11 February 2010
I don't do recaps often, but every once in a while I like to make notes about a game:
Avalanche 4 - Thrashers 3 (OT)
I had completely different observations on this game than a lot of people did. I had good seats that I acquired cheaply at the last minute, but I thought it was entertaining. I thought the Avs played pretty well in the first period, but got sloppy and allowed aggressive counter-attacks. Had they not given those up, I thought they really looked sharp in the first. Much to my surprise, others disagreed.
The second period was obviously their worst and the 1st 5-10 of the 3rd wasn't too good either. They were really sloppy there. Of course they got off track when they started getting calls against them as well. But the sequence that led to ATL's 3rd goal was mind numbingly sloppy.
Chris Durno had a hell of a game. Easily his best game as a pro. I thought that even before the slick goal. He should have been 1st star tonight. Coach Sacco rewarded him with shifts towards the end of the game, and it paid off.
One thing Stastny does that is completely underrated: tip pucks on net. He is a maestro at this. I think he's so subtle about it that he doesn't get enough credit for SOG, but man, he is really good at pulling those out of the air. Stastny had a good game tonight, but it's hard to notice. He's so damn subtle that you think he's having an off night and then you look up and he's got 3 assists.
The refereeing was horrible tonight, and #4 Wes McCauley was the main culprit. Every bad call was his tonight. (So kudos to #23 Brad Watson, who actually was fine. McCauley: you're on notice) McCauley was the one who said the puck was over the line (I was 15 rows up, and I could tell it clearly wasn't). He gave what I thought were weak calls against Clark, Hannan and Andy's "dive". I want to give him the benefit of the doubt that he saw something I didn't, and maybe looking at them on TiVo will prove me wrong, but man it didn't look like it. One thing he did that I hate when refs do is make sure everyone knows HE IS IN CHARGE OF THIS GAME!. He did crap like moving players 1/2" back on face-offs and little bullshit like that that let everyone in the building know that he was on the ice. I hate refs with power trips, they're the worst. (Just looked at the replay of the Stastny "hold" just awful call there. Yikes.
(Update: after video review, i.e. i watched it on TiVo; Andy deserved the dive penalty. And in the ref's defense, that overturned goal was a lot closer that I thought in person. But the overhead review was pretty clear that it wasn't a goal. )
Crowd was about the same size as Mondays, but the atmosphere was 2x as good. The game was a lot better than Monday's snoozer, IMO. People watching on TV seem to disagree.
One thing I can't figure out is why Atlanta isn't a better club. Evander Kane is an excellent rookie (his defensive numbers when I was looking at Selke candidates were astounding. He'd win a rookie Selke if they had one.) They have a very solid defensive corps, now bolstered by Oduya. And a decent forward corps. In the East this team should be 5 or 6. Bogosian should develop into a good player, although he's struggled this season a little.
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