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Avalanche 2010-2011: The Official Soundtrack

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The Avs put together a disappointing performance in the 2010-2011 season with few highlights. So, as we look back on the season from the 1st of July 2010 up until now, let’s put a spin on it. Here are the top news-stories with a matching soundtrack.

Warning: Actually purchasing these songs and putting together a CD to listen to may be harmful to your soul. Do you really want to be reminded of this season?

The Offspring - Can’t repeat

Colorado Avalanche started the season with high hopes of repeating the success of 2009-2010, when the club reached the playoffs. With stellar play from Craig Anderson (2.67 GAA) once again, and the young players on the roster taking another step forward, surely this team was bound for the playoffs once again? Unfortunately, no. Anderson was only a year removed from a career season, but didn’t come close this year, playing 33 games with a 3.28 GAA and save percentage below 90 percent. Avs ended up in 14th place in the Western Conference.

 

The Offspring - Can’t repeat

Colorado Avalanche started the season with high hopes of repeating the success of 2009-2010, when the club reached the playoffs. With stellar play from Craig Anderson (2.67 GAA) once again, and the young players on the roster taking another step forward, surely this team was bound for the playoffs once again? Unfortunately, no. Anderson was only a year removed from a career season, but didn’t come close this year, playing 33 games with a 3.28 GAA and save percentage below 90 percent. Avs ended up in 14th place in the Western Conference.

The Cows - Sieve

Craig Anderson’s numbers have already been discussed. But the team didn’t get the goaltending needed for a playoff run from any of their goaltenders the past season. When Anderson and GM Sherman couldn’t agree on a new contract, he was traded to the Ottawa Senators in return for Brian Elliott. Anderson went on to win 11 of his 18 games with Ottawa, posting a 2.05 GAA in the process. Elliott played 12 games, won 2, and posted a GAA of 3.83. Needless to say, he wasn’t retained by the Avalanche as they didn’t give him a qualifying offer. Peter Budaj didn’t perform much better in his final season with the Avs, posting a 3.20 GAA.

James Brown - Get on the good foot

Peter Forsberg returned to the NHL and Colorado Avalanche in february, only to break our hearts with his retirement after having played in two games, going -4 in the process. Although he looked like one of the best players on the ice while with the team, showing that his stickhandling and passing is still world class, his skating wasn’t at NHL level and he decided to retire rather than face the risk of more injuries. Even though his retirement hurts, getting to watch Forsberg in an Avalanche sweater one last time is one of the few great memories I take from this season.

Killswitch Engage- My Curse

In 2009-2010, the Avalanche made the playoffs despite having 320 man-games lost due to injury. One year later, the team had 385 man-games lost. Is something wrong with the Avs’ practice regime, or do you want to write this off as “unlucky”? Two of the trades made by the Avalanche in the last two seasons didn’t work out as expected - Peter Mueller was a hit playing with Duchene in 2009-2010, but missed the entire season due to concussion problems suffered after a hit from former Av Rob Blake. In 2010, the Avs traded Scott Hannan to the Capitals for Tomas Fleischmann. Once again, Fleischmann tore it up playing on Duchene’s wing, only to suffer a season-ending pulmonary embolism. As an unrestricted free agent this summer, he signed a four-year deal with the Florida Panthers that will pay him 4,5 million per year. How you decide to pay a forward with health problems nearly 2 million more than last season I don’t know, but it proves that every team has its own kind of curse. For the Avs, it’s injuries. In Florida’s case, it’s Dale Tallon.

Tanya Donelly - The Bright Light

Matt Duchene improved on his rookie season, posting 67 points (up by 12) in 80 games and leading the team in scoring, ten points ahead of Paul Stastny. Duchene is proving capable of being the no. 1 center on this team, and is looking every bit as good as Tavares and Hedman - the two players drafted ahead of him.

Last Tuesday - Late Night News

The Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues made a late trade that had people waking up to a surprise, as the Avs traded Chris Stewart, Kevin Shattenkirk and COL 2nd 2011 (Ty Rattie) to the Blues for Erik Johnson, Jay McClement and STL 1st 2011 (Duncan Siemens), proving that Greg Sherman won’t shy away from the blockbuster deals. At times a heavily criticized trade, the move helped the Avalanche on the back-end, as Erik Johnson immediately became the go-to guy on a weak defense. Still trying too hard at times, Johnson still has the Avalanche fans excited. And Chris Stewart isn’t missed as badly after the team drafted Gabriel Landeskog with the 2nd overall pick in this year’s draft. Landeskog is considered to be one of the most NHL-ready players from his draft class, and will likely get a chance to play on a top line with the Avs. I have a personal man-crush on him - throughout the year I was hoping that the Avs would draft Adam Larsson, but the more I heard, read and saw of Landeskog, the more I wanted him on the Avs’ roster.

Tim McGraw feat. Nelly - Over and over

In the second half of the season, the Avs lost. Over and over and over again, going 6-28-2 down the road. Personally, I think it’s a wonder that Joe Sacco is still in charge of the team, because it was obvious that they quit on him. But we fans can be a fickle bunch - when he led the Avs to the postseason in 2009-2010, we were giddy and wanted to see him take home the Jack Adams award. This year, we complained about his lack of a system and wanted him gone. Personally, I’m on the fence when it comes to Sacco. I wouldn’t mind seeing him gone, but I also think we should give him a chance to prove himself. If the Avs are struggling early in the season - and by early, I mean November - then I say he needs to go.

Bon Jovi – Last Man Standing

Adam Foote decided to retire after the season, and thus closed the door on the connection between Colorado Avalanche and Quebec Nordiques as he was the only remaining Nordiques-player on the Avalanche. By the way, the only player from the 2001 cup-winning team now is Milan Hejduk. Much like Kris Draper, Foote won’t be remembered for his offensive output, but rather for his no-nonsense, defense first attitude and his character.

Shawn Colvin - Tumbling Down the Avalanche

John-Michael Liles, one the Avalanche’s veteran defensemen, was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Boston Bruins 2nd-rounder in 2012. Avs-fans were expecting a high 2nd-rounder or a low 1st-rounder in return for Liles, who is a good puck-moving defenseman who is reasonably priced, considering the contracts handed out this off-season. Those of you reading the posts by our great Maple Leafs blogger Greg Thomson might have noticed the post about his first impressions of Liles. JML was made expendable with the Avs because they have Tyson Barrie and Stefan Elliott coming up through the system and management are expecting one of them to crack the roster in the fall. However, they then went out and signed Hejda and Shane O’Brien, and retaining Kyle Cumiskey and Matt Hunwick, creating a serious logjam on defense. Barrie and Elliott will have to earn their spots in training camp like everyone else, it seems. There is a lot of competition for seven spots, although the talent level of some of their challengers isn’t off-putting (I’m looking at you, Hunwick).

Lyle E. Henderson and Emmanuel - How Much is Too Much

The Avs traded their 1st in 2012 and and 2nd in either 2012 or 2013 to acquire Semyon Varlamov from the Washington Capitals. Varlamov was threatening to move back to the KHL and didn’t look like he had a place in Washington even if he had decided to stay - and in swoops the Avalanche and offer up a potential lottery draft pick for him?! Greg Sherman, this song is dedicated to you. The Avs’ faithful are now left trying to console/fool themselves that it won’t be massive overpayment if only Varlamov puts together a strong season a la Craig Anderson in 2009-2010, and keeps up that level of play in the future. But a bad deal is a bad deal - even if Varlamov proves to be a great goaltender for the Avalanche, I’ll still look back on this deal wondering what Greg Sherman was thinking. You just don’t give up a lottery draft pick for a goaltender with Varlamov’s injury issues, coupled with his threats to bolt to the KHL.

All in all, this was a pretty grim soundtrack. Here’s to hoping that next year’s OST will be a little more “The Rainbow Song” with Lauryn Hill than “Disease, Injury, Madness” by Between the Buried And Me.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Martin Krantz, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

brianmetzer's avatar

Great blog sir… this is a page out of my playbook and I like it! Keep up the great work!

B

Posted by brianmetzer on 07/27/11 at 03:45 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Not too shabby…beats anything Buccigross would create…and he supposedly loves music mixed with hockey.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/27/11 at 04:08 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

Great stuff! 

Look forward to reading more.  Though, here’s to hoping that next year’s OST will be more of the same!

Posted by Ajax19 on 07/27/11 at 04:16 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Nicely written (except for the Bon Jovi reference).

But an Avs blog on KK? There goes the neighborhood. gulp

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 07/27/11 at 05:06 PM ET

Martin Krantz's avatar

Thanks Brian! Glad to see you joining KK as well, welcome mate!

Thanks mrfluffy and Ajax. I’m afraid the odds of repeating this season are pretty good, but I for one will keep my fingers crossed that it doesn’t. Maybe that will cancel out your finger-crossing, Ajax. wink

CaptainD - I was hesitant about the Bon Jovi reference as well, but decided in their favour in the end. Also, how do you reckon an Avalanche blogger screws up the neighborhood? It’s far more likely with Canucks-fans. tongue laugh

Posted by Martin Krantz on 07/27/11 at 05:55 PM ET

MarkK's avatar

+1
Being from NJ, I’m with you on the Bon Jovi reference, but only halfway there.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 07/27/11 at 09:44 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

Welcome.  Most Wings fans don’t care about Colorado anymore.  The rivalry is dead.  Anyone who thinks that there’s still something there is just an idiot.  I detest SJ now where Colorado once was.  Good luck to your team and I look forward to your writing.  Your blog name/banner is kinda of lame though and Roy hasn’t played in like ten years.  Sounds like a nickname for a body part or something.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 07/28/11 at 01:03 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 07/28/11 at 12:03 AM ET

Are you PJ, my boy?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/28/11 at 01:39 AM ET

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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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