Saturday, December 12, 2009

Stoa's Time To Shine

In the 2005 draft, the Avs had four 2nd round picks (of course, no 1st round picks).

They used their first one, 34th overall, on Ryan Stoa. That's one pick after Dallas took James Neal, and one pick before San Jose took Marc-Edouard Vlasic. It was also one 2nd round pick used before taking Paul Stastny with their second 2nd round pick, 44th overall.

There was alot of hype around Stoa before the season began, and I'll admit even I bought into it. Instead of filling a top 6 role with the Avalanche, he was sent down to Lake Erie where he's played mediocre on a piss poor team, scoring 7 goals and registering a -10 rating in 25 games.

But, let's not buy into those stats too much. None of the Avalanche's better wingers (Stewart, Jones, McLeod) were all that great in the AHL, but stuck once given a chance to play with quality players in the NHL.

I suspect Stoa is going to be around a while to prove his worth.

Jones is done for the year, Hejduk will probably be out a month after his knee gets cleaned up, and I'm suspecting Svatos might miss a few games after leaving last game in the 2nd period (though, he's becoming less and less relevant).

Hopefully Stoa can be yet another call-up (see: Ryan Wilson) who's able to keep the Avalanche afloat through this mass of injuries. In a year of surprises, one thing hasn't been a surprise: Colorado's inability to stay healthy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cut Peter Budaj some slack

That's right, I'm going to defend Peter Budaj. Me. Really.

I've been seeing alot of fans and media (particularly Adrian Dater saying that Budaj might be down to his last chance) giving Peter Budaj alot of crap recently.

I'm baffled as to why.

I don't like Budaj's salary. I understand he's not skilled enough to be an NHL starter. And I'd prefer it if Weiman was given a shot at back-up next season.

But that doesn't mean I'm going to have blind hate for him. He's been given the chance to start two games out of 28, and went 1-1.

One really good game, one really bad game. But last time I checked, that's the trademark of an NHL back-up. If they were consistently good, they would be a starter on some team.

And considering how good Anderson has been, you may as well have had Jacques Cloutier as the back-up. It's his team now, and he'll be starting over 70 games this year (and hopefully next).

So again, why the hate? Are people bitter about last year? Or still fuming about Budaj's ugly loss to Edmonton?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kobasew ends Jones's, Avalanche's season

How things can change in one brief moment.

Yes, the Avalanche have been stinking it up lately. Yes, they continue to fall in the standings. Yes, some alot of the players are coming back down to earth.

Things happen. Teams go through tough stretches, and the good teams are able to come out of them.

With the loss of David Jones, I'm no longer convinced the Avalanche are a good team.

Other than Anderson, Stastny, Hannan, Quincey, and maybe Hejduk, Jones has been the Avalanche's best player this year. The man has been the perfect example of why rebuilding teams give their young players a chance.

Jones was on pace for 30 goals, and then bam! Colorado loses their most important winger for the rest of the season.

If I can dig up one positive out of this, it's that Chris Stewart should have an uncontested chance to prove to the Avalanche what skills he may or may not have. Does that outweigh the increased ice time Marek Svatos and Darcy Tucker will likely receive thanks to the Jones (and Hejduk...and possible Galiardi, don't know where he was tonight) injury?

Nope, but that's why I think Colorado will miss (or barely make) the playoffs this season.

I really feel terrible for David Jones. He was making the most of his opportunity, but now will likely be an after thought.

By the time next offseason rolls around, Jones will likely have missed the previous 55 games, so I doubt management is going to be saying to themselves "we don't need to sign a top line forward because we have that David Jones guy who was good for 20 games half a year ago."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pseudo-GM Time: 36 reasons to Sign Miroslav Satan

1/36: that's the Avalanche power play success rate over the last ten games.

That number is simply pathetic, and if it doesn't change, the Avalanche's success in the month of November won't change: a 2-3-1 record.

The power play was a big reason for the 10-1-1 start, but after Liles and Tucker went down, so did it. But the past is the past: we can't just wait around for Liles to get healthy, and Tucker still doesn't look 100% after returning.

Enter Miroslav Satan.

Yes, he's old. Yes, he's one-dimensional. Yes, signing him is an incredibly short sighted move.

But who cares?

His salary would be inexpensive. He has experience. He's proven that he has the hands to be both a good shooter and passer.

Something has to get the power play going, and something has to get Matt Duchene going. Putting him on a line with McLeod and Svatos every night has become the equivalent of beating one's head against a brick wall.

Because the only real player in jeopardy of being bumped down a line or scratched (Svatos) isn't a player the Avalanche have any long term plans for, there comes no risk with signing Satan.

At the very least, signing him would give Joe Sacco another competent top-six forward to work with.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

They're not so bad, I guess

Probably better than the home and away jerseys, at least. The Avs will wear them in 11 of the remaining 34 home games.

1 for 31

That's the Avalanche power play success ratio over the past 9 games.

Get Preissing in there, Sacco.

And of course, the tune "we don't think it'll be anything long term" has turned into Liles being placed in the IR.

Here's the fact of life for the Avalanche: if Stastny can't score on the road, the power play has to. If it doesn't, you're going to lose games.

Can't wait to see the new jersey's that will be unveiled tomorrow. If they're anything like they're rumored to be, someone deserves to be shot.