Pop Quiz #2

Books closed, pencils ready….Fact: The Avalanche are playing .500 hockey, despite their much-touted “firepower”.

Fact: The Sakic-Kariya-Selanne line has been virtually invisible since game #1, which was against Chicago, and therefore doesn’t really count.

Fact: The Forsberg-Tanguay-Hejduk line has 23 points more than they did at this juncture of the season last year.

Fact: Phillipe Sauve has a 4.00 goals-against average in 2 games.

Fact: There are no less than 8 injuries on the Colorado roster right now.

So, what conclusion can we draw from these inferences? Feel free to choose more than one.

A.) Offensive-oriented “80’s-style” hockey does not work in the current NHL climate.

B.) Injuries to key 3rd and 4th line players have adversely impacted the Avs’ game.

C.) Phillipe Sauve isn’t ready for “the big time”.

D.) Kariya and Selanne are not the “impact players” many people thought they would be.

E.) The Avs will go nowhere without an “established” goalie, and/or a quality defenseman.

F.) There’s nothing to worry about. This is a veteran team that knows Cups are not won or lost in Oct./Nov. They will turn up the heat when they have to.

My personal opinion? It’s definitely not the #1 goaltender’s fault, at least not yet. Aebischer has been more consistent (and solid) than St. Patrick was at this point last season. Sauve, however, gets rattled too easy, which leads to sieve-like qualities. It’s not a #1 goalie they need – it’s a #2.

On the offensive side – talk about schizophrenic. It’s either five or six goals, or one. Feast or famine. There are two reasons for this that I can see:

1.) Stop already with the cute drop passes, rink-wides, etc., especially since they can be tipped straight up the middle when your defense is pinching down. Shoot the $%#%$#@ puck, and drive to the net!

2.) The 3rd and 4th lines have to contribute offensively. Period.

Any and all defensive troubles can be more or less directly attributed to the offensive habit of trying to “thread the needle” and make the “perfect” pass instead of the safe (and smart) one.

I’m out like Johnny Knoxville in a game of “Nutball”.


20 Responses to Pop Quiz #2

  1. DonkeyDick2000 says:

    They are the laughing stock of the league right now. How about option G, they have become a plethera of individual talents who are as cohesive as 2 logs of dog shit. Only a hop, skip away from the Rangers!

  2. cwthrash says:

    There is of course too much talent for this team to play average all season. In time, they’ll get used to playing with one another (not the AMP line, they already have it down). When they do, you should see more consistency and better play. Whenever that comfort level is established, then maybe they will be able to make that perfect pass more often without fear of a defensive breakdown afterwards.

    Let the team gel and Abby have his shot as #1. He’s doing well so far. But if the Avs feel they need an upgrade at either goalie spot, there are plenty of options available and should be throughout the year. There is one team that actually has two good netminders sitting around doing nothing right now, but they are playing well enough for the time being that they will only accept the right trade.

    It may be a bit gauche of me to mention that team, so I shall let the readers guess.

  3. pantherboy says:

    Sauve is defenitly not ready for the big time yet. He needs a real vetren (deja-vu Denis) to help mature him. Aebischer had Patrick to prepare him, Sauve hasn’t really.

    Another thing is chemistry. Some players need more time then others to adjust with their new teams. It looks that way for the Av’s new aquisations.

  4. pantherboy says:

    I think Dave Abisheir (SP?) will do just find and keep the #1 throughout the year. They might go out and get a Dafoe or something if they are not too too confident going into the trade deadline, but I only see that if they are not winning their division by that point.

  5. The_Conductor says:

    And Fact. Its quite possible that Colorado can be another NYR. Were there a team of many talents and they might not gel and mess perfectly as one.

    Also not to mention they need a goalie!

  6. devfanman4 says:

    I think it’s a combination of B, C, E, and lack of chemistry. It might take a few months before the team gels together, alot of changes were made during the off-season and beginning of this season.

  7. starsgirl25 says:

    i would answer, but i’ve taken too many tests the past few weeks. it’s a good thing there were no bubbles

  8. TheDuk says:

    Think I have a better option G…

    The Avs are human and like everyone who thought Colorado’d walk away with it this year, they believed they would use their boots every game. Now as we all know this is the NHL where any team can beat any other team. If you don’t play simple good hockey you lose. It’s not that complicated –> don’t play complicated. That being said, there is no “what’s wrong in Colorado?”

    And a pinch of F thrown in for good measure and little seasoning.

    As for Sauve, I like the kid quite a bit. Shoulda had that Drury goal, but he’s a rookie and everyone gets beat sometime.


  9. original6dan says:

    Not sure if I want to laugh or cry…

    One thing I thought they’d lose with Patrick Roy’s retirement was a little of their cocky swagger. With Roy they could always afford to be cocky, but now they’ve really got to pull their heads out of their asses!

    The AMP line is clicking along (hope none of them gets bit by the injury bug). If I had to point the blame at any one thing, I’d say its the defense — Blake should NOT be leading the team in shots. He ought to try to play DEFENSE for once in his life!

    If I had to point to a second thing, I’d say its Tony G. He’s not a coach — he’s Pierre’s “yes”-man.

    Here’s something I hope sinks in with the Avs:

    The only teams they’ve beaten are ones below .500!

    Chicago .444

    Minnesota .278

    Edmonton .375 (and even Edmonton clobbered the Avs once)

    Nashville .429

    [per nhl.com as of 10/27]

    If the Avs want to feel better, they can always look at Detroit’s losses to Pittsburgh and NYR! Are there other forces working here?

    — Dan

  10. Blackhole says:

    First and foremost, the answer to this question is shoot the f*&$#@! puck. The Sakic line is what is playing like the old 80’s style, which is where point “A” applies. That doesn’t work as well. Note to other teams…

    If Detriot stayed healthy, their games wouldn’t be close.

    Abi is the goaltender for the Avalanche. Sauve really hasn’t let a bad one go in… but thats no excuse. Stanley Cup bound (alleged) goalies find a way.

  11. cwthrash says:

    I don’t see the Avs trading for a goalie in the near future either. Abby has played well so far, and management has said time and time again that he is the #1 and they will stick with him. They’ll re-assess in a couple, three months.

    Just wanted to see if I could get a reaction from some of the more hyper-sensitive posters. Damn you and your calm, logical thinking!

  12. commonwealth says:

    I disagree with the choices, no one can make that broad of judgements this early in the season. Last year Sakic had a completely different role in the offense then he does this year, Karyia and Selanne haven’t played together in awhile, it’s gonna take time to get those players playing well together. No one can blame the Goaltending, Aebi has been more then up to the task, and Suave is a victim of poor defense and one hell of a shot from the great Chris Drury. Picking up Konowalchuk is big, it finally adds some grit to go along with the new bully McCormick and that ugly mug Jim Cummins. With those two bruisers why’d we ever trade Nedorost and Messier? Oh that’s right to get Worrell who is still sitting on the bench injuried.

    Speaking of which, when did the Avs players start dropping like fly’s? Karyia, Selanne, Hahl, McCalister, Larsen, Worrell all injuried… Mostly the smart hockey fans are right about the AVS problem… too many cute little passes… just shoot the damn puck….


  13. Aetherial says:

    Yes, the injuries hurt but sorry they have not been hit so hard that that accounts for their play this year.

    There is merit to almost all your points but I select either E or F.

    Colorado fans need to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with Philadelphia Flyers fans and Bobby Clarke.

    They can discuss the delusion they are under that a team will win the cup without an established, proven goaltender (or some kid who catches fire at the right time. Aebischer (sp?) is neither.

    Look at the most recent cup-winning goalies… I rest my case.

    F) also applies. Cups are not won in Oct/Nov. This team has too much talent to discount and it will show through when the time comes.

    Kariya and Selanne are NOT what they once were, but they are still good 🙂

  14. defenestrate says:

    Great point about Worrell – McCormick hasn’t lost a fight yet. And yes, Cummins scares people just with his face. He looks lke he’s tweaking at a biker bar…

  15. defenestrate says:

    For shame….baiting the masses. I thought that was my forté..

    The sad part is that none of them took the bait. Maybe they just ignore my postings on general principles.

  16. defenestrate says:

    Could it be that dreaded “P” word that has invaded the other “major” sports?


  17. cwthrash says:

    Except for the guy who is well on his way to triple digits in user names and deserves only to be ignored, I haven’t seen a non-Leaf argument in a while. This place has had a soft-cotton or satin feel for a while, I was in the mood for burlap or sandpaper.

    At least their is still some doubt about whether some users ignore you. When most of the people here see my name attached to an article, the Thrasher stigma kicks in and they don’t read it. And I have some pretty solid proof on that. Oh well, that is the cross I must bear. Seems you might be lugging it as well. Now would actually be a good time of an inspiring-type quote about the price of conviction, but I don’t have one on the tip of my brain and don’t feel like looking one up. Given that laziness, maybe conviction wasn’t the right word there.

  18. defenestrate says:

    I’ve never been convicted… they couldn’t prove anything.

  19. cwthrash says:

    It seems that I may have said too much already

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