Vancouver’s Raffi Torres scored a hat-trick against the Oilers, and defenseman Kevin Bieksa made a dent in the stats with three assists. The Canucks have come out of their fog rising in the standings and taking control in the Northwest.
And so it goes for Ed Jovanovski, a hat trick too. Despite the Coyotes successful season last year, there are some struggles in Phoenix with low attendance. Arguments range from the desert to lack of ownership. I’d say both. There are plenty of transplants in the Phoenix area that love their hockey, but they stand behind their original home teams if their new home team can’t win. Also, games are expensive and if the team is losing, then why spend so much? Really, if the NHL is a show, then the residents in Arizona would rather watch a sunset.
Joe Thornton had a misconduct call with the St. Louis Blues when he hit David Perron leaving the penalty box. Joe says it ain’t so, and claims it was not intentional, but the NHL is being overly cautious with these hits. Makes sense to encourage sportsmanship on the ice, but these are big guys who skate on ice at great speed bound to run into each other. Or maybe the players are frustrated and taking it out on everyone they can. It is a weird season. Notice how the Blues are steadily climbing up the ranks?
The Rangers are making headway edging Boston in the East. And Atlanta is cooking up some good players and some good hockey. They aren’t a joke anymore. Pittsburgh and Toronto are slipping. Buffalo has tanked with Ryan Miller out and now on IR and Tyler Myers suffering.
Colorado goaltender, Craig Anderson, is out leaving Peter Budaj to stop the pucks. Anderson should be back in a week, but until then the Avs are holding up under the pressure.
But saving the best for last, Detroit is back. Motown has been resurrected. Hockeytown prevails. It’s a tough division this year, so any week on top is a good week. Never mind one loss to Vancouver; it’s the long haul that counts.
It’s Tuesday November 24th and for breakfast I slam down a cup of coffee and head to Avs morning skate. The best breakfast ever. I was glad to see twenty-five fans in the stands. Play was lively and a lot of smiles. The Colorado Avalanche have found their chemistry on the ice.
Defenseman Kyle Quincey and superstar rookie Matt Duchene chatted amongst themselves along the boards, while Adam Foote was supervising puck drills. J-M Liles repeatedly plowed the puck toward the net, but frustration was apparent, as his shots didn’t fire head on. With Liles on the IR twice this year, his spot on fantasy teams has caused frustration, me included. Wojtek Wolski seemed tired, as I observed for my fantasy line-up and his potential against the upcoming Predators. He was smiling and talking with Duchene between drills, so I hope he can hold my LW spot for Wednesday.
I was impressed with defenseman Ryan Wilson who had good shots and was extremely persistent in achieving an accurate shot. His puck handling skills were tight and skilled.
The last players on the ice were Ryan O’Reilly and Chris Stewart having a blast challenging goaltender Peter Budaj.
After the morning skate, I went to hang with the group of Avalanche fans eagerly waiting for the team to sign autographs and get pictures. As each car crept through the gate, fans swarmed politely. These Avalanche fans were very bonded in their love for their team and courteous to the players. As Budaj drove out of the gate, fans wanted to know if he would be starting against Nashville. He said he wasn’t.
I had a chance to give my blog card to Paul Stastny and Ryan O’Reilly. I approached Stastny as fellow DU alumni, while I approached O’Reilly with “you’re on my fantasy team.” He liked that. I asked them both to check out my blog.
Shout out to Cody McLeod who got out of his truck to take pictures with everyone. We were all glad he didn’t fight with ex-Av Lappy on Monday against the Flyers.
I’m not the best photographer with my camera phone, but here’s a few photos of Cody McLeod, Darcy Tucker and Ryan O’Reilly.
Until next morning skate, don’t cross my blue line!