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"Love the Game First, Avs Second"
Gillette, WY • United States • 29 Years Old • Male

As I was thinking what I would blog about today after last nights embarrassing loss I saw this article in the Denver Post. Kizsla hit it right on the head. We are passionate fans, we love our team, and better yet we love the success that we have had. We expect the management to put together a competitive team every year.

We don't expect to win the cup every year, that is ridiculous. However we do expect the management team to address the needs of the team, and get what the team needs. Andrew Raycroft is an ok backup goalie who has played decent this year to rack some wins. He is not the starting goaltender we need. Peter Budaj has proven he isn't worth risking any more seasons on. Last night showed how truly inconsistent he is. Raycroft's glove hand proved weak once again.

The bright spots in the game don't matter if there isn't at least a point taken away from the game. Goaltending is what keeps you in games. To build an offensive rush you have to at some point take risks, its the nature of the game. If you take an odd man rush, you will likely give one up the other way if you don't score.

John Tortorella is available, a fire and ice coach. We haven't had that in Avalanche land in a while. Todd McClellan all but said he would take the job. Pat Quinn is now available, and proving that he can coach young talent. There are probably others in the AHL system that are worth looking at. Look at how long Boudreau coached at that level before getting a chance, and look at what he has done with the dynamic team in Washington. FG mismanaged the coaching decision.

I am not saying that Granato is a bad head coach, he is just not the coach for the Colorado Avalanche Organization. I don't believe that FG is the General manager that we want with this organization. I can't think of a legitimate thing that this tandem has accomplished. Yes, Giguere signed Smyth and Hannan. Granato may have had the highest winning percentage, but that doesn't mean this is what will work in today's NHL.

Last night was painful to watch. The goaltending was awful. It needed some serious help early on in the second period. Budaj should have been pulled much earlier, oh wait, Raycroft let in two soft ones on the glove side. Maybe they should have strapped the pads on Clark, he seems to like to get in the way of the puck more than our goalie tandem. I have made it a point this season to put some confidence in my team and its management, but after last nights loss I have no reason to.

The Avs are for the the most part an offensively challenged team. They scored 5, I repeat, 5 goals last night. The young guys worked hard to keep the team in the game. Chris Stewart had a Gordie Howe hat trick. T.J. Hensick had a two point night, Salei had two assists, Tucker had two assists, Liles had one and McCleod and Svatos had a goal. Well rounded scoring with the young gun second line performing and working hard. It was all for naught as the goalies couldn't come up with a big save.

Penalty killing. Lappy's work ethic is sorely missed in this area. Foote's calm presence on the back end is needed. The Kings were 50% on the power play last night. This Avalanche team needs to set its sights higher in that area.

The Avalanche went 2 for 8 on the power play. Now that isn't a bad number per say, but balance that with the 50% kill and you have problems. You can't score on 25% of your power plays against a bottom feeder team trying catch and give them a chance with 50% of their own power plays finding the back of the net.

The number one line was shut down last night. Not a single one of them managed to find their way onto the score sheet. Hejduk, Wolski, and Smyth all had a pretty rough night, even though it looked like they tried pretty hard. To some extent it feels like Wolski has been leashed again and isn't able to move like he wants. To some extent it feels like he is being told to be more defensive. The guys on Altitude were gushing about his accomplishments defensively. That is fine and dandy guys, but Wolski is a natural goal scorer, that is his strength, burying the puck. Hejduk has always been strong on the back check, ask more of him, ask Smyth to get the puck to Wolski more in the slot, it will go in.

I am going to finish my rant by asking all of you who watched this game to tell me what you saw. Positives and negatives. Stewart and Hensick are about the only fun thing to watch with this team right now, and attendance at the Can showed it. Lets rant and rave and give something for Mr. Kroenke to chew on. Denver loves hockey, the Rocky Mountain region loves the Avalanche. Please give us a management team that can help, or at least tell us what the plan is to make this team move forward.

January 22, 2009 4:32 PM ET | Delete
Sorry, I saw the headline and thought this was about J.S. Giguere.
January 22, 2009 5:08 PM ET | Delete
Stewart was a lot of fun to watch last night. He was obviously the hardest working Av on the ice and had many scoring chances. Watching him stick up for Hensick after the cheap shot on Hensick's goal was exactly what this team needs more of. His fight however was pretty weak. He was unwilling to let go of O'donnell and seemed to have him in a bear hug for most of it.
January 22, 2009 5:08 PM ET | Delete
Message Posted
January 22, 2009 5:31 PM ET | Delete
J.S. Giguere is having a rough year as well. I have him in my fantasy pool on ESPn and was excited. Can't trade him to save my life, ha.
January 22, 2009 6:46 PM ET | Delete
wow, who saw this coming?
January 22, 2009 7:15 PM ET | Delete
u guys might wanna check into scott clemmenson, he has been amazing and we might lose him this season, the great part about him is he can be had for a reasonable price, probebly around 2mil tops. he is making less then 1 mil this year but most definetly is due for a raise. hopefully you guys can get back in the playoff race as the Avs are one of my favorite teamsgood luck guys
January 22, 2009 7:29 PM ET | Delete
Personally, I would love to get Clemmenson. Its a known fact that NJ likes to live and die by their goal tending. SC has passed with flying colors, would be nice to get a shot at him.
January 22, 2009 9:49 PM ET | Delete
Not hiring Todd McClellan was the biggest mistake that the Front Office made, which is pretty bad considering the mistakes made this summer. I thought for sure the Avs were going to get him!Goalies are supposed to give the team a chance to win, instead, our goalies give this team every reason to quit. Still you have to like the heart that the young players showed last night. Mcleod, Steward and Hensick never gave up. The Avs probably should have taken it to overtime too.
January 22, 2009 10:23 PM ET | Delete
January 22, 2009 11:56 PM ET | Delete
Add Smyth to that list. 6 seconds left in the game he nearly tied it with his hard work. The Avs just simply need a lot of pieces: #1 goaltender, third line center (though Stoa may be the answer there), a solid shot from the point, coaching to get consistant effort.What do we need to fix this team? DRAFT PICKS!
January 23, 2009 12:20 AM ET | Delete
Martok, here are my pieces to fill those holes if I am FG. Call Lamoriello in NJ and bug him every day for rights to Clemmenson. If that doesn't work, do some serious digging on Pascal Leclaire and find out how long he will be out, and what he is worth to Columbus.Shot from the point: spend some serious time working with Shattenkirk, don't know about his shot, but he got a lot of time on the PP at WJC. Let him spend the summer in Denver working with coaching.In third line center I am assuming you mean a "Checking" defensive center. Ben Guite is not bad in this role, but becomes much weaker without Lappy. Rob Niederymayer for two years. Then draft specifically for this position, and if Stoa is the answer, see above for development.These are some possibilities to look at, but they are there. I don't believe we have a goal tender in the system that is going to get us there.
January 23, 2009 5:50 PM ET | Delete
Could not agree more. Granato was the WRONG choice...we learned this 5 years ago, why did we have to learn this again???? Secondly, I have defended Giguere for years, truly believing that he was Lacroix's groomed protege, and would be able to slide right in without missing a beat in Lacroix's absence. However, whether he is being pushed by ownership, or simply mismanaging, he seems more interested in making the playoffs in 8th or 7th than actually taking a year or two to rebuild and become an elite team. Honestly - Raycroft...Tucker...Budaj...how has Svatos not been traded? Trading a 1st rder for Foote??? These are poor managment decisions. Time for Giguere and Granato to get axed. Please blow this thing up now.
January 23, 2009 7:42 PM ET | Delete
schuter82, im going to have to disagree with you on the Svatos statement you made. trading him would not get much in return and it is better than we keep him because we see what he can do when he is healthy. he has been working really hard these past few games it almost seems like he is everywhere around the ice. TJ Hensick and Chris Stewart are working great together i think they just need to find another matching winger for them to get full caliber going. Wolski had a little streak going but i don't give him as much credit as he has been receiving from everybody just look at who he's playing with and you could see why he had that little streak, hes on the first line because we don't really have anyone else to put there. My Idea: Trade Aranason and Budaj and Maybe a 3rd or 4th round pick and grab a goalie from Minnesota (Josh Harding) Atlanta ( Kari Lethonen) Boston ( Manny Fernandez) New Jersey ( Scott Clemenson) or the Blackhawks ( Either Huet or Khabibulin) and grab a 2nd line center. Oh yes and FG needs to get some sense knocked into him or get someone else for this to happen
January 23, 2009 11:40 PM ET | Delete
You would have to give up a LOT more then that to have a legitimate shot at any of the goaltenders you have listed. Budaj's trade value... 0... Arnason's trade value -5... laziest player in the game. Just my opinion...
January 24, 2009 1:14 AM ET | Delete
You and the rest of the league Derek. Arnason is the only player that can DIMINISH a trade by being included.Avs'll have to part with (at least) Svatos, Leopold and a prospect or pick for a legit #1
January 24, 2009 1:24 PM ET | Delete
i was going to edit my post and say include leopold also, since him and liles seem to both be very offensive minded this year. in leopold's absence we would have cumiskey or shattenkirk and develop them, shattenkirk would probably take atleast another season to develop into what we need. arnason has been involved in trade rumors around that ive heard, and yes i agree i can't stand how lazy he is and effortless thus why i want to get rid of him.
January 24, 2009 1:35 PM ET | Delete
I say we take the Martin Gerber route with Arny. I'm sure he'd be good in Lake Erie.I've seen Shattenkirk play a little bit and I swear to you, he's the next Scott Niedermayer. He's smart in all three zones, transitions smoothly and good offensive tools, not the least of which is his passing.
January 24, 2009 2:02 PM ET | Delete
Martok, Sufa... your latter trade packages seem much more reasonable. The Avs have a great wealth of offensive talent... unfortuneatley, the injury bug continues to hamper your otherwise formidable offense. I am covinced that your eventual trade partner (who ever it is) will undoubtedly hold you ranson (especially if it is a Western Conference team)... as your goaltending problems are well documented. As a result you may have to part with an already established young sniper... or perhaps a blue chip prospect. As the old saying goes... you can't get something for nothing... and it certainly will ring true in this case. As far as Arnason goes... I think the Avs are best off waiving him... rid your franchise of his stupidity and arogance. There are so many other players in the minors that deserve a shot more then he does...
January 24, 2009 3:12 PM ET | Delete
To paraphrase Brian Burke, any trade that is made is about benefiting bot teams. If you go into a trade with the attitude that you are going to screw the other team you will lose in trades and find that you have no trade partners left. One of the reasons Burke is able to make trades when others are not is he is willing to do conditional draft picks. Earlier in the season we might have been able to trade Arnason, and included a conditional draft pick coming back to us, only if he performed to a certain point level, the team made it to x round in the playoffs, or he is not waived. At this point in the season it is not possible. OilDerek, I agree, if we want a goalie, we have to give up something legitimate. One of our problems is that to get a goalie we have to be willing to let go of a player who is not a pending UFA. Leopold will not realize his full potential in trade value until he plays a full year, and has a longer affordable contract. Svatos needs to go on a tear with goals to be tradeable. Salei hasn't played well enough to fetch back what we probably payed for him, even with his two point performance last game out. Tucker recently hurt his knee, and has lost a step, very low trade value. Hensick might be the piece that is worth something, and he is a legitimate top six center who just needs the playing time. Next year we have a real problem. Stastny is back in several weeks and that will bump Wolski back to the second line. Hensick is not a third line center, he needs to play with top 6 talent. I doubt we see the Avs make a move at the deadline, but might this summer. If this happens they will wait to see what his value is this summer, and trade at that point.
January 24, 2009 11:52 PM ET | Delete
Sreekers... I agree... I do not believe the Avs will make a play for a legitimate starting goaltender until the off season. I have no doubts that the team will land a star... I was merely suggesting that they will more then likey have to part with a star/ future star in return. I will admit that I was more then a bit surprised that the Avs did not snag Gerber off of waivers.As far as your perspective on trades... well, I agree to an extent. In an totally ideal, completely ultruistic world a trade should always benefit both participants. I would argue however that that has nto always been the case... some teams (GM's) can and will take advantage of a situation... one need look any further then the July 2006 dealing of Chris Pronger to the Ducks. The Oilers received Lupul, Smid and 3 picks... not fair market value in my eyes (especially after Prongers perfomance in the 06 playoffs). But what do you do with a player that very publically demands to be traded? Joe Thorton trade would be another prime candidate....
January 25, 2009 2:31 AM ET | Delete
There's also the Luongo trade that has hampered Florida's team since.
January 25, 2009 3:20 PM ET | Delete
The Burke statement is more of an idealistic thing, kind of in agreement with what you said earlier, we have to give up something to get something. The names I have mentioned are the ones on the trading block, but reality says we may have to make that block bigger to get something. Hensick could be the prospect involved. The NHL ready player would the portion of the trade in question. I completely agree with you though, the Avs have to give up something good to get something good.
January 26, 2009 5:07 PM ET | Delete
I agree Svatos' value is low...now we are stuck with damaged goods...kind of like Antropov in TO. Svatos "could" be effective, but he can only be effective going to the net, and digging in corners...exactly the places that have in the past, and will continue to in the future, cause him to get injured. He is fragile. I like his fire, but he is just too fragile. As for the trade ideas: Harding - YES, Lehtonen - YES...all others: NO...A veteran goalie with a high price tag gets this team into 8th and will continue to contribute to the problems this team has: a refusal to actually rebuild...perhaps the empty seats at the Pepsi Center will get them to reconsider.
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