Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Rocky Mountain News,
Avalanche captain Joe Sakic didn’t practice today because of a sore back and is undergoing tests to determine how serious the problem is. He played the first period Saturday against Nashville after missing Thursday’s game with Minnesota. Hoping to get some sort of results later today.
Meanwhile, forward Scott Parker’s contract with the Avalanche has been terminated by the team. The “Sheriff” was assigned to the Lake Erie Monsters in the American Hockey League on Oct. 17 after being activated from the injured list—he had a concussion—but he never reported.
The Avalanche said he has become an unrestricted free agent. I’ve been trying to get in contact with his agent and with the NHL Players Association to get their take on the situation.
added 7:24pm, from the Rocky Mountain News,
The good news for the Avalanche and Joe Sakic is that no structural damage was found today during tests on the captain’s back.
Sakic is being listed as day to day. He’ll be evaluated on a daily basis, so it isn’t known if he’ll be able to play Wednesday in Vancouver.
more on the Avs…
via Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
I think there’s some tire-kicking going around the league right now concerning Avs defenseman Brett Clark. In fact, I’m sure of it.
Brett Clark to Montreal for goalie Jaroslav Halak is one deal I’ve heard being kicked around right now. Like Peter Budaj, Halak is a Slovak. He has also been under the tutelage of Canadiens goalie instructor Roland Melanson, who has been turning out many fine goalies the last few years.
According to Adrian Dater at All Things Avs:
Darcy Tucker escaped suspension. From my league sources, Tucker will not be suspended for his clipping incident against Minnesota’s Nick Schultz Thursday night.
from Russo’s Rants,
Late in the second period, Tucker and defenseman Nick Schultz clashed deep in the Wild’s zone. After the pushing match, the two lined up next to each other and Tucker began screaming at him as the Wild was on a penalty kill. Schultz was called off the ice on a line change and as he skated by, Tucker continued barking at him.
Then, 6:33 into the third, in a despicable act but one he’s done often in his career, Tucker came in way late on Schultz, bent down and went right for the knees. He was called for clipping.
I got Schultz alone in the locker room, and he was still fuming. Here’s his comments:
“My concern is at the end of the second, he tells me he’s going to come and take out my knees, and then he actually does it. It says everything you need to know about that guy.
from Terry Frei of All Things Colorado Sports at the Denver Post,
Do I think the Avalanche should be considering taking measures to upgrade in goal? Absolutely. And they should be considering that possibility, whether it’s the drastic step of using all the available cap space (and a little more) to land Khabibulin or anything else. (Budaj to Chicago as Huet’s backup to clear the cap room and give Chicago a No. 2? Well, that would make sense except for the fact that Budaj would be playing for Joel Quenneville, which raises all sorts of issues.)
But for now, Budaj’s far from the only problem.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
This is a mediocre team looking more and more every night as if it is confirming what seemed to be a significant possibility as the season opened: The Avs often seem to be misconstructed, with an overabundance of blue-collar types for what so many hoped would be a return to up-tempo hockey; and the front office made misjudgments about some of its young players, including when discussing the state of the roster with Joel Quenneville before he was handed his walking papers.
The six-man defensive corps, considered the strength of the team going into the season, has remained constant through the first 11 games — with no man games lost to injury and without veteran Daniel Tjarnqvist cracking the lineup for even one game. But the group collectively has been nothing more than ordinary, and maybe even worse.
And up front, right now, it’s a mess.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Took the night off from the rink and caught tonight’s Burgundy and Royal Blue tilt with the CBJ on the tube and, well, I’ll keep it brief, much like the B&RB’s hopes for victory in this one.
Can’t wait to hear Tony “It’s All Good” Granato’s assessment of this one on the House Channel. Hearing the men in the booth tonight, it was just a night of “great shots” and “tough luck” that done in your B&RB tonight, and, well, those things happen. Go get ‘em next time, boys!
from Adrain Dater of All Things Avs,
The Avs had about five or six forwards who looked like they cared tonight - I’d say they were McLeod, Stastny, Lappy and, to a lesser extent, Smitty and Jonesie. The rest basically mailed it in, and at the top of that list I’d put Tucker, Wolski, Arnie and Hedgie.
Budaj was fine through two periods, but allowed another horrible short-side goal to Rene Bourque on Calgary’s second goal, which positively sank any hopes of an Avs point. But he wasn’t the reason they lost tonight. The Avs just didn’t want to win this one bad enough. On an old Avs team, they probably still would have won this kind of game. Tied 0-0 entering the third? Guaranteed that’s the kind of game where Forsberg makes some kind of great play in the third, they get a garbage insurance goal and Roy makes it stand up in a 2-0 or 2-1 win.
“We didn’t play too well, but we’ll take the two points,” would have been the quote from Roy or Foppa.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
OK, so what’s going on here? Pretty simple, really. Boods has been better, the forwards are putting lots of biscuits in the basket and for the first time all season tonight, your Lanchers didn’t allow a PP goal.
But the real story has been the play of the defense. The six blueliners are all playing around 16-20 minutes a night, chipping in at the offensive end, and basically making very few mistakes in their own end. I did predict the defense of this team would be its strong suit, and I think that’s been the case so far - although the line of Stastny-Smyth-Hejduk has been tremendous.
About Budaj: no, I’m still not remotely sold on him or ready to stop worrying about him.
James Mirtle at From the Rink,
Colorado has been one of the league leaders in attendance ever since moving to Denver back in 1995-96, but with the team going through a bit of a rebuilding phase and the problems with the economy, the Avs are experiencing some issues at the gate.
Denver Post reporter Adrian Dater said yesterday that many believed last night’s game against Edmonton could “be their lowest crowd of all time” and looking at the finally tally that very well may be the case.
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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