|MIN||1||17:21|| ||22||26||27||37||41|| ||3||8||9||14||15||32||4v5|
|MIN||1||10:29|| ||5||37||39||41||52|| ||8||11||25||32||55||67||4v5|
|MIN||1||10:08|| ||5||37||39||41||52|| ||8||11||25||32||55||67||4v5|
|MIN||1||9:48|| ||5||37||39||41||52|| ||8||11||25||32||55||67||4v5|
|MIN||1||7:39|| ||22||27||37||39||41|| ||3||8||9||14||15||32||4v5|
|MIN||1||7:38|| ||22||27||37||39||41|| ||3||8||9||14||15||32||4v5|
|MIN||1||3:25|| ||22||27||37||39||41|| ||8||9||14||15||32||55||4v5|
|MIN||1||3:00|| ||22||41||52||54||55|| ||8||9||14||15||32||55||4v5|
|COL||2||6:30|| ||22||27||37||41||54|| ||3||8||11||14||25||32||4v5|
|MIN||2||6:21|| ||22||27||37||41||54|| ||3||8||14||15||25||32||4v5|
|MIN||2||5:30|| ||10||26||39||41||52|| ||5||9||14||15||32||55||4v5|
|COL||2||1:18|| ||5||9||23||26||27||41||5||6||9||27||32|| ||5v4|
|COL||2||0:18|| ||10||16||22||26||40||41||3||20||21||32||55|| ||5v4|
|MIN||3||13:48|| ||5||26||39||41||52|| ||3||8||9||14||15||32||4v5|
|MIN||3||13:14|| ||22||27||37||39||41|| ||3||8||9||14||15||32||4v5|
|MIN||3||5:07|| ||5||26||39||41||52|| ||3||8||9||15||20||32||4v5|
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
This was a very interesting game from the Avalanche. Unlike most of their other games where the Avalanche struggled at even strength, they were positively dominant against the Wild. The first three minutes of the game were played almost entirely in Minnesota's zone and the Avalanche were looking good until T.J. Galiardi took a needless holding the stick penalty in the offensive zone. The Wild responded with a goal on the ensuing power play and the story of this game had its start. The Avalanche followed with a string of needless penalties throughout the game including two penalties for having too many men on the ice. These penalties resulted in the Avalanche wasting their most dominant game of the season at even strength.
Many times this season the Avalanche have gone into a defensive shell when they were protecting the lead. In this game they avoided that. It's something that's been improving over the course of the year and is a good sign going forward. Unfortunately for the Avalanche Wojtek Wolski took a penalty late in the third period and the Wild scored the tying goal. Given Wolski's benching in the third period last game and his demotion from the top line for this game I was thinking he might be taking a seat on the bench again. This wasn't the case. He took a few more shifts and was selected to shoot in the shoot-out (isn't he the Avs best shooter? someone should let Joe Sacco know that you should really let your best guys shoot first or second). I guess I'll need wait for a bit before suggesting a serious rift between him and the coach. Taking Wolski's place on the top line was apparently David Jones and although most of their chances didn't come with Jones on the ice the Hejduk-Stastny pairing had probably their best even strength game of the season.
The Avs power play was pretty poor for the third consecutive game. In addition to the loss of Liles, Sacco removed Wolski from the top unit as well. I think that was a bad choice. At any rate, if the PP really picks it up when Liles gets back I'm going to need to rethink my position on whether his contract is fair value (I've always thought it was a ludicrous overpay). The penalty kill was just as bad. It's never easy when you're killing penalties for over 12 minutes in a game but 15 power play chances in one game is a lot. Minnesota moved the puck quickly and on a few occasions were able to sneak a defender down (usually Burns) for an open shot. That's something they're going to want to work on.
Finally, I think the refs called a very good game. I mention that because I've been rough on them a couple of times in the past. Any ref that rightly calls holding the stick instead of hooking on the poor sap defensive player gets a gold star in my book. I certainly don't want this game turning into soccer with all of the diving and jersey-pulling and general ridiculousness. If there's a ref that starts calling diving consistently, even if he makes mistakes a time or two, he'll be my new hero (until he calls an Oiler for diving).