they got the puck away, they dished it out to center ice, changed lines, rinsed, lathered and repeated.

Wait, you're supposed to play offense PLUS play defense? Ridiculous.

I won't really touch on the waved off goal other than to cough out *bullpucky* under my breath.

Pierre McGuire
Yep, he gets his own category. I'll preface this by saying that I don't doubt the man's hockey knowledge. It's more about the ass-kissing and WWE promo style that he uses while dishing it out.

First, there was the issue of his "Monster of the Game". From about the second period on, McGuire and Miller (who I don't mind) had pounced on Nik Lidstrom and all but declared him the next President of the U.S. of A and possibly the second coming of Jesus. They showed the same stretch pass on at least 3 occasions and used to show how aware and smart and handsome he is. But that same play gets made in almost every game on any given night.

Next, his berating of the Avalanche for not winning faceoffs. Look, we all know the Avalanche are not the best faceoff team in the league. We also know that Detroit is one of the best. So combine those together and let me know what logic would dictate. But instead of saying "Wow, Detroit is just outworking the Avalanche in the faceoff department", he starts ranting that "The Avalanche HAVE to win those faceoffs and that's something the coaching department NEEDS to work on." all the while gesticulating wildly from his tiny little box between the benches.

Yeah, because the Avalanche didn't have bigger issues than faceoffs in the game. Hell, even if they did win the faceoffs, Detroit would have just taken the puck away anyways. It's no wonder he doesn't coach anymore. There's no way I'd listen to the man if he yelled at me for not winning a crucial faceoff when the odds are nearly 50-50 on the best of occasions.

Andhere are some quotes from the man himself:
"There'll be physical play. The Avs are young and don't know any better." - Um...what? That would imply that they are doing something wrong by playing physical. In fact, they were doing something very much right but don't let that stand in the way of trying to make some sort of moot point.

"There's not an empty seat here unless they've gone to the men room, ladies room or concession stand" - What a bizarre statement. He couldn't have just left it at "There's not an empty seat in the house!" Why clarify some of the reasons that a seat may be empty? Just to show how smart he is that he can figure out the reasons someone may not be at their seat? Well guess what hotshot, what if someone went out for a smoke? Or had to take a phone call? Or started having contractions and had to go give birth to their baby?

I could have had more quotes but I try to enjoy hockey games and not have them ruined by inane commentary that never, ever ends. Seriously. Miller can't do play-by-play for more than 20 seconds without McGuire interjecting with some "facts" and "opinions".

Upcoming Game
The Avs finish up their back-to-back road swing with a game in St. Louis tonight. Puck drop is at 8:38 ET.

- Pavel Datsyuk has a tendency to be too fancy at times
- Henrik Zetterberg has a tendency to be too awesome at times
- what was with Holmstrom whacking Budaj in the junk but getting away with it in the second?
- Brett Clark knocked Aaron Downey on his keester even though Downey had a half-sheet of ice run at him (Saskatchewan FTW!)
- Q said that the 5-on-3 was "A big moment to dodge" Dodge? Dude, GMC FTW!

Related Links Event Summary
In the Cheap Seats Game Notes
Mike @ MHH Gives an Inside the Locker Room Scenario
Denver Post Recap
TSN Recap


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