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Avs need to overcome more than just bad officiating

Image (1) MrAnderson-thumb-250x166-10080.jpg for post 1161

It’s amazing how the storylines can change during a playoff series. At the end of game three, after the San Jose Sharks dominated the Avalanche for three periods only to lose 1-0 in overtime, there was talk about blowing the team up and a curse that is hanging over the franchise.

Yet now here we sit, two convincing wins later and there’s no doubt who the better team in this series is. The Sharks have taken a 3-2 series lead after a dominant 5-0 victory last night, and now there’s some consternation building in Denver.

Some of it doesn’t even have to do with the Avalanche and their effort.

Adrian Dater, beat writer for the Avalanche for the Denver Post, is not happy, and he has not been pleased all series long with one particular aspect: the officiating. He spells it out on his All Things Avs blog:

Debate the Galiardi call all you want, but let’s examine what happened toward the end of the second period tonight. Cody McLeod cross-checked San Jose’s Douglas Murray from behind, and into his own goalie and the right post of the net. That should have been a penalty, granted. But here’s what the refs did: they gave NO penalty to McLeod. They DID give a four-minute minor to Scott Hannan, who, for all I saw, was just trying to act as a peacemaker, trying to grab someone and calm them down. Happens all the time in NHL scrums. Meanwhile, San Jose’s Travis McGinn started to PUNCH Avs rookie Matt Duchene, not just once but a few times.

Dater notes that the Sharks have had 21 power plays in the series, while the Avs have had just 10. He also makes sure to point out that he doesn’t believe there is any conspiracy against the Avalanche, just a series full of poor officiating. If you’ve been watching all of the games so far in the playoffs, it’s tough to argue with that sentiment; the officiating has been inconsistent and downright bad at times.

This is a tough series for Colorado, who are trying their best to match up with San Jose without two of their top offensive forwards in the game. Peter Mueller was acquired via trade to add some offensive firepower to the Avs and to take pressure off Matt Duchene and Paul Statsny; with Mueller and Milan Hejduk out, Colorado has struggled to mount any sort of counterattack to what the Sharks are throwing in their direction.

Bad officiating or not, Craig Anderson can only do so much with goal support from his teammates.