Posted on April 27, 2008 07:40 PM | Permalink
Denver - Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
However the Colorado Avalanche can do it - whether from "Animal House" references or other mixed up historical comparisons - they are trying to view their 2-0 series deficit to the Detroit Red Wings with some humour and optimism. It might not be easy, but things have looked bleak before around the Avs, only to turn around quickly.
Case in point: in 1999, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Wings came into the old McNichols Sports Arena and completely embarrassed the Avs the first two games.
By the end of Game 2, a 4-0 Detroit whitewash, an Avalanche line of Dale Hunter, Warren Rychel and Jeff Odgers was fruitlessly running around, trying to "send a message" that was met with mock laughter from a condescending Wings bench. With the series going back to Detroit, it looked over for the Avs. Just to rub things in, some Northwest Airlines workers met the Avalanche team plane with brooms in their hands. Several Avs players said that really made them mad.
So what happened? The Avs won the next four games, none of which were particularly close. Detroit goalies Bill Ranford, Manny Legace and Chris Osgood couldn't stop a beachball after that, and the seemingly invincible Detroit defence became Swiss cheese.
So, while it might seem impossible again, Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville knows it only will take a win Tuesday night to make it a 2-1 series, and a chance to tie it up Thursday at home.
"You're down 2-0, but I still think there's a lot of enthusiasm in our group," Quenneville said. "I think, coming home, we can get some new life. We have to win this game, and we just want to capture some momentum."
Quenneville said today that Jose Theodore will start Game 3, despite having allowed eight goals on 36 shots so far, while backup Peter Budaj has stopped 39 of 40. He also seemed hopeful that veterans Peter Forsberg (groin) and Scott Hannan (foot) would be back.
Forsberg, sure enough, came under some criticism in the Denver papers Sunday for scratching himself in Game 2, after taking the pre-game warmup. Forsberg's teammates were supportive, however, but you have to wonder sometimes what goes on the minds of hockey players who are taught from the crib that anything absent being on your deathbed means you play in the playoffs. Adam Foote, for instance, played on a broken foot in the 2003 playoffs against Minnesota.
The Red Wings were quiet Sunday, taking a late afternoon flight to the Mile High City. The team did not practice, but will be back at it Monday at a suburban Denver rink.
There is not much to criticize in the Red Wings' in the last four postseason contests, and the team is hoping to string together an even more sustained run.
"We know it'll be a tougher game in their barn," goalie Osgood said. "They're going to come out hard, and we have to be ready for that. We know the series isn't over and we just want to keep playing well. We know they have a lot of pride over there and aren't going to give up."