Blackhawks Leave Avs Winless at Home
After a record setting road trip that saw the Colorado Avalanche winning five-straight away from the Pepsi Center for the first time in franchise history, the Avs looked to take that momentum back into their building and get the first home win of the season against the Chicago Blackhawks.
As with the best laid plans, they occasionally just don’t work out the way that you want them to.
The first period saw the Avalanche outshoot Chicago 13-6 but the Blackhawks tallied the only goal on a perfect backhander from Hawks’ captain Jonathan Toews.
The second period was a very tight checking period for the most part, seeing the Avalanche get on the board goal as Ryan O’Byrne was in the right place at the right time. He saw a pinballing puck bounce right off of him and into the back of the net. This was O’Byrne’s first goal as a member of the Colorado Avalanche.
Sadly, the third period from the Avalanche mirrored the third they put together against the Detroit Red Wings on opening night. The Avs were very slow out of the gate, gave up a goal and didn’t start to come out of their shell until far too late in the period. This was in stark contrast to the grinding and fighting third period team we saw out on the road.
Clearly the best player of the night for the Avalanche was goaltender Semyon Varlamov who was once again absolutely fantastic. Nowhere was Varly more apparent than in the third period where he did absolutely everything that he was capable of doing to keep his team in the game including making an absolutely insane glove save against Markus Kruger.
As exciting as it was to see Varly making all these great saves to keep his team in the game, it was just as discouraging to see the team coming out so flat in front of him, especially after seeing the Avs fight so hard in the third periods of games against Columbus and Montreal to force the play into overtime and eventually earn a win.
Another thing to take from the game came straight from Joe Sacco in the post game press conference. The Avalanche seem to be getting a little too cute at home where things were kept very simple on the road. You just need to look at O’Byrne’s goal as evidence that getting the puck to the net is the simplest way to create offense.
What to watch for from the Avs will be how they respond to having their hot streak snapped. If the Avalanche want to be a playoff team this year they have to be able to respond to losses, especially when they come at home.
The Avalanche will play the Blackhawks again in Chicago on Saturday, and we’ll see see how they adjust their game.
What do you think?
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