I saw it, but I really don't believe it.. Did the Avs REALLY just beat the Red Wings, in Detroit, with Andrew Raycroft in net??? Pinch me, for I think I am dreaming!
In a game that no Avs fan really thought that they could win (don't deny it!), the Avs pulled off the absolutely unexpected and beat the team that has plagued them for longer than I can remember on their home ice. The team started the game stronger than almost any game this entire season. On a beautiful steal by Wolski in the neutral zone, just a minute into the game, he fed the puck to Tyler Arnason, who dished it back to him as he came in all alone on Osgood, and then proceeded to make Ozzie look like a mere rookie with one of his totally awesome moves usually reserved for the shootout. Just three minutes later, Paul Stastny decided a one goal lead wasn't enough and blasted a wrister top-shelf from the circles on the powerplay. 2-0 in Detroit, four minutes into the game?!?!?! WOW. A few minutes later, the Avs found themselves on the short end of a 5-on-3 with the league's top powerplay unit attacking their backup goaltender. Somehow, no pucks made it in and this probably ended up being the biggest penalty kill of the season thus far. If the Wings had cut the lead to just one that early, I think the entire momentum would've shifted in their favor, and we all know that is an absolutely terrible thing.
Raycroft, or "Rayzor", decided to give his best impression of #33 and came up with a number of huge, statue-of-liberty, glove saves, along with many other incredible saves, including some where he was completely out of position and had to scramble to get back and block the shot (Note: I refuse to actually come out and compare Rayzor to #33 by name, so the number will do for now). Of course, he couldn't stay perfect forever though and let in a second-period goal resulting from a big mess of bodies in front of the net. I won't necessarily place the blame on him on that one, it's just a matter of getting lucky in a situation like that.. every goalie saves some and lets others in.
Early in the third, the top-line, consisting of the Codys and Philippe Dupuis (what?) were battling in front of the net trying to slap the puck in when it seemed like a Detroit defender fell on the puck, aka PENALTY SHOT. I guess Granato felt like those three forwards score way too many goals and wanted to give someone else a shot, so he put the puck on Jordan Leopold's stick, and he proceeded to make Ozzie look like what we thought the goalie across the ice would look like, as he easily buried the puck on the backhand. The Wings managed to get another goal to pull the score to within one, but failed to tie it up in the final minute with no goalie.
To say I'm impressed with this win might be the understatement of the year. As much as I love this team with every fiber of my being, there's just some games that I know will be a loss. Apparently, I don't know this team as well as you would think a fan of 16 years would know a team as they completely surprised the sh*t out of me tonight. Tyler Arnason had a great game (yes, I know, oxymoron), as did David Jones, possibly his best of the year, even though he failed to get on the scoreboard.
Let's hope the team can keep it up as they play the red-hot Flyers tomorrow night. Budaj will be back in net, but it seems that Svatos, Guite, and Tucker will remain out of the lineup, even though they are on the trip with the team.