Colorado Avalanche Inside Shots 2008-11-27

Ray Bourque and Rob Blake, whose booming slap shots and all-around play helped the Avalanche win a Stanley Cup in 2001, are long gone.

Unfortunately, the same can be said of what used to be an active corps of defensemen in Colorado, a fact that has contributed to the Avalanche's lack of offense for over a month, along with an anemic power play.

Some signs of life were apparent Wednesday in the Avalanche's 3-1 win against St. Louis, and coach Tony Granato is hoping for more of the same in Friday's game against the Phoenix Coyotes in at Arena in Glendale, Ariz.

Even without John-Michael Liles, who missed the game with flu-like symptoms, Avalanche defensemen were especially dangerous on offense, combining for a goal, three assists and 12 shots.

"That's something that we want to have as part of it, but it's something you can't force," Granato said. "You can't just say, 'OK, you're up (ice) every rush. You have to pick and choose your times. But it was nice to see a couple guys jump up and make some nice plays."

Daniel Tjarnqvist scored a goal and added an assist, and defensemen Jordan Leopold and Ruslan Salei contributed assists on a power-play goal from Ryan Smyth that turned out to be the decisive goal.

Tjarnqvist's goal was only the seventh scored by an Avalanche defenseman this season.

AVALANCHE 3, BLUES 1: The Avalanche played one of its most complete games of the season Wednesday night at the Pepsi Center. Ian Laperriere and Daniel Tjarnqvist each collected a goal and an assist, Ryan Smyth had a power-play goal, and the Avalanche killed off T.J. Hensick's double-minor for high-sticking that began with four minutes remaining in the game.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 27, 2008