The Ave-nots?

Mwahaha, Cooke with a beauty shorthanded and the Canucks take out the Aves again.If not for Aebby again it would have been much worse, amazing save on Morrison as an example.

Where's all our Avalanche fans anyways?

present and acounted for...by the way, who put danny boy in his place

You mean: who flipped out and speared Clouts in the groin, after shoving Jovo in the belly and pitched a fit screaming at the ref while everyone else just laughs at him?

"Colorado pressed with their goaltender pulled for the extra attacker, but just to salt the open Avalanche wound, Cloutier baited Forsberg into a roughing penalty with just under two minutes left. That killed any hopes of overtime.

At the final horn the Avalanche must have felt like they got a high colonic with a toilet brush. After building a 2-0 lead and looking like they might blow the game open, they sputtered and wound up falling 3-2 in regulation. Ouch." - Kevin Kinghorn (AP)

ALL DAN IN DENVER
By Kevin Kinghorn (AP)
Canucks 3 - Avalanche 2 - FINAL



Dan Cloutier has had some pretty impressive games in a Canuck uniform, but the show he put on in Denver Monday night tops them all by a roomy margin.

The Canucks had no business beating the Avalanche. They were spotty defensively, got beaten off pucks and couldn't clear the front of their net if Avalanche skaters were wearing blindfolds and dress shoes.

To their credit, they still did.

The Canucks clawed back from an early 2-0 deficit with goals by Matt Cooke, Todd Bertuzzi and Mike Keane, but none of it would have happened if it weren't for Cloutier. He was astounding making 34 very difficult saves on 36 shots to lift his team over the bitter division rival Colorado Avalanche.

After getting beat by a Steve Konowalchuk tip just 17 seconds into the game, he settled down and allowed just one more in the first before grounding the Denver Divas altogether.

Colorado's menacing powerplay - third best in the NHL - was blanked by Vancouver on seven attempts despite applying enough pressure to pop rocks. And the penalty killers were just average. Cloutier was the lone reason stopping pucks he never even saw.

On one second period powerplay Peter Forsberg, Joe Sakic and Rob Blake took turns blasting shots on goal for a full two minutes. The puck didn't leave the zone once. It's a wonder none of the penalty killers puked of exhaustion. But to his immense credit, Cloutier made every stop to keep the score 2-1.

As impressive as he was in the second, Cloutier saved his best magic for the third.

Down 2-1 heading into the final 20 minutes, Cloutier was outright Elephant stubborn between the poles. A Colorado powerplay four minutes into the period should have scored three times over, but Cloutier repeatedly stymied Forsberg, Milan Hejduk and Derek Morris from all over the ice as the Avalanche skaters darted in and out of the slot at will.

And with eight minutes gone in the third period Cloutier made a late bid for save of the year while lying on his back.

Teemu Selanne plucked a puck out of Brent Sopel's skates, and from inside the Canuck crease, flicked a certain back-breaking goal into an empty net. Somehow Cloutier reached back from under a gnashing scrum and slapped his paddle down across the goal line to deflect the puck up and out of trouble. There's just no way he had any business making that stop.

The save held the score at 2-1 and gave Bertuzzi the chance to tie it on Vancouver's fourth powerplay of the game. Bertuzzi backed off the top of the crease into a gap between Sakic and Dan Hinote, and one-timed a Brendan Morrison centering feed over Aebischer's shoulder. Bertuzzi's 10th goal came at 8:48.

Colorado still looked like they could pull the game out of the fire until ex-Avalanche forward Mike Keane got probably the ugliest goal of his 15-year career with under five to play.

Jarkko Ruutu and Artem Chubarov botched the first two passes of a rare Canuck three-on-one leaving Keane to make a wild one-handed stab at the puck from the side of the net. And wouldn't you know it, the biscuit bubbled over Aebischer's pad and deflected in off John-Michael Liles' skate to make it 3-2 Canucks.

Colorado pressed with their goaltender pulled for the extra attacker, but just to salt the open Avalanche wound, Cloutier baited Forsberg into a roughing penalty with just under two minutes left. That killed any hopes of overtime.

At the final horn the Avalanche must have felt like they got a high colonic with a toilet brush. After building a 2-0 lead and looking like they might blow the game open, they sputtered and wound up falling 3-2 in regulation. Ouch.

The win pulls Vancouver to within one point of the Western Conference leading Detroit Red Wings and lifts them four points up on the second place Calgary Flames in the Northwest Division.

The Canucks looked a lot like the team that was shelled 6-2 by the sad sack Oilers Saturday night off the opening drop.

Konowalchuk drifted untouched through the slot just 17 seconds into the game and tipped a Derek Morris point shot through the Canuck keeper. It was a 1-0 lead before the foam on Pepsi Center beers had a chance to settle.

Vancouver gave up two breakaways and three point blank shots from the top of the crease before the midway mark of the first. Only some sketchy marksmanship kept the Avalanche from building a onerous lead early on. Alex Tanguay missed the net from the top of the crease twice on his own.

The Canucks took three consecutive penalties in the first against the league's third best powerplay before Konowalchuk upped the lead with his second of the game. He jostled Cloutier outside the crease before tipping a Liles point shot under Dan just as a Henrik Sedin tripping call expired.

Thankfully Matt Cooke salvaged an ugly Canuck first period with a shorthanded breakaway goal with under three to play. He skated onto a Marek Malik clear and slipped his first goal since mid November under Aebischer's glove with a quick backhand deke.

Aebischer the Swiss Miss seemed more like the Swiss Bitch as he started complaining to the officials about a Ruutu trip on the play before Cooke even crossed the blue line. And it didn't stop there. The little Swissy obviously paid close attention to Patrick Roy all those years. He was griping about Canucks driving the net from whistle to horn.

That's not to say he wasn't good, because he kept Vancouver from tying the game in the first on a couple of Avalanche breakdowns late.

He put a pad on a Markus Naslund backhand deke from the slot then turned around and batted Brendan Morrison's rebound attempt out of midair with his paddle. He finished the night with 24 saves on 27 shots, but was a distant second to Cloutier in the goal tending department.

The Canucks play a New Year's Eve contest in Chicago before hosting the Avalanche for the second time in less than a week Friday, January 2nd.

Who put whom in their place?

It looked like to punched clouts in the balls. He was wrestling with Jovo to get his stick back and it looked like cloutier slashed him in the calf.

anyhow, I am pridecting a 3-1 win for the avs with the teams meet again. isn't that towarrow (friday) or the day after.

peace

I predict the Nucks win by a brutal over-the-boards ass raping.

Mark

Peter the great does it again!

3 assists and he laughed at the comentator when he say that forsberg was playing good

Aves played better, but Van was also a the end of a 6 games in 9 nights run keep in mind.You had to eventually win *one* off us right? ;-)