Avs beat Jackets 5-1 for the second time in less than a month
Avs Win Big With Some New Additions
Well it is nights like these that Avs just look scary good! Now if only they could play like this every single night. I will give them some what of a pass, because it is hard to get in a rhythm of playing like this when the line up is changing every single night. Well if they can play like they did tonight when players like Mueller, Anderson, and Foote return; this Avs team is going to compete and surprise some people. Tonight we saw the addition of newly aquired defensemen Ryan O'Byrne from Montreal as well as call up Greg Mauldin. O'Byrne was acquired just a few days ago from Montreal in exchange for Avs prospect Michael Borunival. I will have more on this trade in the notes section at the bottom.
As for Mauldin, tonight was night to remember with Mauldin scoring his first ever NHL goal in his eighth NHL game in his eighth season. Mauldin has been a journey man most of his career and the goal was even more sweet because it went against the Blue Jacket team that drafted him in 2002. Not only did Mauldin have a great night, but the return of David Jones from injury proved to be the biggest addition of all. Jones ended the night with two goals and an assist. It seems like whenever Jones is playing he scoring points, and if Jones can stay healthy I have a feeling he will become one of the Avs best forwards.
As for the play in the net, Peter Budaj came away with another strong game and continues pretty strong play during Craig Anderson's absence. There was one part in the game where it was tied 1-1 and it was Budaj's strong play that allowed it to stay like that until the team picked up their game and started scoring goals.
When the Avs skate like they did tonight, I believe they can beat any team in the NHL. When teams see the Avs skate like this in a game, they should be afraid and realize that they will have to play big in order to come away with the win. Next stop is a rested Red Wings tomorrow night, and a possible start for current back up John Grahme. I don't really have a good feeling about this one, however if the Avs can get a good offensive performance, I believe they will have a chance to come away with at least a point.
Player to Watch
Matt Duchene is somewhat snake bitten again in the early going. Duchene had the same problem at the beginning of the year and I can't seem to pin down what is going on with him. Tonight he played with all his heart and was all over the ice. It is nights like these that I feel great as an Avs fan that the two other teams that had a chance at Duchene didn't take him. I know that Duchene is only 19, and that is pretty reassuring, but this guy needs to start hitting the back of the net if the Avs are going to look to make a deep run if they make the playoffs.
Mauldin is the second Av this season to score their first career goal shorthanded...O'Byrne played well in his Av debut that was almost stopped thanks to immigration issues. The trade for O'Byrne could is very important with 4 defensemen out with injuries and because of his size. The Avs d-line is what some would consider small, and O'Byrne brings the size the Avs so desperately need.
Player of the Night
2 g- 1a in his first game back from injury