Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
We've asked before, but is this finally the turnaround the Colorado Avalanche have been waiting for?
The Avs rallied from a 3-0 first-period deficit to beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 in overtime Tuesday night, their fourth win in five games. For the second straight game, goalie Reto Berra was pulled in favor of Calvin Pickard, and just like Saturday night versus Carolina, Pickard backstropped the Avs to the comeback win.
Daniel Briere's overtime goal was a lucky one, his centering pass going off Coyotes center Martin Hanzal, but you figure the Avs are due a few breaks after what has been an incredibly tough opening two months. Are they on the road back? We shall see.
read on for Burnside on the Stars and Strang on Flames/Ducks...
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
His often-shaky play has done little to quiet the fears that Colorado made mistakes both when it acquired him at the trading deadline on March 5 from Calgary, and — perhaps even more important — signed him to a three-year, $4.35-million contract extension only nine days later....
Berra has had solid games this season, and at least didn't reprise his shaky showings in his cameo appearances down the stretch last season. But with Varlamov out, this is his latest chance to win over the skeptics, and so far, he's failing. After Roy pulled him when Carolina took a 3-1 lead late in the first period Saturday night, Pickard shut out the Hurricanes the rest of the way in a 4-3 Colorado victory.
Berra's save percentage is below the Astrom Line, at .895, his goals-against average is 3.16.
Also at stake here is Avalanche organizational goaltender evaluation credibility. And that's a very strange thing to have to say about a team that has Roy as its head coach and Francois Allaire, renowned if occasionally a bit controversial as a goaltending whisperer, as its goaltending coach.
Patrick Roy said post-game Tanguay will be evaluated on Friday.
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet with the story.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
The biggest thought I remember having tonight while watching the Avs skate offensively was – especially the top two lines: “There’s no plan here. It’s all just freelance. It’s all just a guessing game where to go, what to do.”
The forwards all seem to be standing around looking at each other, wondering who should do what. The forwards seem like they are on an island, totally divorced from the defense. Nobody is working in conjunction with each other. Nobody seems to be communicating on the ice. Everybody seems like a stranger to each other.
Could a trade be coming to shake things up? I see there are rumors out there, but in talking with Joe Sakic tonight at the game, I did not get the impression that he’s burning up the phone lines trying to make a deal. And I certainly haven’t gotten that impression from Roy, who has a front-office title too.
If you haven't noticed are 4-8-5 and tied for last in the Western Conference.
"There's some things offensively that I think we could do a little bit better, like going to the net and simplifying things around the net, and I think the players are aware of that. nd when we start scoring in times of the game, like early or at the end of periods, I think it's going to help our team and get their confidence going. For me, it's still very positive here."
-Patrick Roy, head coach of the Colorado Avalanche. More on the Avs from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.
The pride of Burnaby, Joe Sakic’s career started in the Vancouver suburb. He went from being a standout with the Burnaby BC Selects, to a 2-time Stanley Cup Champion, to a hall of famer. But Burnaby Joe never forgot where he came from.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
The most troubling long-term issues for this team involve the contradictions in its organizational approach, even in its in-house reactions. The playoff loss to Minnesota last spring seemed to show they knew the team had overcome its deficiencies during that remarkable regular season and needed to upgrade their toughness and veteran grittiness quotient. The moves so far haven't worked.
Almost as if it was excessively proud of "unearthing" players previously underrated or not given sufficient chances, the Avalanche over the past year has signed a handful of players to contract extensions who haven't been major contributors long enough — at least not here — to earn that faith. Among that group is Nick Holden, Marc-Andre Cliche, Nick Guenin, Brad Stuart and Reto Berra. That wouldn't be a potential impediment if the NHL didn't have a hard salary cap that makes excessive faith in players competitively costly too.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Hockey thoughts on a Sunday ...
• Patrick Roy showed he truly does care what his Avalanche players think by adjusting his defensive philosophy late last week. It was a major moment, not just a minor tweak.
Roy has preferred a man-to-man defensive zone system but realized it was hampering his team's offense and changed it Thursday against Toronto. As TSN analyst Ray Ferraro noted while working the game, Avs forwards were fresher going the other way when they gained possession of the puck. All the one-on-one chasing of opponents too often left forwards gassed at the offensive end, and after consulting with his players, Roy decided to make the switch.
There may be situations in games when Roy goes back to one-on-one, but for now we should be seeing more of a conventional zone approach. Roy could have been stubborn and stuck to his one-on-one philosophy, but he has always said he wants a "partnership" with his players. He proved it again last week.
continued with more thoughts...
Patrick Roy not happy.
note 8:05pm, Changed the headline, was not a game misconduct, only a major.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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