MATCH-UP 1: # 3 Ryan Smyth vs. # 30 Ryan Smyth Two plays by the gritty winger go toe-to-toe in the opening round.
Smyth Dangles – 10/20 at Los Angeles (60.50% in Week 2) Smyth scored his second goal of the game against the Kings by deftly stickhandling past rookie defenseman Drew Doughty and cutting toward the net before flipping a backhander past Jason LaBarbera while falling to the ice.
Smyth’s Breakaway – 2/28 @ NY Rangers (36.73% in Week 21) Ryan Smyth put the Avs on the scoreboard during the second period of the club’s game against the Rangers with this goal. After taking the puck away from defenseman Dmitri Kalinin near the blue line, Smyth skated in all alone and put on a few dekes before tucking the puck past Henrik Lundqvist.
MATCH-UP 2: #19 Peter Budaj vs. #14 Cody McCormick A Budaj stop on Wayne Primeau has a tough opening round opponent. The save goes up against McCormick's hard-working tally against Philadelphia.
Budaj’s Stop on Primeau – 11/18 at Calgary (45.54% in Week 6) Peter Budaj made a handful of solid stops during his career-high 47-save performance against the Flames, but this denial of a Wayne Primeau attempt may have been the best. During a flurry of action around the crease, Budaj kept his composure and stopped a shot that Primeau batted out of mid-air in front of the crease.
McCormick’s Work Pays Off – 10/16 vs. Philadelphia (48.50% in Week 1) The Avalanche’s aggressive forecheck was on full display during the club’s 5-2 win over the Flyers. Cody McCormick first knocked the puck away from a Philadelphia defenseman near the blue line. David Jones corralled the loose puck before rewarding a cutting McCormick with a nice pass for the forward’s first goal of the season.
MATCH-UP 3: #11 Marek Svatos vs. #22 Ian Laperriere A shootout winner by Svatos and a big hit by Ian Laperriere - the only body check in the tournament - square off.
Svatos’s Shootout Winner – 11/22 at Los Angeles (49.63% in Week 7) On Colorado’s first shootout attempt against the Kings, Svatos made a nice move against netminder Erik Ersberg before tucking a low backhand attempt between his legs. The goal helped to give the Avs their 8th straight shootout victory.
Lappy Runs Over Downey – 3/4 vs. Detroit (42.46% in Week 21) Midway through the first period, Avalanche assistant captain Ian Laperriere threw a big hit on Detroit’s Aaron Downey. While Downey had his head down looking for the puck along the side wall, Laperriere charged in and laid out a clean, hard hit.
MATCH-UP 4: #27 Wojtek Wolski vs. #6 Peter Budaj Wolski's short-handed goal earned "Play of the Week" honors in Week 8 with the lowest percentage of any winning play (35.43%), while Budaj's stop originally garnered over 55% of fan voting in Week 4.
Wolski’s Shorty – 12/4 @ Nashville (35.43% in Week 8) Wojtek Wolski notched the Avalanche’s first short-handed goal of the season against the Predators. After Cody McCormick intercepted a Nashville pass, he fed the puck to Wolski in the slot. From there, Wolski chipped the puck past Pekka Rinne’s outstretched glove for his fifth goal of the year.
Budaj Denies Kane – 11/3 at Chicago (55.94% in Week 4) After gathering a cross-ice feed from Martin Havlat, Chicago forward Patrick Kane found himself all alone just to the left of Avalanche netminder Peter Budaj. Despite having a seemingly open net, Kane was robbed by Budaj, who moved right-to-left quick enough to make the stop.