Kukla's Korner Hockey
"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.
“Right now the way I look at, is we want an easy game. 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.”
-Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy after an OT loss to Florida. More post-game reaction from Mark Chambers of All Things Avs.
No doubt, the refs have been told to make the calls.
Check this one on Nick Bjugstad...
Below, an incidental interference call on Justin Abdelkader...
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
Alex Galchenyuk had only touched the ice with one skate after exiting the penalty box and therefore was not deemed legally on the ice when he stole the puck off the stick of Nathan MacKinnon.
By the letter of the law Alex Galchenyuk should have received an additional minor penalty for interference (56.2) and no goal would have resulted in what turned out to be a 3-2 Montreal victory in regulation time.
Two rules reference this play in determining when a player is deemed to be legally on the ice from either the players' bench or penalty box. First, 56.2 states that a minor penalty shall be imposed on any identifiable player on the players' bench or penalty bench who, by means of his stick or his body, interferes with the movements of the puck or any opponent on the ice during the progress of the play. In addition, should a player about to come onto the ice, play the puck while one or both skates are still on the players' or penalty bench, a minor penalty for interference shall be assessed.
continued and watch the goal below...
from Nick Groke of the Denver Post,
Patrick Roy's yelling echoed off the walls of the Avalanche's practice rink Monday. That was between the team skating lap sprints.
After a rough, four-game road trip that left Colorado reeling, Avs coach Roy wasn't going easy on his slipping team.
"The way we practiced today, this is how we'll get back on track," Roy said. "The intensity we had, the compete level we had around the net, that will transpire in our game."
The Avs returned home to Colorado with a 1-4-1 record and a mounting problem. In their five losses this season, the Avs are allowing just less than four goals per game.
That's the problem. Roy, though, wasn't about to pin the cause on Colorado's goaltenders.
My question is, where are the Avalanche players?
No update from the Avalanche on Berra.
Earlier today Semyon Varlamov was put on IR with a groin injury and that leaves Calvin Pickard as the only healthy goalie for the Avs at this point.
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
The Avalanche has placed starting goalie Semyon Varlamov on injured reserve and recalled Calvin Pickard from Lake Erie to replace him.
Reto Berra will start Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators in place of Varlamov, who has suffered a mild groin injury.
Varlamov participated in the morning skate Thursday and was the scheduled starter. He likely injured his groin at the very end of practice, or tweaked after injuring it in Tuesday's 3-2 overtime loss at Toronto.
The Avs said Varlamov (0-2-1) should be available Oct. 24 against Vancouver.
continue for more on the Avs...
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