Originally Posted by Jori
It's one game, but it was a wonderful performance. It's not so much that the Avs were great defensively, it was their continuous offensive pressure. To me, Dallas looked surprised at what the Avs brought to the table. Dallas will certainly make adjustments. I know Turco will get some of the blame but the forwards didn't help with the back-check and the defenders were swiss cheese.
People forget that the Avs were the fourth highest scoring team in the NHL. The problem all season has been the defense and inconsistent goaltending. That's what makes the Avs so dangerous, if they can tighten things up and get the goaltending, they will not be an easy out.
Dallas will look 100% better on Monday night.
Somebody asked about Wolski. Once Wolski played 10 NHL games, his contact would count agaisnt the cap. Wolski played the first 9 games with the Avs and then he was sent back to juniors. Part of it was the affect against the salary cap, the other was that Wolski needed to work on certain parts of his game. After he was snubbed by the Canadian World Junior hockey team, his coaches in Brampton put him at center and he just took off. He won four straight OHL player of the month awards.
Now that Wolski has been called up and played in his 10th game, his salary wont count against the cap, but the first year of his three year contact has been used. Therefore, he'll become a RFA after 07-08 rather then 08-09. Yet, if he continues the solid play, it'll be worth it. Make no mistake about it, Wolski is the best prospect the Avs have had in their system since Alex Tanguay.
I thought that the Av's defense was outstanding today...aside from the two breakdowns of course. Yes they controlled the play offensively, but they did a very good job of taking the body, and blocking shots. The stars are bigger, but the AVS did not allow them to force the play. For the most part they kept everything on the perimeter. Tay-o-Door made some big saves, but he didn't have to be as on as Turco, because his defense was actually moving its feet in front of him. I don't think it's fair to discount the job the AVS defense did today. They're a big part of the reason that Theo didn't have to face many shots...they erased them before it got to that point. We all bash them when they're weak...let's give them credit when they're strong.
I completely agree that we'll see a different stars team on Monday. They were giving the AVS all sorts of space. It won't happen again. On their power plays the stars were all stationary. You could see it in real time, and it was magnified on replays. They were content just to pass the puck back and forth, and then shoot. Their 5 on 3 power play is a perfect example of this.
I don't think the stars will give Wolski so much room the rest of the series. He took some big checks in the first period, but it didn't phase him. I think the AVS as a whole can expect a lot more physicality from the stars in game two. But if they keep their heads...it won't matter. The stars are not that big, and not that skilled.
We'll see how it plays out. It won't be easy, but they're certainly in it.