Saturday, March 20, 2004

Avs continue their losing ways

The end of the season can’t come soon enough for the Colorado Avalanche; this regular season stuff is starting to get tiresome. Playing losing hockey and involved in another ugly on ice incident, March is not going to be a month to remember.

Tonight Toronto took control of the game from the very beginning jumping quickly to a 3-0 lead in the first period, pounding Avalanche goaltender David Aebischer with 3 goals on seven shots, all three scored in a period of two minutes and thirty three seconds. Aebischer settled down in the second and his defense held off the Leaf attack for most of the second period. The game boiled over in frustration from time to time, Peter Worrell and Matrhew Barnaby seemingly the target of much Maple Leaf affection.
The game had an ugly moment, one which had the Avalanche charged up after the game. Wade Belak clubbed Ossi Vannenen on his helmet with a two handed slash, did he lose his balance and just mistakenly swing his stick or was it just a mindless use of his stick, that will be up to Colin Campbell to decide in a disciplinary hearing. Vannenen did not appear worse for wear from the incident, but it was yet another bad mark for the games image of late.

Belak was assessed a five minute major for attempt to injure and thrown out of the game. His actions almost letting the Avalanche back into the game, as Colorado picked up a goal during the five minute power play. But it would prove not to be enough, the Leafs going on to win the game 5-2.
Bringing to an end a horrible Eastern Canada swing for the Avalanche, losses in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto wont’ sit well in Denver. With numerous injuries the Avalanche could probably come up with some excuses, but haven’t so far. But with some listless play and a sudden lack of scoring on the ice, they need to get some of the walking wounded back in action soon.

For the Leafs it was a solid win, a good test against one of the stronger clubs in the NHL. The Leafs moved into fourth place in the East with the win. It gives them a one point gap, between them and the Senators for home ice advantage in the playoffs.

As for the Avs, they’ll be glad to get to the playoffs; the regular season is not ending on a great note. Perhaps if it’s a win or go home situation they’ll be able to change their results of late.

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