Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,
Matt Duchene is really exploding as a player. “No duh,” right?
Everything he’s done so far this young season has legitimized his case for inclusion on Canada’s Olympic team. The Avalanche are benefitting from having such an explosive and productive player, who has helped fuel a 12-2-0 start for a team with middling expectations. He’s boosted his reputation to previously anticipated levels – on a pedestal where he’ll be compared to fellow 2009 draft pick John Tavares for perhaps his entire career.
Unfair as it may be, since the two play different styles, the fact this narrative is still relevant and interesting is a good thing for Duchene. If it wasn’t worth remembering he would be having a season like the dreadful one he had in 2011-12 and not be the dynamic presence he’s been this season and last.
When you think of Duchene, you think of speed. Brilliant, blinding, blurred speed.
Below, watch his his power skating put to the test on his goal from last night...
Here is a 5 1/2 minute tribute video the Avalanche put together in honor of Adam Foote.
John Mitchell of the Colorado Avalanche is probably still laying awake in bed, wondering how...
The Avs are playing in Dallas tonight.
added 2:14 PM: Here's more from Dater:
After talking things over the past 24 hours, the Avalanche decided not to wait any longer and will put Semyon Varlamov back in the net Friday night against the Dallas Stars.
"Why wait?" Avs coach Patrick Roy said after the team's morning skate, when it was announced Varlamov will start less than 48 hours after being arrested on charges of domestic violence and kidnapping against his girlfriend. "We're all aware of what happened, but we just feel that he's our guy. We have confidence in him and feel that it's good for him to play tonight."
from Slava Malamud of Sport-Express (translated),
I will not raise speculation and spread across the keyboard idle speculation - many have already done so. But most Varlamov I know a little closer than most of you, but because I want to say this: of all the athletes I know this one deserves the presumption of innocence is more than anyone else.
My first reaction to the news from Denver was so still and did not pass a shock. Varlamov and the prison in contact in consciousness as "harmonious" as football fans and the Grand Theatre. How many play a game in the NHL, "Wild Russian," from which one could expect whatever scandalous chronicle, but to plunge into a kind of nightmare I had the most calm, steady and serious of them all? Do not believe it. Prove....
Prove that this is not another case in which a citizen of the Russian Federation, knowing the liberal U.S. law, decided to exploit his heart's content with unscrupulous lawyer. The benefit of such cases missing. Prove that Simon, whose main sin always seemed to me too trusting, is guilty of anything more horrible. Prove that the person whose photo should not be in the police report, and an encyclopedia article on "Good Russian guy," did someone stomped their feet and stole the dead of night. Prove it to me as in America believed - "beyond a reasonable doubt." And yet - I do not believe.
And if it were a question of money, it’s not as though the Avalanche has to move a contract to get under the salary cap or anything. They’re the third-lowest spending team in the league at $51.7 million and with the salary cap almost certainly rising significantly next season, the Avs are going to have to at least get to the floor.
And if they’re going to make moves like this just to save some bucks, what’s the point of even competing in the NHL in the first place? It was budget moves that got the Avalanche in this trouble in the first place and had them mired in the dregs of the NHL for a lot of years.
-Ken Campbell of The Hockey News on the Downie/Talbot trade. Read more on the trade.
Talbot, 29, has two more years on his deal with a cap hit of $1.75 million annually. Surely the Avs aren’t thinking about shaving a little money off the bottom line while the team is finally creating some positive buzz after years of being a nonfactor in that market. Surely ownership wouldn’t be that shortsighted.
-Scott Burnside of ESPN also on the trade. More from Burnside on this topic.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
They should have left Semyon Varlamov in Denver and also kept him out of uniform for Saturday’s home game against the Montreal Canadiens.
They should have let everyone — including Varlamov — take a breath after the troubling, shocking and disconcerting events of Wednesday and Thursday. Whether that means starting Jean-Sebastien Giguere in the net both nights or throwing the Lake Erie callup into the fire against Dallas on Friday night and then coming back with Giguere Saturday, that would have been a better way to react.
Then the Avalanche could have re-evaluated the entire situation on Sunday or Monday, when at least some of the emotionalism had dissipated.
Instead, Varlamov went virtually straight from Denver District Court to the Denver International Airport area to join his teammates for the flight to Dallas, and barring a change of plans, he will at least be on the bench as Giguere’s backup Friday.
I don’t want to either make this a “hockey” issue or pander to those who want to assume the worst — or believe the worst — about Varlamov and the allegations.
But as relatively unimportant as this is, on the hockey front, do you want a man in your net (or even on the bench, available to be potentially summoned) who has just come from spending a night in jail and who obviously has every reason to not exactly be at the top of his game mentally?
Adrain Dater of the Denver Post answers some emails,,,
What will it take for the Avs to sell out Pepsi Center again? I have season tickets, and it's discouraging to see so many empty seats. Patrick Roy is really trying to reach out to the fans, and there doesn't seem to be full buy-in yet from the public.
Nope, it's not there yet. Last Sunday's game against Winnipeg was a pretty big disappointment attendance-wise. When you had seemingly as many fans from Winnipeg in the stands making as much or more noise than for a home team that came in 9-1 is, well, kind of embarrassing.
Avs fans need to put up or shut up eventually. They've cried about not having a winner, and that's why they don't show up. Well, the team is winning again, and they have a legend as the head coach leading the way, and yet they can't make more noise than people from Winnipeg? And, the number of Red Wings fans again in the stands for their game earlier this month was pretty sorry to see too.
I do think there is a lag on these things, and the fans will come back. But time is running short for Avs fans and their excuses for not supporting the team.
more Q & A
Wednesday, an NHL spokesman said, "The League is aware of the situation involving Semyon Varlamov. We will not comment unless or until we have a fuller understanding of all of the facts and circumstances related to the legal charges that have been filed."
more on the case...
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has acquired forward Maxime Talbot from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Steve Downie.
Talbot, 29, has appeared in all 11 games for the Flyers this year, tallying a goal and one assist. A native of Lemoyne, Quebec, Talbot has recorded 77 goals and 77 assists for 154 points in 515 career games between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. He has also skated in 77 career playoff games, totaling 39 points (18g/21a).
“Maxime is a veteran forward who has won a Stanley Cup and has a lot of NHL experience,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. “We look forward to him bringing that experience to our club.”
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.
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