Avalanche-Penguins: Colorado Drowns Pittsburgh, Wins 5-3

Shane GirouxSenior Analyst IJanuary 10, 2009

What the hell is with the Rocky Mountain News byline in their game recap?

"Crosby, Malkin combine for four points"?


Why not "Jones, Wolski combine for five points"?

Doesn't that feel just a tad more appropriate for a Denver-based newspaper?

They did cover David Jones' and Wojtek Wolski's excellent games with this nice segue:

"But a couple of Avalanche youngsters had pretty good games, too..."

Sure, it was a bit tongue-in-cheek—but when the home team hits a three-game winning streak on the backs of two of their young "stars," shouldn't you use that as the angle for the story?

I know, I know. "Sidney Crosby saved the NHL," as the Altidudes tried to convince us all game long.

No, he did not. It was the huge infusion of young talent - Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Ryan Getzlaf, Mike Richards, Dion Phaneuf, Shea Weber, Mike Green, Carey Price...

Need I continue?  That is what helped redefine the NHL post-lockout.

Crosby did not pick up the NHL, put it on his back and ride into town with guns blazing.

And now I've gone and made Crosby the focal point of my recap. Fudgesicles.

Wolski wunning with the ball

Why was Wolski not playing center since day one? Or to reword—since he did play center on day one—why did he not continue to play his natural position?

Having Sakic, Stastny and Wolski down the middle would have given the Avs one of the best best trios in the league.

Had Sakic and Stastny not gone down with injuries, Wolski would still be stuck at left wing with his maddeningly inconsistent play. I don't want to say those injuries "happened for a reason" but at least some good came of it.

On the flip side, if Wolski hadn't stepped up to the number-one center role, Tyler Arnason might have been shipped out of town by now.

Though Francois Giguere would probably have needed to package up Wolski in any deal with a reasonably sane GM.

The great balance of life, eh?

Jones swimming to shore

Jones has been impressing me on a consistent basis with his intensity and it paid off big tonight with two goals and one assist.

Both goals came on rebounds in front of the net proving once again that good things happen when you head to the net.

With his deceptive speed and power, I'm looking for Jones to become a real force on this squad. As I have been since the start of the season proving once that you can't win 'em all.

Hannan shuts down Malkin

Saying a player got "shut down" when they notched a goal and an assist might make me sound like an idiot.

But if you saw the frustration that Scott Hannan caused Malkin today, you'd realize that I'm less of an idiot than you think I am.

Hannan was in Malkin's face all game long and if there's one knock on Malkin, it's that he can get frustrated easily.

Of course he'll still score 10 goals on you while frustrated, but imagine what he would do if he was happy?

That ought to restore the idiot level nicely.

Raycroft wins again

Andrew Raycroft is now 9-1-0 on the season with seven straight wins.

Is there anything this man can't do?

Raycroft actually presents a striking resemblance to Jose Theodore.

Ostracized by his former team (or the fans at least), won an award many years ago which their reputation is still based upon, pseudo-restored by Jeff Hackett, patchy facial hair, Canadian.

Of course Theodore catches with his right hand, is French, allegedly hooked up with Paris Hilton and has way more money.

But still...

Playoff bound!

The Avs are back in the playoff picture! And if the playoffs started today they would face the Detroit Red Wings.

But they don't so they won't. The playoffs are a long ways off and a lot can happen over the next 615 games.

For the trivia lovers, today's game was the exact halfway point of the 1,230-game season.

I don't recall where I read that this afternoon, but a glove tap goes out to someone on the ol' Interweb.

Related Links

Avs beat Penguins, push win streak to three
Jones, Raycroft lead Avs to win
Raycroft, Top line leading the way
MHH Recap


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