(Denver, Colorado) – These days, the high flying Colorado Avalanche have been flying at low altitudes and this time it was the Phoenix Coyotes who benefited – shutting down the Avs 2 -0 at the Pepsi Center last night. It was the fifth time in the last eight games that the NHL’s early season offensive juggernaut scored two or fewer goals in a game.
Coyotes’ backup goaltender Jason LaBarbera was hot in goal tonight, making 34 saves to record his second shutout of the season. Taylor Pyatt starred offensively for Phoenix – scoring a goal in the first period and an empty netter in the third to ice the victory for his team.
After getting off to a flying start this season — averaging 4 goals a game – the Avs now struggle offensively. The paradox of this struggle is further highlighted by the fact that the Avs have been playing better defensively – as the team gears up for the second half of the season and the drive to post season play.
The good news for the Colorado tonight was that goaltender Craig Anderson delivered a strong game and appears to be hitting his best form at the right time of the season. The bad news – the offense seems to be on sabbatical.
Tonight’s contest was not the most electrifying game of the season, as there was very little hitting or exciting puck movement. Both teams came out flat… and it was the least flat that won the game. Without a doubt, it was the goalies who stole the show … as LaBarbera and Anderson earned star of the game honors.
As the Avs look ahead, there is optimism on the horizon with forward Chris Stewart’s return imminent. Stewart, who was the Avs best forward before he broke his left hand on Nov. 27 during a fight with Minnesota’s Kyle Brodziak, skated with his teammates during the Thursday morning practice session. In addition to Stewart, the team announced that defenseman Kyle Cumiskey, who has been out since late October with a concussion, is also rounding into good health and could return to the lineup any day now. The Avs next play the New York Islanders at the Pepsi Center on Saturday
About the Author
Written by Donovan Wilson
Donovan is a professional writer with more than 10 years of corporate communications and public relations experience. He currently resides in the Phoenix, Arizona area where he currently does freelance work for the Arizona Repubilc. With a degree in English from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., and a Master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri - Columbia, Donovan has written for a variety of newspapers across the country. The single parent of an 13-year old boy, Donovan is a physical fitness enthusiast whom you can find on a soccer field or in the gym enduring an intense cardio workout. A sports enthusiast, Donovan has played competitive college hockey, soccer, and track and field. During his spare time, it’s not uncommon to see Donovan volunteering his services to a homeless shelter in Phoenix where he helps to feed the homeless. Currently, Donovan sits on the board of two nonprofit organizations – Green Nonprofits, Inc. and Queens Sickle Cell Advocacy Network, Inc. in New York City.