Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
A shootout win at home against Toronto Thursday night shouldn’t do a whole lot to ease the collective minds of the Colorado Avalanche. It’s better than losing, naturally, but this is a team that has been regressing hard since last season, to the point that the market has over-corrected.
The Avalanche were probably due for some luck when it comes to overtime and shootout results and they can probably score more efficiently than their current 8.4% shooting percentage, which ranks 21st in the league.
But, when teams are losing, frustration sets in and Avalanche head coach didn’t hide his displeasure with veteran winger Jarome Iginla following a loss to Anaheim Sunday. Roy’s frustration stemmed from Iginla’s missed assignment in defensive zone coverage, but it might also be easier to cut Iginla some slack if he had more than two goals in 15 games.
Trouble for the Avalanche is that they defied the odds last season and that raised expectations. Now that their possession stats are even worse, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to sustain any kind of success.
-Scott Cullen of TSN on the Colorado Avalanche. Read more hockey topics from Cullen at TSN..
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.
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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