Red Wings Hammer Avalanche in Game 2 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Red Wings Hammer Avalanche in Game 2

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Ouch. Double ouch. Triple ouch. Hell, it was a quadruple ouch. It was a virtual carbon copy of Thursday's game as Detroit shelled Jose Theodore for 4 goals and chased him from the net in a 5-1 win this afternoon.

The only difference is that this time, the 4 goals didn't all come in until midway through the second period and Theodore managed to stop 16 shots as opposed to 12. Everything else from the first 30 minutes Thursday carried forward for a full 60 minutes today. The Wings never let up on the gas and the Avalanche only managed a few solid shifts with sustained pressure and looked resigned to losing the game.

Goaltending controversy
Now we have a true goaltending controversy no matter what Quenneville says in the post-game press conference. Two games straight Jose Theodore has been nailed for 4 goals and yanked with Budaj stepping in and letting in only 1 goal on 40 shots.

The team could have helped out more but Theodore looked less-than-average on most of the goals and did not look like the dominating force from the Wild series.

Personally, I would go with Budaj. Sure, Theodore got the team this far but you can't play him just because you feel you owe him anything. You play the goaltender who looks like they can do something for you. And if Theodore plays on Tuesday and lets in the first goal, the team is going to be supremely demoralized.

Injuries abound
We all knew Peter Forsberg was going to be out. We all knew Wojetk Wolski was going to be out. We did not except Scott "Dave" Hannan to sit out. Remember when he took that puck to the inside of the boot last game? Well, I guess it stung more than he let on Thursday.

He really should have just kept his skate on so his foot didn't have a chance to swell and any broken bones would be held in place. It wouldn't be too awkward, right?

Oh, and the "Dave" nickname there? Well, ol' Doc informed us that Dave Hannan was not in the lineup tonight and it was a big blow to the Avalanche. Good job NBC crew. Milbury, McGuire and Emerick. The only redeeming part of that crew is Ed Olcyzk because he actually calls McGuire on some of the crap spewing from his mouth.

The Mule
Johan Franzen has become a media sensation to the point that I'm a bit sick of hearing how nobody has heard of him before. I guess since the "Blood Feud" has healed itself up there really isn't much else to talk about in the this series.

That's not to say that Franzen hasn't been worthy of the praise though. He had a hat trick tonight as he continues to be unstoppable in front of the net. Of course, he is stoppable but don't tell that to the Avalanche defence. It might hurt their feelings.

Defensive doldrums
Was it just me or did the defense look to be standing still today? I know the Wings have some speed but they're not filled with Gaborik's and Lombardi's. Adam Foote and Kurt Sauer were caught on multiple occasions softly leaning on players or getting cement feet as they tried to decide what to do.

On the Wings first goal, Foote was halfway between Franzen and Samuelson and couldn't seem to decide whether he wanted to block the shot or get position on Samuelson.

On Franzen's second goal, he circled around the net with Sauer chasing him, ended up with time and space and roofed it on Theodore. Now Franzen is certainly not fast so Sauer should have been able to keep up with him. And ideally, as soon as Franzen stepped around the corner he would have been plastered by Foote who was just standing in front of the net with nobody else around.

I won't even continue to expand on the gaffs those two made lest it look like I'm picking on them. But I will mention that the fourth goal by Henrik Zetterberg was Sauer's fault for a bad pinch.

Hlinka in the lineup
Jaroslav Hlinka drew in, spent some time on a line with Sakic and looked pretty much like a player who shouldn't be playing in this series.

Of course, that goes for a lot of Avalanche players at this point so I won't hold it against him.

There's no fighting in the playoffs
There usually isn't much fighting in the playoffs but tonight we finally had one. Once the score was at 4-0, Cody McCormick asked Darren McCarty if he wanted to go and the two hesitantly dropped gloves. McCormick swung some Wild punches, McCarty tried to bring the fight in close and the two ended up on the with McCormick on top. About as minor a victory as it gets but it's something.

McGuire's Monsters
Pierre McGuire can't get off the nuts of any coach who...oh I don't know...plays his best players as often as possible. Late in the season he was declaring Joel Quenneville a Jack Adams finalist - please - and slobbered all over him in a game on TSN because he did things like play Joe Sakic often. Or put out his #1 D pair against the opposing teams top line. I'm surprised he didn't commend him for having the appropriate amount of players on the bench.

He did the same thing today with Babcock as he praised him on any line change he made which involved putting Zetterberg or Datsyuk on the ice. Hell, if I was a coach I'd have them on as often as possible too.

And Pierre, we know the Avalanche don't have a big point shot. They haven't for a couple years now. It's a non-story so quit bringing it up even when the teams are playing at even strength, let alone on the powerplay.

Back to the Can
The teams have a two day layoff as they head back to Denver to get ready for game 3. I hope in those two days that the Avalanche can look deep into their minds and muster up some cajones.

Yes, the Red Wings are a talented team but they're not this much more talented than the Avalanche. I'm not sure what kind of mental block this team has against the Wings but it has grown more than old. It's older than the moldy leftovers in the back of my fridge that I fear touching lest I catch some bizarre superbug.

So wake the hell up Avalanche. Give us something to cheer about.

- Liles put in 23 minutes and looked half decent amongst his defensive bretheren
- Filpulla crunched Foote from behind in a nasty hit but both refs were apparently watching out for flying octopi and didn't make a call
- Brett Lebda was -1 for the day
- Lappy scored a goal but we didn't get a classic Lappy celebration as the game was 4-1 at the time

Related Links Event Summary Recap
Denver Post Recap
On the Wings Recap


ELPOU said...

Hi Shane !
just saw the highlights of the game and I can honestly say that Theo is back to normal. Yes he had a great series against Minny but there he is again, the Theo that made me scream at my tv for the past 2 years. I say play Budaj the next game or else it will be over in 4.

The reason I didn't watch the game is I got to see team Canada in an exhibition game at the Colisée Pepsi in Quebec against Finland, got some picture, I will try to put them online and will send you a link if you're interested. Go Avs !

Shane Giroux said...

"I got to see team Canada in an exhibition game at the Colisée Pepsi"

That's definitely an acceptable reason to miss the game :)

I'd love to see those pics once you get them up.

tapeleg said...

That picture makes them look like robots. Only one of them needs a software upgrade.

Pierre has to make those comments, because this is a national audience, and he has to pander to the east coast. If it was McNab, he would have called it the most professional weak point shot ever, the kind of weak point shot a veteran team like this can bring to the ice.

A Wings Homer said...

I'm a Wings fan, but I'm not looking for a fight (and sorry to read that you have had some less- than-pleasant run-ins with some less-than-intelligent members of our fanbase). Just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading your recap with just a minor point of contention:

"Now Franzen is certainly not fast so Sauer should have been able to keep up with him."

I think you are underestimating Franzen's foot speed a bit. He's not blazing fast, but he's not Tomas Holmstrom, either.

Anyway, I know you said you are sick of hearing about the guy, so I'll stop now. Keep up the good work on the blog, it's an enjoyable read, even for a Wings homer like me.

Shane Giroux said...

"He's not blazing fast, but he's not Tomas Holmstrom, either."

So then he's not fast ;) I'm not saying the guy is a slug on skates but he's certainly someone our D should be able to keep pace with.

I appreciate the comment and hope you keep stopping by. I don't hate all Wings fans, only the crazy ones ;)