Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
Ryan O'Reilly entered the NHL at age 18 in 2009 as a defensive specialist, a young forward with a veteran conscience. Less than five years later, he was regarded as one of the league's premier all-around forwards, coming off a 28-goal season when he garnered a major NHL award.
Currently, however, O'Reilly is mired in an awful individual stretch that mirrors the failures of his team. The Avalanche has won only three of its first 14 games, and O'Reilly has only two goals and a team-worst minus-11 rating, lowest among NHL forwards....
"We try him as a center, we put him on the wing — we've tried a lot of things and, obviously, it hasn't worked out in getting him back on track," Roy said of O'Reilly. "There's a bit of bad luck in that as well, and I think he's lost a bit of his confidence."
O'Reilly is in the first year of a two-year, $12 million contract he signed last summer, after his second holdout in as many years.
Patrick Burke explains the suspension.
Again, it’s not the results that concern me as much as the lack of emotion, the lack of fire that I see. For whatever reason, the Avs just don’t seem all that excited to play hockey this year. It’s such a change from all that fun of last year. Did everybody getting paid (don’t forget, this team is almost maxed out against the cap) get everybody complacent?
The Kroenke family sure isn’t going to want to hear that if so. The players got their money, but so far they’re coming up a day late and a dollar short on effort and passion.
I won’t panic with any team until at least the 25-30 game mark. We’re still only at game No. 14. So, time for panic? No. Time for some real concern? Uh, yeah.
-Adrian Dater of All Things Avs after the Avalance 5-2 loss to the Canucks. Read more on this topic from Dater.
via Shawn Mitchell of Puck-Rakers,
“We were a reactionary team. That’s the way we played the whole game. We reacted to the way they were playing, the score, the referees, we were reacting to all that instead of playing a proactive game and going after it. Emotions aside, the anger, all that – it’s extremely disappointing. For a group that prides itself on work and battle and competing, we had very little of that.” – (Todd) Richards.
via Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
Subban, who signed a $72-million contract prior to the season, is minus-6 in the past two games and said he’s one of the players who has to be better.
“I’ll be accountable,” he said. “You can write whatever you want about me. If we win 6-0, I think I should be better. It starts with guys setting the tone and I’m one of the guys who has to do that. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”...
“We have to do a better job of sticking to the plan,” said Subban. “We got away from it. They got some bounces, but they stuck to their plan.”
via Jonas Siegel of TSN,
Randy Carlyle could only sigh at the awful manner in which his team started in the Arizona desert.
"Turtle start," he said regretfully afterward, "it was slower than slow."
"It's a bad start," said Dion Phaneuf after the 3-2 loss to Arizona, who had won just twice in the previous eight games. "It's unacceptable to start that way. When you have a start like that it puts you behind the eight-ball and we were playing catch-up all night."
from Nick Groke of All Things Avs,
Gabe Landeskog may be looking at a suspension from the NHL after his hit against Corey Perry in the waning seconds of the Avalanche’s 3-2 loss to Anaheim in Colorado on Sunday.
Landeskog could receive a suspension in the neighborhood of 1-3 games, if we judge by recent penalties levied by the NHL....
On the hit, Landeskog approaches Perry in the corner of the Ducks’ zone. The problem with the hit was that Landeskog’s point of impact was Perry’s head. The Colorado captain rose up off his skates and delivered an elbow to Perry’s head.
Here is the hit and to me, Corey Perry did a bit of a sell job on the hit but I would agree with the charging call but nothing else.
The Avs play at home tomorrow against Vancouver and you would think they would have heard something from the league by now.
via the Situation Room blog,
At 7:20 of the first period in the Anaheim Ducks/Colorado Avalanche game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the rebound deflected off of Corey Perry and into the Colorado net in a legal fashion. According to Rule 78.4 "If an attacking player has the puck deflect into the net, off his skate or body, in any manner, the goal shall be allowed." Good goal Anaheim.
from Ryan Boulding of the Avs website,
The Colorado Avalanche is 1-0-3 in the last four games, and while the wins haven’t been coming in, the club is still picking up valuable points along the way. That doesn’t mean the team is satisfied....
Although things are trending in the right direction, the Avs are still looking to string together some wins. According to head coach Patrick Roy, that will come with patience. As long as the team can relax, do the work required of them and respect the process, good things will come.
“Whether it’s bad luck or just not being sharp enough or whatever it is, for some reason we can’t finish the job in those overtime games and shootout games,” said Matt Duchene. “It’s frustrating, but I think you’ve just got to find the fun and enjoyment of the game back. Just come to the rink everyday a little bit lighter on your feet and try to enjoy it a bit more.”
"You win two, three, four games in a row and you're back around .600. That should be good. But we need to do that. It's hard to believe today, because there are holes in our game, but it will help us tremendously and I think we're going to win those games."
-Patrick Roy, head coach of the Colorado Avalanche. More on the Avs from Nick Groke of the Denver Post.
Not one, but two Avalanche players feel the hits from Byfuglien.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Let's take a more in-depth look at some of the problems, and how the Avs can turn things around.
1. Turnover City: The Avs can book their offseason plans right now after Game No. 82 if they don't take better care of the puck. In 82 games last season, Colorado recorded 535 official giveaways — sixth-fewest in the league. Critics will say "that's because they didn't have the puck enough," but that team took better care of the puck than this sloppy group in the first seven games.
Coach Patrick Roy constantly preached the value of "gap control" between the forwards and defensemen, and odd-man rushes against the Avs were fewer than previous years as a result. Not so much this time.
"Right now the way I look at it, is we want an easy game," Roy said after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. "Until we're where we want to compete at the level we were last year, we're going to struggle. We're not sharp mentally."
Reason for optimism: Nobody works harder than Roy when things aren't going well, so he already is scheming to find ways to tighten his team up again.
2. Big guys not scoring: Jarome Iginla, signed to a three-year, $16 million free-agent contract over the summer, has yet to score a goal. Nathan MacKinnon, the reigning NHL Calder Trophy winner, hasn't scored a goal either.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org