Avs can't find results... who is to blame?
Avs Budaj didn't have his best game
Well another day, another Avs loss. The team is really starting to slide after going 1-3-2 in their last 6 games. I am sorry to put blame on certain players, but I believe it is warranted right now with this team. I am so happy to have Anderson back because since Anderson's second injury, Budaj has been playing a lot worse. He is allowing at least 1-2 bad goals per game and especially when the team needs him to come up big for the team. For example in OT a couple of nights ago, and tonight whenever the Avs would get back into the game. He let in his usual one per game through the five hole, and also one where he threw himself forward instead on staying big. I know Boods makes some big saves here and there, but honestly I feel that most of the time he gets lucky on those. It is the routine saves that Budaj must make everytime and those are his most troubled ones.
Now Budaj isn't the only one to blame, as several defenseman have just not shown up. I am mostly talking about Kyle Quincy. His play of late has been terrible and tonight was no difference, taking 3 bad penalties (the last one was a weak one though). He seems out of position, and turns over the puck in terrible situations. His biggest upside when we got him was his shot from the point, but this season it hasn't shown up. Quincy has played in 18 games this season and totaled 0 points as well as being a -4 with 12 penalty minutes. I am sorry but for a defenseman making 3 million a year he is not cutting it. Good news for the whole team is the next game is against Florida with Andy in the nets. Let's hope that the Avs can get out of this bit of a slump against the Panthers.
As for the good, Duchene is back and is looking to stay. Dutchy got another goal and an assist tonight and looked great all over the ice. Another player that felt showed up and looked good was Fleischmann. He had two assists and started a play with an amazing no look pass that lead to a goal, but didn't give him an assist. Overall, the Avs offense is continuing to play great with Hejduk looking like he is in his late 20's. I can also say that hope we find a way to keep Mauldin after some players get healthy. Mauldin almost had a shorty and brought energy every time he was on the ice. I do have a bad feeling that he will eventually be sent back to the AHL, but if he keeps up his play, Sacco will be dumb not to keep him.
Player of the game for the Avs
I saved an entire section to talk about this amazing rookie. Tonight Kevin had a 2 assists and looked great for a struggling Avs defense. With his assists, Kevin now has points in 9 straight games as a rookie defensemen and is one away from the record. Do I hear Calder talks? If Myers can steal it away from Duchene solely on being a defenseman, then Shattenkirk better get some consideration. Adrian Dater from the Denver Post tweeted from the game while talking to coaching legend Scottie Bowman. Bowman was talking his head off about Shattenkirk and how impressed he was from the young defenseman. I agree one hundred percent and it shocks me that during a month of playing in the AHL he had no points! So far in 15 games Shatty has 14 points, pretty good start for a rookie defenseman.