Post Season Lessons

BY: Stacey Gerhart

The NHL playoffs are officially underway and they have been extremely exciting and interesting to say the least - with all eight match-ups going 1-1 after two games.

The Avs are now up 2-1 in their series against the Sharks with another home game tonight and I can’t wait to watch.

We could not have asked for a better pairing going into the playoffs since the Sharks are notorious for falling short during post-season hockey. But they still pose a serious threat to the Avs and they have played well each game. With the prospect of Heatley returning for Game 4 to complete the Sharks top line, all I can do is hope that Hejduk and Porter both rejoin the lineup for the Avs.

So far during this series we have learned several things:

1. The officials are having a really hard time calling the games – they seem to miss quite a few penalties (i.e. the eight minutes in power play time owed to the Avs during Game 1 when both Galiardi and Duchene took sticks to the face resulting in blood) and when the officials do make calls, they are often questionable.

2. Galiardi is extremely good at taunting the Sharks and getting under their skin – all I hope is that it doesn’t go too far and result in injury to one of the key players in our penalty kill. Gally has already suffered numerous blows, which brings up my next point.

3. Rob Blake seems to be possessed by some evil hockey spirit that Avs fans just can’t understand. Blake is a former Avalanche player who was, until recently, respected by Avs fans, including myself. We all know that Blake can put a tremendous hit on someone, but he used to be careful about it – he was never out for injury before – but now, after removing Mueller from our lineup during the regular season and putting blatantly bad hits on Galiardi during the playoffs it seems he has changed for the worse. All I know is that my Blake Avs jersey will remain locked away in my closet until there comes a point when he can once again earn my respect. Blake has played in the Pepsi Center many times since leaving the Avs but Sunday night was the first time I have ever heard boos when he touched the puck and that says something.

4. The Craig Anderson that we all came to know and love at the beginning of the regular season is back! The shutout he had on Sunday night, facing 51 shots on net, was truly remarkable and awe-inspiring. And the way that he has minded the net during all three games has been something for the books when you realize how many shots have actually been fired toward him.

5. And lastly we have learned that sometimes you just get lucky – and for that I would just like to say a big “THANK YOU” to the Sharks for scoring on themselves, since it was clear after three periods of play that the Avs couldn’t get a puck by Nabokov. Sometimes it all comes down to luck and I’m just glad it worked out in the Avs favor.

So on we go to Game 4. LETS GO AVS!!!


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