Avs Get Smashed by Ducks

Wednesday night, the Colorado Avalanche were looking forward
to being on home ice and were hoping to get back on track with a win against
the Anaheim Ducks. Unfortunately, that mission was left unaccomplished, as the Avs were smashed by the Ducks
by a 5-2 score.

The Avs started the game with intense energy and were
walking all over the Ducks. Most of the time was spent in the Ducks’ zone and
the Avs were generating many chances.

It looked like the Avs were going to have the first bounce
of the game when Cody McLeod hit the puck out of the air and into the goal. The
referee behind the net immediately waved off the goal and headed to the booth
for review. After a several minute delay, the referee reaffirmed that the puck
was hit out of the air with a high-stick.

This was the turning point of the game and when the Avs lost
all control and let the Ducks take over. The Ducks started to get pressure on
the Avs, but goalie Craig Anderson looked sharp in net and made some strong
saves.

With five minutes left in the period, Steve Eminger through a
shot towards the net that slipped past Anderson. The Avs goalie had a good look
at the shot, but somehow was unable to catch it in his glove.

Everything seemed alright for the Avs, until four seconds
left in the first period, the Avs gave the puck up at their own blue line and
allowed Saku Koivu to tip one past Anderson for the 2-0 lead.

“We know better,” said Anderson. “Bad turnover at the end of
the period like that; it wasn’t a smart play by us. A lot of guys made a
mistake there, it wasn’t just one guy, it was kind of a collective effort. Any
time you give up a goal at the last minute of a period it takes the wind out of
you.”

The Avs stormed out of the gate at the beginning of the
second period, but yet again were unable to get anything past Ducks goalie
Curtis McElhinney. The game then became even again, with the two teams going
back and forth.

With seven minutes left in the second, the Avs were able to
get a power-play goal from Milan Hejduk, on a pass from Paul Stastny. This made
the game 2-1 and put the Avs only one goal away from tying the game.

At the end of the second, it seemed that the Avs were going
to go into the intermission only down one goal, until another turnover led to
yet another late period goal against. Scott Niedermayer found himself at a bad
angle, but somehow managed to thread the needle and get it by Adam Foote and
Kyle Cumiskey. Anderson had just made a save and was in process of resetting as
Niedermayer fired the shot, leaving the net partially open.

The Avs once more came out in the third with a lot of energy
and tried to produce some offense, but a bad turnover led to a Temmu Selanne breakaway, and he put the game out of reach. After the goal from Selanne, the Avs
fell apart even more and were chasing the puck around, instead of playing with
the puck.

Jason Blake scored the fifth goal for the Ducks, while Darcy
Tucker scored the second goal for the Avs.

After the game, the Avs had a
closed door meeting that went well over fifteen minutes. None of the players
would discuss what was said during the meeting, but were obviously not happy
with themselves.           

“We just have to regroup,” stated Foote. “Last few games we
have forced plays too early and getting off our game. It seems like the plays
have been forced the last few games, it has been going in the back of our net
pretty quick. It’s not the way we’ve done it all year.”

“We pressed; every time we pressed today it seemed like they
got a rush or capitalized on one of our presses or mistakes.”

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