DAMPHOUSSE STEPS UP IN STASTNY’S ABSENCE
The Colorado Rockies completely embarrassed their opponents last night in Tampa Bay. Colorado turned it on almost immediately after Peter Stastny went down with an injury. GM Mike Smith said, “I didn’t like the play that took Stosh down. But I don’t think that kid has a reputation for something like that either”. Stastny took a bump and looked to be holding his wrist after his first shift. He would not return to the game. Smith added, “Stosh will be reevaluated back in Denver but he is going to miss some time”. When asked about Stastny’s chase to Sittler he said, “I think Peter is pretty determined. This is a setback but he’s worked really hard at the start of the year and that’s given him some wiggle room”.
With Stastny out, the hole on the top PP was vacant. The Rockies went to work on a two-man advantage and capitalized. Vinny Damphousse took turns setting up Steve Yzerman and Brett Hull for power play goals only 9 seconds apart. Damphousse ended up the hero of the night scoring two goals on top of his two assists to finish with four points in only 10 minutes of ice time. Damphousse said, “Just one of those games you know? Pick followed me around and I was able to finish the plays”.
Damphousse has been quiet compared to last seasons breakout year. He now has 14 points in 19 games. He added, “I’d prefer to be a consistent offensive threat and not get the label of being streaky. I want to contribute and I know with some more opportunities I can show that”.
With Stastny out for at least 3 games it looks like Damphousse will get a look on the right wing for the power play. He would be considered out of position but given how it played out in the game against Tampa it’s likely worth a look.
As a Hall of Fame forward exits another returns. Captain Mario Tremblay has joined the team for their road trip and will suit up tonight against the Habs. Tremblay said, “We are a deep club. We haven’t had our standard lines for many games this year. Guys step up and fill roles when required. That’s a sign of a championship club. That’s what we are. That’s what we intend to do again”.
Tremblay will join Igor Larionov on the team’s second line. It’s believed that Pat Verbeek will slide up to the right wing slot left vacant with Stastny’s injury.