It took the Avs nearly half the game to get their motor running. But it was the unlikely line of Ryan O’Reilly, Kevin Porter and Marek Svatos that suddenly gelled like a checking line that had been putting pressure on the opposition all year, forechecking hard and forcing the Flames to scramble in their zone.
Tonight Svatos was suddenly noticeable, stealing pucks, going hard to the net and best of all staying out of the sin bin. After a great shift they seemed to get the whole team playing well. Unfortunately the score was already 3-0, Flames. To the Flames credit they never let up.
The 3-2 score was not really that close.
How about this odd stat for ya: when the Avs have two or more fights in a game they are 10-1-1.
Not did they lose the game but they may have lost another defenseman in the process. I’ve really liked Ryan Wilson’s abilities as a solid D-man, a big hitter and a guy that will drop the gloves when needed. But he took one in the jaw in this bout that might have him seeing stars. Like Dancing with the Stars while he recovers.
Tough as the Avs were, the Flames were up for it and responded in kind, they were not intimidated.
So what do you do when a team matches you straight up with hustle and toughness?
Wrong-O rookie Avs!
The Avs had a severe case of standing around and looking at the puck in the D zone. That or they were being drawn to the man with the puck. Terrible, just terrible decisions being made defensively in this game.
There were at least three clean breakaways by the Flames, one of them resulting in a short-handed goal.
One in the 2nd period went right through 3 Avs on its way to the blue line.
The Avs were giving out breakaways like candy on Halloween!
The Flames were playing to win, like playoff hockey. Something the Avs need to learn to do soon. The need to step up to that level of play is going to be a challenge to a lot of these guys; it’s a first for many of them.
Cheer up Avs fans, the Flames are 2 points closer to overtaking the Wings and knocking them out of the playoffs!
-From the Point