Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Nick Groke of All Things Avs,
Avs center Matt Duchene said Colorado didn’t see the train coming before it ran them over on Thursday.
“We just weren’t ready for last night,” Duchene said Friday after a gym workout. “We didn’t know what was going to hit us. We played terrible.”...
“That was a clinic for them last night,” Duchene said. “They absolutely dominated us. They probably deserved to win 8-0.”
Duchene managed just one shot on goal in his 19 minutes and 56 seconds on the ice at Minnesota. And he shouldered some blame for the rout, saying nobody, it seemed, wanted to take charge on against the Wild.
“Everyone has to take responsibility for their own game and not pass the problem off to their teammates and their linemates,” Duchene said. “A lot of us didn’t want the puck last night. There were a lot of times we passed the problem to somebody else.”
via the Denver Post,
Adrian Dater, the Denver Post beat writer for the Colorado Avalanche, has been suspended for two weeks without pay for inappropriate language used on Twitter.
The suspension, effective immediately, followed a number of exchanges with users on Oct. 4 and 5.
“Journalists need to recognize that they need to be professional on all platforms. Social media is no different,” Post Editor Gregory L. Moore said. “The language Adrian used is unacceptable, and he knows it.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Spezza will need to be on the defensive Not long ago, Jeff Carter was the equivalent of Spezza — a talented but unanchored center with more promise than production. But Carter, ditched by Philadelphia, then by Columbus, has turned himself into an excellent three-zone center in Los Angeles under coach Darryl Sutter. Without Carter complementing Kopitar, the Kings don’t have two Cups in the last three years. Carter, formerly a shoot-first center, is more dangerous now that he’s committed to playing defense. Only time will tell whether Spezza, the ex-Senator, will resurrect himself similarly in Dallas. Spezza is a brilliant playmaker. But he’s never been considered defensively responsible. He’ll need to be with the Stars when he’s butting heads with Carter, Kopitar, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, David Backes, and Paul Stastny in the Western Conference.
Stuart’s contract a head-scratcher Brad Stuart is 34 years old. He has yet to play a single real game for Colorado, which acquired him from San Jose for draft picks. The ex-Bruin is 15 appearances short of hitting the 1,000-game threshold. In San Jose, Stuart’s teammates performed better when he was on the bench instead of on the ice. He is a high-mileage, defense-first defenseman. Stuart’s average ice time, 23:10 in 2009-10, has gone down each season (21:31 in 2010-11, 21:03 in 2011-12, 20:27 in 2012-13, 19:09 last year). Yet the Avalanche signed Stuart on Monday to a two-year, $7.2 million extension. The Avalanche have yet to see Stuart, who will likely be paired with Erik Johnson, under regular-season duress. Stuart will be 35 when his extension becomes effective in 2015-16, which means he will count against the cap if he retires. Players fitting Stuart’s profile (see Chris Phillips, Rob Scuderi) struggle as they progress through their mid-to-late-30s. It’s possible Stuart could be the exception. The Avalanche could have used this season to figure this out.
from Mike Shackil,
The Colorado Avalanche enter the 2014-15 NHL season on the heels of a record-tying 52-win season last year. The team’s success last year cemented a first place finish in the Central Division of the Western Conference, though the Avalanche would ultimately fall to the Minnesota Wild in the Conference Quarterfinals in seven games. In light of their first playoff berth since 2010, the Avalanche will also see ticket prices rise on the secondary market for home games at the Pepsi Center.
In case you missed it earlier today, the Avs re-signed Stuart.
added 11:22am, Press release below plus the Avs have also signed Cody McLeod.
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
Like Avs players, Avs fans will soon appreciate having Stuart on their side. If nothing else, pay attention to Stuart's skating — his smooth, seemingly effortless stride gets him in position to make plays as well as anyone in the NHL.
"He's a really steady influence," said Erik Johnson, who is playing with Stuart as the Avs' top pairing. "He won a Stanley Cup in Detroit and has been on a lot of winning teams. He's approaching mid-30s, but he really skates well out there. If you can skate in the league you're going to be around for a long time, and he can definitely move."
Stuart came to Colorado from San Jose at a large cost: The Avs sent the Sharks a second-round draft pick in 2016 and a sixth-rounder in 2017. Stuart waived his limited no-trade clause to come to Colorado after the Sharks self-imploded again in the 2014 playoffs after taking a 3-0 series lead over the Los Angeles Kings, the eventual Stanley Cup champions.
"Yeah, I think it was a good time," Stuart said of getting out of San Jose, the team that chose him third overall in the 1998 draft. "They wanted to make, probably, more changes than they did. First thing I noticed here is, everything is positive; everybody is excited about the season. Reading some of the things going on (in San Jose), it's a little different atmosphere. I'm excited to be a part of this. It really feels good."
from Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet,
A dozen reporters and analysts from Sportsnet’s hockey brain trust — Doug MacLean, John Shannon, Chris Johnston, Damien Cox, Mark Spector, et al. — submitted a list ranking all the teams in order of how they think the NHL season will shake out. We crunched the numbers and will be unveiling our consensus standings prediction from worst to first.
Colorado is our 12th-ranked team.
Biggest story line to watch: Tracking the continued development of Colorado’s young guns will likely be the most interesting story line to follow this year. MacKinnon won the Calder Trophy after scoring 24 goals and 63 points, and many think he’s on a quick path to superstardom. Meanwhile, Ryan O’Reilly, Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene are no slouches themselves, all scoring more than 20 goals and 60 points last season and joining MacKinnon to form a terrific offensive core of dynamic players in their early 20s. The continued development of that quartet could make the Avs one of the most exciting teams to watch in 2014-15 and might be enough to make everyone forget about the team’s defensive woes.
2014-15 prediction: It will be difficult for the Avalanche to repeat the incredible heights of their breakout 2013-14 season, especially if they don’t get better on the back end, but this is still a playoff team in a strong Western Conference.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
During his French media scrum Thursday, Patrick Roy's face lit up when asked about his blue-line corps.
There seemed to be genuine excitement in his eyes.
"Yes," Roy said Thursday morning at the Bell Centre when asked if that was indeed the case.
You see, where everyone else around the hockey world sees Colorado’s soft underbelly, the reigning Jack Adams Award winner sees a group that’s very much under the radar.
"Tyson [Barrie] had a really good second half of the season," began Roy. "He was outstanding. When we lost him [against] Minny in the playoffs that was a really big loss for us. Nick Holden, same thing, what a year he had for us. E.J. [Erik Johnson] is an important part of it, it’s a group that’s been learning. [Jan] Hejda and Brad Stuart will bring a lot of experience and help our young guys."
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
“Yeah, it was different (than he’d expected),” rookie of the year Nathan MacKinnon acknowledged.
“I didn’t realize how smart he’d be. I know he was passionate, very competitive, but he understands the game so well. Everything he does there’s a reason behind it,” MacKinnon told ESPN.com.
“He doesn’t just bark at guys. He’s always thinking. It’s only my second season but I’m sure he’s one of the most progressive coaches in the league,” MacKinnon said.
Young Avs captain Gabe Landeskog admitted he, too, wasn’t sure what to expect from the legendary goaltender turned coach.
“I think it surprised me, you always get the questions is he yelling at you, is he all fired up every game and all this stuff. I think to a lot of people (with the team) he’s surprisingly calm. He’s very smart in the way he interacts with his players whether it’s between periods or after games or before games he’s very calm and he’s able to look at the big picture. He’s emotional yes, but he’s smart about it,” Landeskog said in an interview.
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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