Hello all, I’m back this week with another edition of the Yelle’ins. I was sad to have missed last week and I don’t plan on making a habit of that, but as the saying goes: Family First.
Wow! What a great start to the season for our beloved Avalanche. A few weeks back someone had asked how the first road trip of this season would play out. I predicted 3 points on a L/W/OTL in order. I was 0-3 on my predictions…and I like it. We ended up going W/L/W with another victory over the Bruins in the first home game of the season. If that’s being wrong…I don’t want to be right.
For me, it’s not just the victories, but how they have been achieved. The goal tending has been good enough to steal a couple wins, but the skaters have also made sure that this was not necessary. Hell, even in the loss to New Jersey the process wasn’t disheartening to watch. The big kicker here, the game that gave me to most cause for optimism, is the home opener. We absolutely dominated the first two periods and took a 3 goal lead into the third. I am so used to the “here we go again” that when the Bruins got two goals back with 8 or so minutes remaining on the clock that feeling crept right back in. I forgot the dominance of the first 40 and reverted immediately to “well, we’re screwed” mode. I’m sure many of you would admit to feeling the same. Last year, we lose that game 5-4. But…but…the team…the lowly, young, inexperienced Lolorado Avalanche, they did not. They fought through the tough stretch and came out winners on the other side adding in 2 ENG’s en route to a 6-3 drubbing of the Bruins. Kudos to the team for passing their first true test of their mental chutzpah.
If this is the younger and faster team we were promised: Imma lookin…and Imma likin.
AVS WEEK IN REVIEW
Let’s be honest with each other: who had the this line penciled in as the most potent offensive line that the Avalanche would offer early this season? These guys have been spectacular in the offensive zone this year with all three players featuring at or near the top of the Avs scoring list. I’m not sure how long it will last or how long they will get lesser matchups, but for now, this is fun.
Oh, and also, more of this please…I’ve called my doctor and it still won’t go away:
Patrik Nemeth was a much maligned waiver claim in some (most) circles of Avalanche fandom. I mean we were ready to pounce on this guy at his first mistake. I think it’s safe to say that it didn’t seem right that a waiver claim with two days of practice was elevated to a Top 4 role. Especially on a team that had just intentionally retooled it’s defense in the off season. Once again, those pesky hockey professionals are showing us why we are fans and why they get paid to do this for a living. Nemeth has been stellar through 4 games in his new digs. He’s yet to record a point (shoutout to a reader….Nemo has 3 points this year, apologies to Patrik Nemeth), but he’s been positionally sound, kept his game simple, and has allowed Barrie the freedom to do what Tyson Barrie needs to do make this offense tick. His acquisition is a big win for us in the early stages.
Playing with the Power
A big story line of the past few years has been the inability of the Avalanche to produce points with the man advantage. Enter Ray Bennett and a renewed sense of hope. The Power Play this year hasn’t produced as much on the scoreboard just yet, but the effects of a change in setup and execution are plain to see. The puck movement is quicker, the players are more active, and chances are coming. I’m excited to see this storyline unfold through the next stretch of games.
With 6 points from their first 4 GP (3rd Central/tied 3rd Western Conference) the Avalanche are keeping pace with both St. Louis and Chicago over the first week and a half.
HERO OF THE WEEK
Carl “Southmountain” Soderberg is this weeks Hero of the Week. His play since drawing into the lineup of game 2 in New Jersey has been nothing short of stellar. He looks like a guy with his eye on the prize and who wants to stay in the lineup. Talk of same old, same old (last year) out of Soderberg appear to be a bit premature in this early parts of this season. He is engaged, he is killing penalties, and he is putting his body on the line and the ice for his teammates. Maybe his scratch in game one was a wake up call or maybe he was just getting back into a rhythm later than his teammates, but if we get anything close to 51 point “Hot” Carl Soderberg our offense will be a force this season.
COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
Interference (some user names edited – you know who you are)
AP (GWG) – Last Saturday at 2:18 PM
that penalty was weak though
Where’s He From Again?
Penalty box native
andidee15 – 10/05/2017
Holy shit, that pass connected!
DrGoalie29 – 10/05/2017
wow that pass, Yak.
tigervixxxen – 10/05/2017
Didn’t people tell us yak can’t pass?
Dixomatic – 10/05/2017
Now Duchene knows how it feels to have a pass tossed at him when there’s no possible way it should have happened
That Z Fight
StormSlab – Yesterday at 3:29 PM
Zadorov fighting McQuaid after the hit on Jost is everything this team was missing from a character / attitude standpoint ever since the bs matt cooke hit on Barrie that was never answered. It seemed like we played scared for years after that, especially against the mild. I’m generally against fighting in the NHL, but last night is a case study on how you want your team to react. Score on the PP (hit them on the scoreboard) and then have your towering Russian (attempt to) beat the crap out of the offending player. Loved the game last night, optimism is in full swing. We’re going to win the Stanley Cup this year #bookit.
But my favorite thing all game was his push on Mcquaid later in the game with the “fuck you” smile afterwards.
STAT DU JOUR
Through 4 games this season your Colorado Avalanche have already scored 4 ENG’s. In 82 contests (calling them contests is generous, but I’m in a good mood) last season we only had 5. Not only are we playing with a lead but we are cementing our golden opportunities to keep the lead late in games.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
I was flipping through the channel guide last night and found an obscure channel that has been showing a bunch of KHL hockey reruns recently. Last nights game inspired a new segment here at the Yelle’ins. With that in mind I am happy to introduce: Where are they now? The first installment features Brandon Yip and Wojtek Wolski, who, oddly enough, play for the same KHL team: HC Kunlun Red Star of China. Holy 2009 Avalanche Batman!!
Wolski is the team leader in scoring with 16 points in 16 GP and is averaging just over 18 minutes a game while playing on the teams 1st line.
Yip is tied for 4th on the team in points with 8 and is playing on the teams 2nd line.
Others of note: Andrei Kostitsyn, Alexei Ponikarovski, and Kyle Chipchurra all play at HC Kunlun Red Star.
Just so our great friend/scotch aficionado/Avs recap writer extraordinaire @c6hor8 doesn’t get too comfortable from his lofty perch in the recap writing saddle, I want to remind him (and all our loyal readers) that Sea Creatures are closer to our homes and places of employment that we may think.
TUNE O’ THE DAY