MATCH-UP 1: #3 Ryan Smyth vs. #19 Peter Budaj Smyth's spectacular goal goes up against one of six different Budaj stops that made it into the second round of the tournament.
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.
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.
MATCH-UP 2: #22 Ian Laperriere vs. #6 Peter Budaj Lappy's hit - the only body check in the "Play of the Year" tournament - takes on another Budaj save.
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.
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.
MATCH-UP 3: #26 Milan Hejduk vs. #10 Peter Budaj Hejduk's goal moved on to the second round by upsetting his own higher-ranked play. Budaj's stop made it here by topping a yet another Hejduk goal in the first round.
Hejduk Breaks Free – 1/31 vs. Anaheim (38.50% in Week 17) Milan Hejduk notched his 18th goal of the season against the Anaheim Ducks – a tally that came with the Avalanche short-handed. The forward stole the puck from Ducks defenseman Bret Hedican and streaked in all alone before beating Jonas Hiller low stick side. The short-handed tally was the sixth of Hejduk’s career and his 303rd goal overall.
Budaj Robs Roenick – 4/7 @ San Jose (51.11% in Week 26) With just under a minute remaining in regulation and the game still scoreless, Peter Budaj made a big stop on San Jose’s Jeremy Roenick. On a Sharks’ power play, Roenick found himself all alone in front of the Colorado goal. However, Budaj was able to stop the point-blank attempt to send the game to overtime.
MATCH-UP 4: #18 David Jones vs. #2 Peter Budaj We could have an all-Budaj quarterfinal in the lower half of the bracket, as the netminder makes his fourth appearance this session. His stop on Henrik Sedin goes up against an acrobatic goal by David Jones.
Jones Goes Airborne – 12/7 vs. Vancouver (45.76% in Week 9) Forward David Jones scored this goal by hustling from one end of the ice to the other before trying to split the defense by hopping around Vancouver defender Shane O’Brien. The Canucks’ blueliner got a piece of him, but Jones stayed with the play and – while suspended in mid-air – was able to somehow get his stick on the puck and knock it past Cory Schneider at 5:14.
Budaj Robs H. Sedin – 11/12 at Vancouver (62.96% in Week 5) The Sedin twins teamed up in an attempt to foil Peter Budaj, but the goaltender was up to the task. Daniel made a feed to an open Henrik, who was stationed to Budaj’s left with a seemingly open net. Budaj quickly moved side-to-side and robbed the Canucks of a goal by getting a glove on Henrik’s attempt.