So much for the slump! Many playoff observers (including yours truly) had said prior to tonight’s Colorado/Dallas match up that there was some trouble in Denver. A team that had lost its focus we all chimed in, they’ve lost their scoring touch we chanted, free falling I believe I mentioned in a rant. Well, ahem, they’re back!
Colorado dominated the Stars from the opening face off, controlling the play, making the key hit, the perfect pass and the big saves when required. The three guys that need to score did, Peter Forsberg opening the game up at the six minute mark with a big goal, four minutes later Alex Tanguay would build on the lead and Joe Sakic would finish off the night with a goal in the third period. On the way to victory the offence found its mark tonight. And for the first night anyways, it was Patrick who? David Aebischer soundly answered the critics who had called for them to upgrade before the trading deadline. Facing 38 shots in the Colorado net, Aebischer turned away all but one, a late third period goal by Niko Kapenen to ruin his shutout bid. Most impressive was his ability to hold the fort during the five power play advantages that Dallas enjoyed.
Dallas’ Marty Turco faced 25 shots in his end of the rink, but had some bad luck in the first period, Forsberg shoveling the puck between his pads in a scrum in front of the net and Tanguay having his shot deflect in off of Dallas defenceman Teppo Numminen. The Stars took a while to get started gaining only 6 shots on net in the first period, but by the third they were making a statement to Colorado that game two will be a whole different style of play.
For now the Av’s and their fans will savor the win, for the first time in about three weeks they finally looked like the team everyone thought they should be. Game two gives them the chance to prove that indeed they’re back; ready to get back on that track for the Cup everyone thought they would be on.