DG's Quick Hits- December 15, 2002

What happened to Colorado?

The luckless Rangers

On the radar screen: Barry Trotz, Eddie and Stanley, Mike Knuble, foreshadower?, ESPN and their stats, the Flyers and a question about Ted NolanWHAT HAPPENED TO COLORADO?

Featuring the likes of Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Patrick Roy, Adam Foote and Rob Blake along with a talented assortment of youngsters, the Colorado Avalanche should be the type of team that would scare off just about anyone. Yet, as of today, the Avs sit at an uninspiring 9-8-8-4, blowing leads they should be keeping and losing games they should be winning. It’s all puzzling, since there’s nothing suggesting that the Avs would stink this bad; but they do.

Four seasons ago, the Avs were caught in a similar slide, but back then everyone had the absence of Forsberg to blame. Now, they don’t. So what’s missing? As the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox wrote today, it’s Chris Drury and his penchant for scoring clutch goals- and, considering Colorado’s 1-4-8 record in overtime this season, he’s right. Of course, if Roy, who’s 7-6-8 record and 2.63 are distinctly “normal” and Alex Tanguay, among others, picked up their play, the Avs wouldn’t have to worry so much about a slump, do they?


Of course, what would a good Quick Hit be without another New York Ranger topic? The more and more the season progresses the more and more I can never understand how in the world they fail. It’s so bad, now, that even their luck is with them: first Mike Richter goes down. Then Mark Messier; and now it’s “The Russian Rocket”, Pavel Bure himself. That Bure injured his knee shouldn’t be a surprise- I don’t think there’s been a year that’s gone by without Bure injuring his knees- but, considering that the Rangers have lost pretty much all else- including hope some would argue- losing Bure just may be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

It shouldn’t be this way, but for the Rangers, they just keep coming up with new reasons to lose. Perhaps it’s time to revist the whole Glen Sather issue, since, in the whole time “Slats” has been here, he’s done nothing but create a team great in concept but awful in practice. Signing Bobby Holik to a $9 million a year contract wreaked of ludicrousness, but bypassing Byron Dafoe, when all he required was the Rangers’ pocket change, will probably rank as Slats’ worst move ever. Sure, Mike Dunham may replace Richter, but, considering Dunham’s track record as a goalie, that’s not going to happen. Simply put, if the Rangers knew what they were doing, Dafoe would be a Ranger and not an Atlanta Thrasher. However, since the Rangers didn’t see a $9 million price tag affixed to him, they decided to pass him up. Perhaps if they stopped thinking about expensive toys the Rangers might actually win a game, but for now, they’ll just be the National Hockey League’s richest failure.


Nashville Predator coach Barry Trotz after Andreas Johansson, the Preds’ leading scorer, was knocked out of a game a few weeks ago: “I didn’t get the memo between periods that said the rules had changed.”…Eddie Belfour has officially made it as a Toronto Maple Leaf. Still doesn’t mean Stanley will too…One-hit wonders, hockey-style: the New York Islanders. It was fun at the top now wasn’t it?…Cox several weeks ago wondered what the NHL would be like in January when “hot starts by Tampa Bay and Minnesota would be a distant memory”. I don’t know about you, but I think those two might be for real now, as odd as that sounds…Mike Knuble, after his Boston Bruins dropped a 4-2 decision to the Montreal Canadiens on December 10 (not unlike last spring): “maybe we’re coming back down to reality”. Since, the Bruins, who were 8-2 before the game, have lost two straight (at home to Ottawa and again at Montreal), adding to a three-game losing streak. Fortunately for them, there’s always a Buffalo Sabres to correct their situation…Not to leave out the “third” New York team, the New Jersey Devils’ leading scorer is Scott Gomez. Really. Is it safe to assume he’s back?…ESPN may need to replace the people accumulating their stats. They list the Avs as only having two players- Gred DeVries and Steve Brule, and the Vancouver Canucks with four. Surely both are not missing THAT much depth…Burning question: will the Philadelphia Flyers finally turn their great regular season into playoff success? Or will they do “better” and manage all but a goal this time around? We’re waiting for your answer, Bobby, but I’m not holding my breath this time around…Finally: second burning question: if Ted Nolan is so good as a coach, why is everyone passing up on him? Just something to ponder.


12 Responses to DG's Quick Hits- December 15, 2002

  1. Sundinfan says:

    hey come on now if you give us (the avs) a 12 game handicap we’re undefeated! but in all seriousness, this is frustrating as hell, i dont know what the hell is going on. i mean, we’re turning into the rangers, excellent talent, but not too many wins, this is incredibly dissappointing seeing how we’ve won the conference every year since they came from quebec. i feel like crying

  2. oil_drop says:

    My articles aren’t posted :'(

  3. MossRocks says:

    Cox is on bad drugs. One player does not save a 1-4-8 OT record, not without destroying the GWG and GTG record. Quite frankly, the Avs fans glorify Drury’s clutch goal record. Last year he didn’t even rank in the top 30 players in the NHL in the clutch category. (GW’s plus GT’s) He has scored big goals in the playoffs, but that won’t help the Avs as they struggle just to squeeze into the 8th spot. The Oilers had three players in the top 30, which tells me that success does not come from being dependent on 2 or 3 players. Cox is usually not bad, (way better than that idiot Strachan) but he’s just feeding the hype machine here.

    Minny and T-Bay have already cooled off and will likely continue to gravitate to mediocrity. Are they for real? Sure, both teams will be able to fight for 8th in each conference. Sorry though, neither will be in the running to win any division titles.

  4. SabresFanB says:

    Well Nolan was offered the job in Tampa Bay a few years ago, but didn’t take it because many were saying that former GM John Muckler was going to be heading that way. There has been a lot of things whispered about Ted Nolan, like the affair with Hasek’s wife, him trying to get Muckler fired so he could run the orginazation in Buffalo.

    It was just a bitter power struggle in Buffalo because there was a new team president in place, there were some ownership problems, and a winning coach. All of those parties wanted full control and nothing worked. After everything was said and done a new owner was in place, and Muckler, Nolan, and Quinn were fired. So basically Muckler and Quinn got the word out about Nolan being a power hungry coach, blah, blah, blah, and the whole thing with Hasek’s wife. But there isnt any proof of this at all. It’s just rumor.

  5. Habs4ever says:

    Given the Avs’s core, probably only a little change is needed to get this team back on track. Roy should train harder, maybe he should spend even more time with the goalie coach to correct what he’s been doing wrong this year. If the Avs can get rid of Tanguay and get a gritty player in return, that could shake things up and maybe get the Avs out of their slump. I think the reason the Avs were succesful is because they had the perfect mix of skill and grit in their offense, but with Drury and Yelle gone, that upset the balance and the Avs are now left with too many skilled soft players.

  6. JohnFlan22 says:

    It is pretty sad that they seem to have such rotten luck, I thought they had the makings of a pretty good team even before the big free agent spending. Overall Sather I think is starting to swing the ship in the right direction now. Dunham will be a solid guy to split time with Blackburn so that the kid doesn’t loose his confidence from playing too many games with an uncomitted D in front of him. Maybe the best move Sather made was getting Josh Green for a pick from edmonton. I remember when the isles had him that he had some pretty nice hands and is big. I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a “Renberg Type” if he gets to play with Lindros with similar results of getting better numbers than you would normally deem possible for the guy. Plus he is young which is something the rangers usually don’t go and trade for. The Rangers need to rebuild, start over with some solid young talent and get quality defensive players like a Mike Ricci, jere Lehtinen, Adam Deadmarsh(How the hell did the Rangers get rid of Graves and not replace him?), Kieth Carney, Shayne Corson those type of players instead of these sally boys that the only reason they run to NY is for the money. Do you really want a guy like that, that just abandones what they build with there old teams for the bucks in free agency? Sure, Holik was a great pick up, but this guy was so cosumed by money that he took only slightly more $ to ditch the devils, a team that he helped build, to play for a rival with no sense of TEAM concept. They should stop getting these guys and start trading for TEAM guys, the stuff champions are made of.

    Players to get rid of:

    Nedved, Lindros (will never lead this team to a championship even if he stays healthy), Kasparaitis (failed experiment), Lefebvre(deadwood), Dvorak

    Players to keep:

    Leetch (must sighn), Holik, Dunham, Blackburn, Lundmark, Messier (for as long as he still has life), Samuelsson, Bure (for all his baggage still the ranger with the most pure skill in a long time), Poti, Green (if he starts to pan out).

    Everyone else is expendable and really besides Malahkov there isn’t much else.

    Other stuff to do:

    Replace Trottier with anybody else, He’s an islander and bleeds blue and orange to the bone and always will. It seems Sather functions more to one-up the isles (which really shouldn’t be difficult) than to actually ice a solid team. Sighn the greatest Islander as Coach of the hated rangers, that’ll make’em squirm! Even his trade for Poti last year he said “this deal could just have easily gone to the island.” Sure Poti has been a nice surprise so far but i bet many a ranger fan are sad with York gone. Ditto on the Kaspar sighning, couldn’t let the isles get him no matter what. Kaspar has def not made the impact that the rangers were looking for as I’m sure you all agree. Well thats my two cents. And I can give two shits if you agree because deep down you KNOW I’m right.

    So say’s the Flan

  7. lovas84 says:

    Having Seen Most Of The Avs Games This Year…It’s Simple, Losing Chris Drury Did Hurt Alot but its there inability to capitalize on there chances…PP espiciallty…Morris has been our best defenseman recently McAmmonds playing well and once the change some line combinations I believe they will restore themselves to the top of there division…



    Sakic says he loves playing with Dean so keep them together and with Forsbergs great playmaking he should be able to get Tanguay on track

    Plus do not trade Martin Skoula he’s leading the team in plus minus and has bee probably their 3rd best dman after Morris and Foote. Blakes coming around and is finally adjusting to the rules…their 4th line of Messier, Keane and Shantz has been there best line recently…SCARY!

  8. RobBlake says:

    “Quite frankly, the Avs fans glorify Drury’s clutch goal record.”

    Thank God somebody realizes this. I’m so sick of hearing that the reason we can’t win in OT is because we don’t have Drury.



  9. NewYorkRangers says:

    The Rangers replaced Graves. Samuelsson is doing a good job defensively, and offensively he’s shooting the puck more. Sammy, also has some grit to him, he doesn’t back down from people.

    I don’t wanna seem like a jerk, but you spelled “sign” wrong. You don’t need the ‘h’.

  10. mikster says:

    After Atlanta made that last offer to Dafoe, his agent was told by Sather to call him afterwards. He did and Dafoe’s agent requested at least $4M from the Rangers.

    Why would the Rangers want to pay so much more to Dafoe than Atlanta? Dafoe’s agent is an idiot and look where he got Lord Byron. He is not even helping them.

  11. mikster says:

    also a 1-0 shutout w/o Dafoe.

  12. Lapointefan says:

    Sub-par performances night in and night out from Yashin,Osgood and Kcantwatcha,are dragging the nyi down, leaving them 5 pts out of the last playoff spot.

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