I know it’s 2010, but aren’t these playoffs technically considered the 2009 Playoffs since the season started last year? I’m so confused. Anyway, this was a fun run. Hope we do it again next year, but better.
4 Best Things About The Playoffs
1. The Legendary Craig Anderson
No, not the Infamous Craig Anderson. We already know about him. I’m talking about the legend he created with his play during the series against the Sharks.
“I swear I’ve seen a lot of stuff in my life, but that was… awesome.“, Kyle Keefe started the Chris Farley quote and the crowd at the Pepsi Center finished it after Anderson’s Game 3 shutout of the Sharks. He stopped 51 shots to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead in the series. This was just an example of the awesome play of Anderson during this series.
2. World-Class Jackass, T. J. Galiardi
I mean that in the most flattering way possible. Now T.J. isn’t that big of a guy, listed at 6’2″, 175, but Galiardi spent all his free time in the ice getting under the skin of the Sharks players. If you’re a San Jose fan, you hate him for it. If you’re an Avalanche fan, you love him for it.
3. Defying Expectations
Hell, the Avalanche weren’t even supposed to be in the playoffs this year. They were rebuilding. It was going to take time to gel this young team and first-year coach into a competitive team. I know the “We’re just happy to be here.” attitude is usually viewed as a cop-out for those who don’t really have any belief in themselves, but this is truly how the Avalanche players and fans felt about their appearance in the playoffs.
4. It’s The Beginning of Sometime Good
The Avalanche had the 2nd youngest roster in the league. 6 rookies make their playoff debuts for the Avalanche. Us fans have a lot to look forward to from this team. The chemistry created by this team during the regular season and the playoffs will, with any luck, last a long time.
4 Worst Things About The Playoffs
1. Duchene got PWND
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE fan of the kid. I want to see #9 Avalanche sweaters everywhere. What he did in his first year with this team is spectacular. Unfortunately, in the playoffs he looked like a 19 year old rookie who was in over his head. He had 3 assists, a plus/minus of -2 and 9 shots during the 6 games against the Sharks. We expected a lot more from the kid, and I’m guessing he expected more from himself, too.
2. Shots, shots, shots
When you’re the eighth seed facing the first seed and you allow 40 shots per game on average, you’re not going to get very far. Craig Anderson, as damn-cool as he is, cannot steal every game. The Avalanche really need to improve on this. I just hope they can do that without messing up the great set up that got them to the playoffs this year.
I busted out ye ole calculator while checking out the stats on NHL.com and here’s what I came up with:
- The Avalanche had 29 minors and 1 major totaling 63 minutes of penalty box visitation.
- The Sharks had 22 minors and zero majors totaling 44 minutes of penalty box visitation.
That’s a 19 minute difference in penalties. On average, the Avs were in the penalty box just over 3 minutes more per game than the Sharks. All these numbers are starting to get confusing and they may start running into each other if I’m not careful, so I’ll hurry up and make some conclusions. The Avalanche took too many dumb penalties. The refs made too many bonehead calls/non-calls. Both groups need to do better next season.
4. We Lost
Only 1 team out of the 16 that make it into the playoffs gets the joy of not saying this. It doesn’t matter if we were just happy to be in the playoffs. It doesn’t matter if the Avalanche defied all expectations. Losing is never fun.