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Written by Sean Payton | 18 December 2010

GAME32
  • When a team doesn't have its best stuff, when it is flat, when it can make bonehead plays and give away goals and still come away with 2 points, you have to start to consider them among the NHL's elite.
  • Big goal by O'Reilly - perfect shot; bigger goal by Matty - perfect shot.
  • Hunwick was an absolute train-wreck.  Horrible giveaways directly leading to Senators goals, unable to do his job and prevent the pass on a 2 on 1s, no points on the offensive end of the ice.  I think its time to get Holos in the lineup.
  • Nice to get Galiardi back on the ice.  Unlike most of his counterparts, he worked hard.
  • You have to wonder how a team like Islanders overlooks a guy like Greg Maudlin.  Maybe thats why they are last place in the NHL.
  • Maybe that's why they drafted Tavares over Duchene.
  • Congrats to Liles, rewarded with an "A" with both Stastny and Hejduk out.
  • Koci watch: 2:16, -1.
Next game: vs Canadiens, Sunday, 6PM mountain no comments

Written by Sean Payton | 16 December 2010

GAME31
  • In each of their last 4 wins, the Avs have come up huge in the 3rd period.  
  • This time the hero was Fleischmann.  Anyone think that Hannan trade was a mistake now?  (I'm not talking to you, McPhee.)
  • Brouwer gets 2 goals in Denver and many hats on the ice.  Flash gets 3 goals in Chicago and no hats.  I guess them the breaks when you play an original six team.
  • Main reason this team is considerably better than last year's team:  Andy / Budaj can give up a soft goal and the game isn't over.
  • His game was a little rough in late in 3rd, but Andy was rock solid for most of the game.  His calmness is returning.  
  • Towards the end of the 2nd, McNab praised Hunwick as having his 'best game as an Avalanche'.  Hunwick promptly turned the puck over at the blueline and again behind the net.  
  • Koci watch: Sacco must have really noticed #28 wasn't going well last night, because his playing time was cut in half - from 2min to 1min.  
  • The buzz of the win was completely ruined by the Stastny injury.  Luckily, Dater is reporting its not serious - 'stiff upper back'.  Still, I'll be surprised if he plays against Ottawa on Friday.
  • I missed the Bang Bang dance. 
Next game: vs Senators, Friday, 7PM mountain no comments

Written by Sean Payton | 14 December 2010

GAME30
  • Wow.
  • It sure looked like the Avs were well on their way to getting screwed out of points by a bad call and less than stellar defensive play / goaltending.
  • I was as mad as I've been all year when they ruled Chicago's 5th goal was good.  Physics say its not a good goal - Brouwer's stick was level with Ryan Wilson's head.  Wilson is 6'1", the crossbar is 4".  Even more telling was Brouwer's body language - he celebrated a go ahead goal late in the 3rd with as much fanfare as a preseason goal.
  • Offensively, Chicago had no answer for Stastny early and Matty late - both of them with 3 point nights, both of them doing it against Chicago's best defensive pair, Keith and Seabrook (who were a combined -8).
  • Toews had a pretty decent game, too.
  • Turco was as bad as his red pads.  Avs were fortunate to get to go against him - even if it was only for a 21 mins.  There is no way they don't see Crawford on Wed.
  • Only Av who was a minus?  Footer (-1).
  • Koci watch: 2:16 ice of time.  Way to get that jersey pulled over your head.  That'll get the boys going. 
  • Welcome to the Avalanche, Flash.
Next game: at Blackhawks, Wed 6:30PM Mountain
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Written by Sean Payton | 12 December 2010

GAME29
  • Man, I am glad to have Andy back.  The Avs earned with their 2nd regulation win with very solid goaltending, holding onto a lead against a quality team in the 3rd period on the road.
  • Big game from Stastny, who now has very quietly become the team's leading goalscorer with 12.  (Stewart, Jones and Hejduk all have 11.)
  • Who saw that game coming from Wilson?  That's about as good as it can get from #44, who was involved offensively and got physical with the opponent's best players.  Keep it up, Ryan. 
  • After a couple of games where Shattenkirk was held off the scoreboard, I figured he was coming back down to earth and so I dropped him from my fantasy team.  Guess that was a mistake.
  • Kyle Quincey hurt.  Ah shucks.  
  • Scott Hannan was a -2.  In 5 games with Washington, 0 points, -4.  
  • @Adater is absolutely right - "Kevin Porter can't make a play anymore."
  • Stastny said in an interview after the game that Galiardi is getting close to returning.  That would be more than welcome.  The Avs only have 4 healthy top 6 forwards available now - (Stastny, Duchene, Jones, Fleischmann).  They are missing 4 - (Stewart, Hejduk, Galiardi, Mueller).
  • Huge series of games coming up.  11 of the next 14 are at the Can - if the Avs are going to challenge Vancouver NW crown this season, they'll have to take advantage of this stretch.  
Next game: vs Blackhawks, Monday 7PM 
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Written by Sean Payton | 11 December 2010

GAME28
  • Nice to get 2 points - it had been a while (nearly 2 weeks).
  • I really thought we were heading for a loss in this one when we outplayed Atlanta so throughly in the 1st, outshooting them 16-5 but trailed 0-1. 
  • Remember how the Avs special teams were as bad as the Thrashers 3rd jerseys?  1PPG and 2SHGs scored - no PPG allowed.
  • As Duchene put it "what a gino by Maulds! Looked like Fedorov out there with that one!"
  • Matty - While I throughly appreciate your fine play of late, I don't appreciate the Red Wings reference in your latest tweet.  
  • Sacco - Can we break apart Foote and Hunwick?  My stress level goes up 100% every time they are on the ice.
  • Its clear Andy's game isn't all the way back.  Main thing missing: his trademarked calmness.  
  • I can't imagine we'll have Hejduk available tonight - Caps are coming off a 0-3 home loss against Florida - could be a tough one in Washington on Sat night.
Next game: at Capitals, 5PM mountain
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Written by Sean Payton | 05 December 2010

GA0E26
  • Avs really walked into a hornets nest in this one.  The Lightning had been embarrassed in their last game 8-1 and the Avs were playing in the second night of a back to back.  
  • After a few games of decent hockey, Quincey was back to being awful.  He still has ZERO points on the season, but I could care less about that if he was playing well in his own zone.  
  • Avs are 0-1-2 without Chris Stewart.
  • After playing so solidly while Andy was out, Budaj seems to be good for at least 1 soft goal a game now.  I'll be shocked if Sacco doesn't play Andy in Atlanta on Friday and Washington on Saturday.
  • Liles apologized to his teammates for his game misconduct call in the 3rd after the Lightning scored their 5th goal.  I figured he must have said something to the linesman - there was a very close call at the blueline called onside kept the pressure on during the sequence.  He was actually called for shooting the puck down the boards.  That is an awful call.  
  • Hunwick has looked like a carbon copy of Cumiskey.  We need both of them to be tougher and more offensively involved.  It might help to pair with someone other than Foote.
  • Congrats to Fleischmann on his first two points as an Av.  
  • My mom: "Bolts?  I thought they were playing the Lightning."  My wife: "They are.  It's stupid."
Next game: at Panthers, Tuesday, 5:30PM mountain (No TV - including Center Ice!!)  :( no comments

Written by Sean Payton | 04 December 2010

GAME25
  • Well, the Avs got a point.  It would be nice to start winning some of these OTs again though, huh?
  • Not a great play by Hunwick on the OT winner.  Fantastic shot by Sutter, Andy had no chance.
  • PS - What a goal by Jeff Skinner.
  • Hey Andy made it through a warm up / game!  
  • The only guys that looked capable scoring all night was Hejduk and Duchene.
  • Fleischmann was pretty invisible - but so was Stastny and Jones.  
  • In the 2 games since Stewart broke his had, the Avs have scored a grand total of 3 goals.
  • Shattenkirk has the primary assist on 2 of those.
  • Footer = rusty.  
Next game: at Lightning, Saturday, 5:30PM mountain
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Written by Sean Payton | 01 December 2010

GAME24
  • Avs lost for the first time in the Blueberries, but still managed a point, putting them into 1st place in the NW (although the Canucks have two games in hand).
  • Dustin Byfuglien is an absolute beast.
  • Thank goodness Jones is ok after that Byfuglien bomb.  I was almost positive that his season was over the moment I saw him lying on the ice.
  • Porter got set up for Matty and Hejdie again and again, but couldn't bury his opportunities or make a play.  
  • The Greg Maudlin experiment as a top 6 forward lasted about half a period.  
  • We can't afford to lose another top 6 forward.  Fleischmann had better play like one.  Apparently, he'll play with Stastny and Hejduk.
  • Really liked Hunwick's game.  Like Cumiskey, he's small but he can fly, but unlike #10, he's actually good in his own zone.  He's also tough.  He fought Evander Kane in his last game with Boston and he held up pretty well.  Could you imagine how one sided the fight would be if Cummer ever dropped them?  I'm not sure he'd make it out alive.
  • Quincey looked half decent for the first time in a while.  
  • Wilson was still a wreck in his own zone and is now starting to lack puck confidence in the opponent's zone.  The game tying goal was all on him - bad turnover in his own zone, a delayed penalty he took - and it cost us a point.  I don't know if Sacco is simply waiting for Footer to return, but he has to be sat regardless.
  • A handful of rookie mistakes for Shattenkirk tonight, but he still found a way to produce on the PP.  He now has more points this season that Ilya Kovalchuck.
  • Its nice to see Matty scoring goals, especially without #25 in the lineup.
Next game: at Hurricanes, Friday, 5PM mountain no comments

Written by Sean Payton | 28 November 2010

GAME23
  • Big win - if the Wild win this, they would have jumped 1 point ahead of the Avs with a game in hand.  Instead, the Avs widen the gap to 3 points and are even again the Canucks (again) - tied for 1st place in the NW.
  • 4 point night for Greg "I'm the new Matt Hendricks*" Mauldin.  Its so much fun to root for these borderline AHL / NHL guys in their late 20s who understand just how lucky they are and how special it is to be playing in the NHL a little more than your typical 22-23 year old.
  • Its easy to say Stewart shouldn't fight after the fact, but I guarantee you, no one was yelling at their TVs "Don't hurt yourself Stewey!" when #25 was breaking his hand on Brodziak's face.  
  • It's a tough break - and we're gonna miss Stewart.  Time for Matty to pick it up!  
  • Time for Galiardi and / or Mueller to get heathy too.
  • Hopefully its nothing too major for Winnik cos we're gonna miss him too.  He's been our best penalty killer BY FAR. 
  • I really like the way Shattenkirk has been playing ice hockey lately.
  • Up until the last few games, I'd been giving Wilson a bit of a pass - I can't do that anymore.  I thought he just needed a few games to get his feet under him, but its been 7 (seven!) games since he has returned and he's still a complete mess in his own zone.  PLUS he's not hitting anyone.   Can we please put Holos back in, Sacco?
  • Avs last 8 at The Can: 6-2, outscoring their opponents 35-19.  Not too shabby.
  • Great post by Jibbles on the laughable accusation of classless-ness from Stewart in this game.  A side note to that post: I've watched of a lot of Wild broadcasts over last few years - any Wild fan who is being honest with themselves knows will admit how awful TV broadcasters Mike Greenlay and Dan Terhaar are.   My favorite Greenlay / Terhaar fail was a 2008-09 game in LA where they kept calling #13 John Zeiler "Mike Cammalerri" (Cammalerri had signed with the Calgary Flames that offseason.)  Not for a shift, not for a period - for the WHOLE GAME.  
  • People like to bitch about Haynes and McNab - believe me, if you had to sit through a couple of games called by Greenlay and Terhaar and you'd be begging to have either one of them back.  
Next game: vs Thrashers, Tuesday, 7PM mountain
*offer may not include fighting. 
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Written by Sean Payton | 27 November 2010

FORMAL
One of those colored dots is me.

Because we're spending Thanksgiving with family in Minnesota, my wife and I are missing the first regular season Avs / Wild game in Denver since we started dating in the Spring of 2007.  In fact, we've only missed Game 3 of the Avs / Wild 2008 Playoff series, but we were at Games 4 and 6.  We'll be flying back to Denver while the Avs and Wild are battling it out at Pepsi Center.  

As consolation, we got tickets to Friday's Wild / Predators game in Minnesota.  Not exactly the world's most exciting opponent, but at least we'd see hockey in St. Paul - which is always pretty cool.  And we'd get to see it with 4 other members of family, which was even cooler.

Then we found out something even cooler, Movember:

"On November 26th, during the Wild's game against Nashville, we are attempting to set a Guinness World Record for the most real mustaches in one place...  Fans who grow mustaches will be apart of the World Record, promote men's health, and get to come on the ice following the game to take a group picture with members of the Wild."

And so I started to grow a mustache.  (We'll a goatee that would be shaved into a mustache.)  But I also knew that if I got to walk on the ice in Minnesota, that I would HAVE to wear my Avs jersey.  But I also knew that my wife wouldn't be exactly thrilled about this - especially since she always wears an Avs jersey to Avs games, unless the Avs are playing her Wild.  

AVSWILD

And so I hatched a devious plan.  I would wear a Wild jersey, but I would wear my Avs jersey underneath, and then I would take off the Wild jersey as I made my way down to the ice.  (I know, pretty ingenious.)

We got down to the game pretty early, and they handed everyone a Stalin-esce fake mustache as we walked in the door.  These were for the folks who did not have mustaches, like Krystal's mom, sister and brother (who is property of the US Army).

sister 
momdad 
shane

My wife and her brother had an iron man competition - whoever removed the mustache first lost.  The competition went on long after the game was over, my wife wearing in a yarn and grochery store and winning while her bro was in a Verzion store, buying a cell phone.

John (step dad) and I headed down to get our mustaches certified.  My mustache qualified, but John had just trimmed his and wasn't long enough.  (LAME.)  And we had to gather with 8min left in the 3rd.  (LAME.)  I wasn't sure I'd want to miss the most important part of the game if the game was in doubt.  Luckily, the Wild beat the tar out of the Preds and put the game away in the 1st period, 3-0, (eventually winning 5-2) so that wasn't an issue.

I waited until the 1st commercial break of the 3rd - and got up to leave, quickly flashing my Avs jersey underneath the Wild jersey to my wife.  I took the Wild jersey off and headed down to meet the mustache laden herd, waiting to migrate to the ice.  From there, the crappy self phone pics speak for themselves:
 
Zamboni
Score
Center_ice
Self-1


Oh, and my wife?  Yep, she's still pissed.  
Go Avs!  no comments