Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Post-game vs Buffalo - Mar 7, 2007

The streak continues as the Avalanche have now won 5 in a row after a 3-2 win over Buffalo. The game started off on a bad note as the Sabres got on the board only 2 minutes in. That only lasted until the halfway point of the 1st when Hejduk was fed a great pass by Stastny during a shorthanded opportunity. Then after trading goals in the 2nd, Wojtek Wolski buried one after Sakic turned on the jets to feed the puck out front.

Paul Stastny continued his streak with a 2 assist performance which puts him only 4 points shy of Evgeni Malkin. He and Hejduk are really clicking right now. I'd compare the duo to Hejduk and Forsberg although Foppa fans everywhere would probably draw and quarter me. I know it's a bit premature to make that comparison but I'm looking forward to seeing what this duo does for the rest of the season. If it keeps up, Stastny should get some serious consideration for the Calder and Hejduk should get some serious apologies from his detractors.

This was an extremely physical game and not just from the opposing team! The Avalanche were dishing out some good hits today as well. Sauer, Finger and Vaananen were the most physical while folks such as Guite and Stastny certainly did not shy away from the rough stuff.
And of course Scott Parker flattened Jochan Hecht after he gave a pseudo-challenge to Ben Guite for giving Briere a blindside hit. It's that kind of physicality that the Avs were very much lacking. It's the first time I've seen an Avalanche player absolutely level another player during a scrum and I loved it.

The Avalanche again limited their opponent to a mere 21 shots on goal. If this keeps up, the Avalanche should certainly be able to extend their winning streak even farther. I really don't know why the Avalanche decided to tighten up their defense just recently as opposed to earlier in the season. If all it took to make Sauer more physical was for the coaching team to say "Play more physical.", then why didn't they just say it earlier?

Kurt Sauer put in 29 minutes tonight. I'll say it again. Kurt Sauer put in 29 minutes tonight. If I had said that earlier in the season, people would have said the stats were wrong. But with the way he's playing lately, it's much easier to believe. He's playing the body, he's not fishing for the puck, and he's not trying to do anything offensively.

Brad Richardson managed to steal himself 17:23 in ice-time tonight. Most of his time was on the 3rd line with Laperriere and Arnason. That line had a few opportunities, the best one coming from Arnason, and put in a good 3rd line performance. Well, save for Laperriere's goof in the first which helped lead to the first goal. Nothing like dropping your gloves and not having a partner reciprocate.

The Good
- beating the #1 team in the east
- Stastny continuing his streak
- Hejduk staying on fire
- good defensive coverage
- holding on for a 1-goal win

The Bad
- waking up this late in the season

The Ugly
- not knowing the game was on NHL Network until the midway point