Maybe Pierre Isn't Crazy, After All
No, gosh darn it, you didn’t get rid of me for good. It’s just that my submission in the wake of the “hit I am sick of seeing” was too vituperous for publication.Now, in the spirit of the late, unlamented “be an analyst”, let’s examine the Avalanche deadline deals, three games hence.
Salo has had one game, and was exactly as good as he needed to be – which is to say, about 100x more poised than Sauve, who just seemed to self-destruct after the All-Star break. Maybe he started to believe his own press clippings (the death of many a career). Tommy looks a bit slow moving post-to-post on wrap-arounds, but otherwise should fill his role adequately.
Everyone was left shaking their heads in puzzlement in the wake of Morris for Gratton / Vaananen. But let’s be real – Derek had 2 goals in his last 43 games, and for an allegedly “offensive” defensemen, that’s not exactly firing on all cylinders.
While Gratton has never lived up to the “next Messier” tag everyone was so eager to hang upon him when he was drafted, he is a perfectly serviceable 3rd or 4th line center. And Vaananen has a massive upside, being only 23 and already evincing a rugged, “stay-at-home” type of style that the Avs so desperately need.
Yeah, I know – Drury for Gratton / Vaananen. Rub it in…..
Just as Konowalchuk was the steal of the century thus far, being a “less-heralded” type of trade, so the acquisition of Matthew Barnaby seems to have been the best new example of “Big Pete’s” penchant for finding diamonds in the rough (in this case, the Rangers – same thing, actually). Hey – 3 goals, an assist, and 2 fights in 3 games – there’s the spark everyone was looking for.
We won’t talk about “that other thing”, as it has been talked to death. But certainly it has had an impact in turning around a team that had won just 2 out of the past 10 before going on the current 4-game winning streak. Sakic has shown why he is the most underrated captain in the game, leading by example, and vaulting himself into a position to win the scoring title.
Now, with Tanguay (knee) and Hinote (shoulder) out until probably the beginning of the playoffs, and Forsberg’s return still questionable, the new acquisitions will find themselves thrust quickly into the spotlight. Also, we’ll see how Selanne responds to being a “healthy scratch” the last 2 games.
I shudder to think about the implications of the future with all the draft picks we expended, but, given the current climate, I have to agree with the sentiment that “the future is now”. Whoever wins this Cup may well get to keep it for a couple of years.