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"Love the Game First, Avs Second"
Gillette, WY • United States • 29 Years Old • Male
I don't care what anyone says, playing back to back games is always going to be tough. The Avs came out well, and even scored on their first power play. They had momentum, but the game was taking place at a very fast pace. Hard to keep up on tired legs.

The story of this game is far and away specialty team play. The Avs took way too many penalties, and as a result gave the number 2 power play in the league as much time as they needed to put the puck home. 2 power play goals as well as a shorthanded goal. When three goals are allowed in those situations it is not likely you will win.

I will give the Avalanche a little bit of credit for playing a back to back set, but the reality is that the effort just wasn't there. This is one of the problems with playing a lot of young guys with youth. They don't know how to put in the effort that is necessary to be a winning team every night of the season. It involves a learning curve, and it usually takes a couple of seasons. Stastny has progressively gotten better with his maturity. Wolski has become defensively responsible as well. It is going to take some time and effort for all of they young players to learn how to play strong and responsibly every game.

I am sure that last nights game took quite a bit of effort, and the Avs possibly overlooked the Flyers on this trip. That again comes down to an aspect of youth, and not respecting an opponent.

Stastny had a powerplay goal, and the first one no less. That should have been enough to get the momentum going, but in reality the team was not ready to turn in a complete effort. Some of the strategies were working, but weren't executed to perfection the way they should have been. Example, the team is renewing its efforts on getting shots to the net from the point, and also working on the redirection. Jones had a very nice redirection. Others did not work well, and in fact went offsides several times.

The rush needs to be an intricate part of this team. Jones and Stewart are fast. They are also willing to do the work and drive to the net. When this happens the team is successful and the defense is forced to recognize the threat and not take as many risks, therefore creating fewer chances in the oppositions offensive end. The young guns are fast enough to run this system, but don't have the experience necessary to win like this. This will only come with time, sadly for this season.

Another thing that I am starting to see is our Defenseman taking penalties. Leopold, the hero from last night, took a hooking penalty. Second unit pk. Liles took a holding the stick penalty, on the offensive blue line, again a stupid penalty. Liles doesn't kill penalties, but a stupid penalty to give to the second best power play in the league.

Two games in Florida are next, and both are very winnable. Two road wins are priceless come playoff time. The key to making run at the playoffs from the outside looking in is to make sure you beat the teams behind you, and make sure you win the games that you play against the teams in your division.
December 17, 2008 8:56 AM ET | Delete
I think there was a combination of factors working against the Avs last night. The back to back games, the west to east travel, and the fact that they had handled the Flyers easily the last time they met, combined with the fact that the Flyers are playing MUCH better than they were at the beginning of the season all worked against the Avs. I thought they started off pretty well, probably riding the momentum of the win over the Wings, but after they gave up the shortie, they kind of lost their edge. They did manage to control the puck in the offensive zone for long stretches, but there were very few quality scoring chances that came out of that control as everything was kept pretty well to the outside.
December 17, 2008 12:32 PM ET | Delete
The Flyers are a much better team now than they were when they met at the beginning of the season. Travel from East to west, essentially losing hours between games is never fun, especially when you are playing a back to back. A lot of it still comes back to youth though, and they don't know how to put forth a consistent effort.
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