There are times when the words just roll off the fingers, straight to the keyboard and on to the blog. But times like this are when I fire up the old blogging software, blow some dust off the internet, and look straight into the blank wall, wondering what to say, and how to start.
Allow me to present a few tweets from the night.
and my personal favorite:
Because that was just awful. It sounds like the interviews after were just as bad, but at least I didn’t have to be subjected to them. Thank you, GameCenter Live:
The Avs lost their 8th straight game, by a score of 9-1 against the Calgary Flames. For a team that seemingly scored at will, it doesn’t get much lower than that. But hey, misery loves company, and since I sat through that travesty of a game, a few notes.
- If I were going to name a player of the game for the Avalanche, I’d have to say Peter Budaj. No, really. You can stop laughing now. Of all the players out there, he looked like he cared the most. Maybe Matt Duchene (who may be injured). But while Budaj was flat out beat on his second goal (high glove side, saw it all the way), he tried. And he acted like he cared. When you get beat 9-1, and are pulled twice, the best you can say is that you tried.
- Craig Anderson, on the other hand, did not try. He was awful in his first replacement stint. And while he will get a pass from the faithful for being away from the team for a few days to tend to a personal matter, there was something more sinister going on than being out of sync. It was a lack of caring. It’s been a long time since I have seen any goalie resigned to getting scored on. It was hard to watch, and it’s hard to understand.
- Joe Sacco looks like he’s run out of answers. It’s the expression on his face, even though I can’t say it looks much different than usual. Perhaps it’s his demeanor, but everything about him seems to reflect what is happening on the ice. And while scratching Chris Stewart (who doesn’t even look like the same person as the one before the injury) and benching Liles for the first period of the previous game could have sent a message, there is little accountability that he commands. When the team loses (again) without the benched or scratched player, it’s hard to say that the move sent a message other than “We need you.”
- The #BlameHunwick campaign keeps building steam, and for good reason. His decision making process seems to have fizzled, and while fans were previously behind him, they now seem poised to shove him over a cliff. In the loss to the Flames, he had too many errors to count, a few of which ended up in the back of the Avalanche net.
- David Koci: How many times did he ice the puck? The last of his leading to a goal (7th? 8th? There were so many, I forget). I assume we will hear about a few call-ups, and he can go back to tussling Marc Moser’s hair in the press box.
- Philippe Dupuis laid a nasty, dirty knee on knee hit to Olli Jokinen in the last seconds of the first period. (Puck Daddy has the video) Watching the replay, you can see Dupuis make a move as though he is going to (hip?) check Jokinen, but can’t line him up. Instead, he keeps his leg extended, though he could have gotten it out of the way. It’s an awful play, and one that I can’t defend. No one wants to miss their check (and Dupuis missed it by a country mile), but there is no excuse for what happened here. Collisions happen in a fast game, and the game is only getting faster. In those split seconds of missing a check, the only choice should be to let the other player go. It has to be automatic. I don’t believe Dupuis intended to injure Jokinen, but that isn’t any excuse for what happened.
- Speed. Remember when the Avs were quick? That speed seems to have gone away, but worse yet, the decision making seems to have slowed down as well. Players get the puck, sit with it for too long, and give the opposition all the time they need to take the puck, deliver a check, or get set up to defend. Watch a team that’s fast with the puck (rather than relying on long stretch passes), teams that deliver that short fast pass, and you see them open up space, and create opportunities. There was a time when the Avalanche could do that. It feels like a distant memory.
So where is this team at? On the day that Peter Forsberg officially announces his retirement from the NHL, as we close a chapter in the history book of this franchise, where does that leave the Colorado Avalanche?