Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
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.
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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