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Minneapolis, MN • United States • 31 Years Old • Male

Avs Pick Up 2 Big Points

Posted 12:56 PM ET | Comments 9
In the battle of two struggling teams, the Avs did just enough to win. That's about all that fans can realistically hope for right now considering the current injury list. Still a shot total that was far too low, although the Avs did manage some pressure at times in the second period. Raycroft had a very good game although he did have another scare with his glove hand - this time the puck luckily banged off the crossbar after tipping his mitt. Granted, the Preds did not apply much pressure outside of the first half of the first period, but Raycroft got the job done and was helped by a nice defensive performance sans Adam Foote.

The biggest story of this game is Wolski's two goal showing centering the top line. I only wish they had made this move sooner. Wolski just looks much more into the game at center, whereas playing wing he was guilty of standing around and watching at times. Although I envisioned Wolski as the setup man and Hejduk as the finisher, it looked just as good the other way around last night.

The other positive for the Avs last night was that they were perfect killing three penalties. The Avs got the better of special teams and goaltending, and they won. And Tootoo predictably declined to fight McLeod once again. I am not too broken up about being done with that clown and the rest of this boring team.

The Avs get back on track with two points, stay above .500, and win the season series with Smashville 3-1. So where do they go from here? And I don't mean the home game coming up against the high powered Hawks on Thursday. I mean, what's the plan for this team going forward?

I think it will be very difficult for the Avs to heed the calls to rebuild this year unless there is a major implosion between now and the trade deadine. And although I consder myself an optimist, I don't see this team, without its top two centers, making a huge push forward in the standings. The most likely scenario is that this team will be 3 or 4 points out of the last playoff spot at the time of the deadline. Perhaps it would make more sense from a long term perspective to move assets and try to get a lottery pick. But I guarantee you that won't happen. With Stastny due to return in mid-February and Sakic's return set for late March - if this team is within striking distance of a playoff spot come deadline time, FG will not sell. And neither will he buy because he will see Stastny and Sakic as his "deadline acquisitions". Which is fine; I don't want the Avs to move young players, prospects, or picks this year, and I don't think they will. Unfortunately for fans, this probably equals a very boring trade deadline. In fact, if Clark is not dealt by the end of January, I don't think he will be dealt at all. And that is the only move that made any kind of sense for this team this season. If this team is close to a playoff spot, FG won't want to send the signal that he's giving up on this season by trading Clark for picks or prospects at the deadline.

This organization is clinging to the dream by its fingernails right now. Unless there is a miracle or a disaster, the Avs will be in the same spot at the deadline, and at the end of the season, whenever that comes.
Filed Under:   Avalanche  
January 7, 2009 1:26 PM ET | Delete
The only move that the Avs should make, is to add Peter Forsberg. Although, if I can lure Michael Roszival out of New York, I would do that.
January 7, 2009 2:00 PM ET | Delete
Sakic AND Stastny, just from a hockey prospective that was sad to see because they're both fun to watch! IF they were healthy AND the Avs had a better goalie I think they could make some serious noise.
January 7, 2009 2:58 PM ET | Delete
I really do believe this team has lots of potential. FG just never admits that we have to rebuild, yet we HAVE to do it. Stastny was the real start. When he came along as a surprise now almost 3 seasons ago it was a huge rallying point for the team. Wolski played very well that season too, again another part. Liles is locked up for the long term, which keeps a YOUNG puck moving defenseman around. Stewart has been fun to watch, and I really want him to stick for a long time. David Jones has been a disappointment, but every time he comes close I have to remind myself he is young. Yes, we have lost a lot this season due to injuries. I however think that with Goaltending, Shattenkirk in the system, a higher draft or two, and we could have a very good team. Just have to get a goal tender.
January 7, 2009 7:35 PM ET | Delete
How tough is the rest of the Av's schedule? It seems like they have played alot of the lesser lights so far this year.
January 8, 2009 12:24 PM ET | Delete
there's no way in hell this team is a seller at the deadline. we will be within striking distance when stastny comes back, if not in playoff position. what i do hope is that we don't trade anybody away for an older guy or a rental. this team has the capability to make some noise, and i don't think we need to sacrifice any young players to get it done. it likely won't be this year, but a year or two down the road.do NOT blow up this team.
January 8, 2009 2:33 PM ET | Delete
In looking at the Av's schedule I would say it has been somewhat tough. It has involved a lot of travel for the first half of the season. They are done with their series against the Preds(3-1), they played Philadelphia twice(1-1), played Detroit(2-0), have played Vancounver twice(2-0), San Jose once (0-1), Boston once(loss) and finally the Blackhawks have made it a point to make the Avs look bad playing them twice and losing both.I don't know how that plays out as far as toughness of schedule, but they have played the elite teams from both conferences a few time already. They do not play well against the Blackhawks. Q has Granato's number. I have been pleasantly surprised with the Avs effort against the Red Wings, but have not been happy other nights.
January 8, 2009 9:06 PM ET | Delete
only be seller if you're in the cellar, lol. Anyways, the Blackhawks come in with the huge grudge that Quenneville is carrying, you can just see it.
January 9, 2009 12:39 PM ET | Delete
how about Q's post game comments? "homer drop." nice one coach. gimme your keys. if hensick can improve a bit, i see no reason why our top 3 centers for the next 10 years can't be stastny, wolski, and tj. its nice to see wolski actually be in the game for every shift. you can tell he wants to be there right now, and the help couldn't have come at a better time.
January 9, 2009 3:21 PM ET | Delete
I really hope Wolski can find a way to bring it every night the way he has been lately. Too many times Wolski gets our hopes up, and then he disappears for weeks at a time. Hensick and Stewart won't ever be stars in this league, but I think they can be strong pieces of the puzzle, complimentry players that every team needs (better than signing Tucker) As long as we don't blow our wad trying to make the playoffs this year (1st rd pick for Foote etc..) I think there are some strong building blocks here and in the system. Still think some guys have to go, am more of a fan of a rebuild than staus quo, and neither Raycroft or Budaj are the answer.
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