Cleat Geeks

The Burgundy Breakdown

Welcome to the Burgundy Breakdown, which takes a look back at the previous week involving the Colorado Avalanche! Avs played four games this past week, three of them on the road, and here’s what took place:

The Avalanche’s four game homestand came to an end this past Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks, and it was not a good outing for Colorado. The Avs had multiple power play chances in the first and early in the second, but couldn’t score. However, Francois Beauchemin scored an even-strength goal to make it 1-0 for the Avalanche, but it would be the only score of the game, as the Canucks put in the next three to defeat the Avs, 3-1. The Avs went 0-3-1 in the four game homestand.JaromeIginla

After a disastrous homestand, the Avalanche went on a brief three game road trip, beginning with a game in the Canadian capital of Ottawa on Thursday. It was a game that saw the Avs’ power play come to life, with three power play goals in the first and second periods. Two of the three PP goals were scored by Jarome Iginla, which sandwiched a goal by Nathan MacKinnon early in the second period. The Senators kept making it interesting, with two goals late in the second period to make it a one goal game, and also scoring after the Avalanche’s empty netter. But the Avs held on to win, 4-3; the team’s first win of the month.

BlakeComeau3The Avs got back to work the next night and headed to Detroit for their first meeting against the long-time rival Red Wings. It was a back and forth game between the two clubs, with Matt Duchene starting the scoring with a tally in the first period. After the Wings tied it up with a power play goal, Blake Comeau gave the Avs the lead back again, only for Pavel Datsyuk to tie it up once again. The game went to overtime; the Avs’ first road OT game, and after five minutes, a shoot out was needed. After two frames, the Wings led 1-0 with a goal by Datsyuk, and Semyon Varlamov’s stop in the third frame kept the Avs alive. MacKinnon tied up the shootout, and Comeau won the game for the Avs in the fourth frame. The Avs will face the Wings again on February 27; the anticipated outdoor game in Coors Field.

The road trip ended with an early Sunday game in Buffalo, and it was a disaster for the Avs. After giving up two quick goals, Varlamov was pulled and replaced by Calvin Pickard, who gave up a third goal to the Sabres. Erik Johnson scored in the second to end Robin Lehner’s shutout bid, but couldn’t muster up any other goals; even when the Avs had a two man advantage for two minutes. The Avalanche fell to the Sabres, 4-1.

So far, the month of February has not been kind to the Avalanche this year, but even with the team’s 2-4-1 record at this point, the Avs are still in a playoff position. At 29-26-4 and 62 points, the Avalanche are in the #1 Wild Card position in the Western Conference, just a single point ahead of the Nashville Predators. However, the Avs’ 59 games played are more than anyone in the West, so they will really need some outside help to stay in a good position.

The Avalanche are off until Wednesday, when they will return home to face off against the Montréal Canadiens. After that, the Avs will head to Western Canada for a pair of games against the Oilers (2/20) and Canucks (2/21).

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