16 January 2008
¤ If you want to see the most underrated bloggers out there, check out Bolts Blog. Under the radar because they are talking about the Tampa Lightning, I don't get over to the site nearly enough, but they do a really great job covering the Lightning. Reminds me of the beat style stuff Eric McErlain does for the Caps at OffWing. Excellent stuff.
¤ If you had checked out Bolts Blog in preparation for the game last night, you would have seen some foreshadowing. They were able to see the Avs practice and had this to say:
It wasn't until I saw Colorado practice today that I realized how much of a finesse team the Lightning really are. Colorado is a physical team that likes to play the body first, instead of the puck. They'll grind a team into the corners until they tire them out. They're very aggressive and they can score, too. After watching them for a few minutes, it was obvious to me how much of a mark Forsberg left on this team. Even after being gone for 3½ seasons, that's the style of play they favor - the bone-crunching, injury inducing hockey style of Forsberg in his prime.
¤ I didn't get to see the first period, as it sounds like the Lightning came out fairly physical (with 2 fights in the first 10 minutes), but In the second the Avs completely dominated the Lightning Physically. I mean completely. Hell I saw a play where Liles went up to the Tampa forward pushed him off the puck, took it, turned and headed up ice without so much as being checked in return. Liles!?!
Later in the game the Svats machine skated backwards between two Bolts, in front of the net to gather a rebound and fire it on net. Had he tried that against a NW division team he would have been eating ice shavings. Every time the Avs wanted the puck they just pushed the Bolt off of it and took it away. If the y had the puck already and the Bolts tried to take it, they just calmly put their shoulder down and said "no". In fact, last night in the second period the Avs were El Guapo to the Lightning's helpless villagers:
When you want the puck,
you take the puck.
When you want a goal,
you take the goal...
¤ Jeff Finger has 3 goals on the season, 1 PP, 1 SH and 1 ES. And Who knew he and Jordan Leopold would be the solution to the Avs Power play woes. He looks comfortable on the point and isn't afraid to wind up and let it rip. Both the avs PP goals were results of shots from the point last night.
¤ For all the panic the first 2 games of this road trip brought, The Avs finshed 3-2 on this 5 game swing.
¤ Oh and Congrats to Jose Theodore for his first shutout in an Avs uniform (I think, if not it's first in a long time). He has played well lately and even the most ardent Avs hater can say he deserved this one, if not for this game, then for the last 6 games worth of effort.
¤ Anyone who says Florida fans aren't smart need only watch this game. They were quiet most of the night (only because the home team gave them nothing to cheer about. Even when they were shooting in the third period none of those shots felt like they had any chance of going in.. just to remind you I say that and Theo was in net.) But they started booing in the middle of the second, and then gave a final BOO at the end of the game. And you know what, I don't like BOOing normally but the Lightning earned that. They played uninspired the whole night until about 8 minutes left in the game.
Honestly, it looks like they've quit on their coach. Let the Tortorella job watch begin. The Avs played well in the second period, but the Lightning played bad, real bad. I mean they made Arnason look rather physical at times.
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