Thursday, March 08, 2007

Objects in your mirror...

may be closer than they appear, Mr. Malkin.

Given up for dead by many (including me) the Av's and their sensational rookie Paul Stastny have put together an impressive streak of point scoring for him and wins for them to put the club back into contention for a playoff spot. Who'd a thunk it possible just a short while ago?
The Avalanche are playing with renewed motivation. They haven't missed the playoffs since 1994 when the team was still based in Quebec City.

"It was only a matter of time," Stastny said, referring to the team's turnaround. "Team morale is so high, we know we're in every game. The first 10 minutes tonight, we were down 1-0 and in the back of our minds we knew we could turn it around and give ourselves a chance to win."

Credit Stastny, who assisted on Colorado's first two goals, including setting up Milan Hejduk's short-handed tally that tied it at 1 midway through the first period.

Stastny's streak is the longest in the NHL this season, and the best run since Ottawa's Dany Heatley had a point in 22 consecutive games from Oct. 5 to Nov. 29, 2005.
Stastny's my pick for the Calder Trophy. When you tie (and possibly break) a NHL record for consecutive games scoring by a rookie, that's stood for 14 years, you definitely deserve the consideration. Hopefully more will be giving it to him.


It now appears that's starting to happen.
The race for the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year has been jazzed up by the red-hot play of Colorado Avalanche centre Paul Stastny.

Long seen as a 1-2 battle between Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin and Los Angeles Kings centre Anze Kopitar, the 21-year-old Stastny is having his say with a 17-game point streak that ties the NHL record for rookies.

Now Stastny is getting more recognition around the league.

"He should," Avs head coach Joel Quenneville said. "The consistency of his play is the best part about his game.

Every night he does all the things well.

His bonus is his point production. I think the streak gets him a little more recognition and attention but his contribution to our team game has been outstanding." Stastny extended his point streak to 17 games Wednesday night with a pair of assists in a 3-2 win at Buffalo, tying the rookie mark set in 1993 by Winnipeg's Teemu Selanne. Stastny also set the franchise rookie record, breaking the 16-game mark set by his father, Peter, in 1980 with the then-Quebec Nordiques.
Currently Stasty has 65 points (22-43) in 68 games and Malkin is in first with 69 points (29-40) in 62 games among rookies. Obviously it's not the runaway race many had thought it would be.

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