2007 Archives http://www.jibblescribbits.com/table/2007-articles/october/ Mon, 22 May 2017 15:32:12 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Scheduling oddities http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/scheduling-oddities.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/scheduling-oddities.html
Over the next month the Avs will play 13 games, 10 of those games will be against fellow Northwest foes, this will increase the stretch of mainly NW division opponents to an almost absurd 15 out of 19 games of playing NW rivals. In December, the Avs will play exactly one game, out of 14, against a NW division foe and in January they will play another whopping one game against the NW. The Avs then play a pretty balanced schedule until late in the season where they finish with 9 in a row against NW rivals.

The problem is that NW divisional rival games are more important than games against other conference foes, which in turn are more important than games against the Eastern Conference. When you schedule so few of those divisional games against your NW foes in December and January you're basically telling the fans, these months aren't as important. These games aren't as important. Save your money for later in the season when the games ARE important.

I don't have too much of a problem with the glut of divisional games at the end of the season, especially in the Northwest. The Northwest is expected (and is shaping up to be) incredibly competitive, and these teams will be battling for playoff positioning, or even playoff spots late in the season. In the West, getting a 3-seed is going to be critical for playoff advancement so battling NW teams will make that race to #3 more exciting for everyone.

But early in the season, the playoff lines haven't been drawn yet and teams are still jockeying for position and spreading themselves out. While the games are important the divisional rivalries don't take as much precedence as playing well and gelling, at least for fans. Look at the posts from all the Avs blogs. We are way more concerned about how the D is looking (pretty bad so far) and how the goaltenders are playing (pretty well) than how Vancouver, Minnesota, or Calgary is doing. Why? we know that if they are doing poorly (Vancouver) they have time to correct themselves, and if they are on fire (Minnesota until recently) they will probably come back down. It's not time to worry about them, yet.

If the NHL is going to insist on this division rivalry format (of which I don't have a problem with to be honest) they should at least do it right. The division games should be mixed in with the other games until late in the season where the importance should be placed on the division games. Yes a point in November is the same as a point in March in the grand scheme of things, but in reality a 4-2 win over Minnesota in November isn't as anticipated, emotional, or intense as a 4-2 win over 1st place Minnesota in late February, or March.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) October Mon, 29 Oct 2007 15:08:00 +0000
Q's killing me... http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/qs-killing-me.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/qs-killing-me.html I can't, in good conscience, tell anyone to lay off our coach after finding out that Jose Theodore will be starting tonight for us.

Listen I understand that Theo's needs to play some games this season. I get you don't want to overwork Budaj, and you need to keep Theo warm and in game shape because he could be called upon to lead the team if Bud's gets hurt or something (god forbid this happen). I really understand the need to play the backup every once in a while.

But here's the facts:
  • Calgary is a division rival
  • They are one of the Avs top competitors for the NW crown
  • The Avs finished 1 point behind them last season
  • The Avs are in the middle of a road trip, and they've struggled on the road
  • They also have a chance to win 2 in a row on the road and get some momentum.
  • Theo may have a lot of nice qualities. (see below) but being a good goalie is already checked off of his life to-do list
    • By all accounts he's a good guy.
    • He's got some very nice, well-kept hair.
    • He has a name that sounds like an international playboy. (Seriously those "most interesting man in the world commercials, the guys name could be José Théodore and it would make sense)
    • He has a Hart and Vezina Trophy
But There's no defense for starting Theo in this particular game. In their next 5 games they are playing 4 NW conference opponents. Smack in the middle of those 4 is an Eastern Conference opponent (Pitsburgh Pinkguins.) That would be the perfect time to start Theo. First it's not as harmful to lose that game, as it is one against say Calgary. Everyone knows the Eastern Conference writers, GM rarely watch the Western Conference games. So the best time to play Theo is against am Eastern Conference club (especially the one with Sid Crosby on the team). If he plays well they might actually sucker a bad Eastern Conference team into trading for him, even if it's a burger in Saskatoon, well it's still something right?

But the more likely scenario is Theo plays poorly, and the Avs lose. The media, and people in general think the Avs are a team that "is talented but their goalie situation" is bad (which it's not). Everyone sleeps on them and underestimates them, which is always the preferable position to be in anyways. Really there's no reason to start Theo tonight instead of next Thursday against the Pinkguins (unless Budaj is hurting or sore or something, but there's no evidence of that). The only real downside to that is you piss off a bunch of Rangers fans, like the Dark Ranger. But they are already pretty pissed at their own team, I doubt they'll notice who the Avs start in net until their own team starts winning some games.

Damnit Q, i want to defend you, but you're making it really difficult.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) October Fri, 26 Oct 2007 20:40:00 +0000
Tip for Dater... http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/tip-for-dater.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/tip-for-dater.html latest Avs Mailbag isn't really the place for your observations on the Sox-Rockies game.

If only there was a place where you could post such things.

J/K Dater, still think you do a good job.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) October Thu, 25 Oct 2007 17:05:00 +0000
Jibblescribbits-EDM http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/jibblescribbits-edm.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/jibblescribbits-edm.html always can tell when a game's in EDM.

I have seen Tyler Arnason make a couple back-check's tonight. Maybe he's focusing on defense, at least a little.

Clark's fault on the 1st period EDM goal. He completely misplayed that one by recklessly going after the puck instead of standing up the man in the neutral zone, creating a 2 vs. 1 for EDM (I, the lone Clark slightly-adverse-er in the Avs blogging community, am nnot surprised)

Liles has been really really good tonight, And I love the Fonger-Liles combo. Much much better than Liles-skratch.

Considering the last 2 goals against are primarily his fault, why is Clark getting the second most Ice time per game. In fact I'm saying it right now, Clark is overrated by my fellow Avs bloggers, and is the 4th best D-man on the Avs, maybe even 5th (or 6th). Even the biggest Clark lover has to admit he has played inconsistent this season, at best.

Nice to see 3rd liners getting goals tonight. Hlinka, Arnason and Wolski (not a 3rd liner, but not one of the "names") Really Arnason looks much improved, except for face-offs where he's dreadful.

Congrats to Hlinka on his first NHL goal, which by his play is long overdue. He should have been in the NHL for years now, as no worse than a 3rd liner (probably deserves a second line position)

You know the Avs announcers have the reputation as the biggest homers in hockey, but I'm not quite sure that's true... I think they are the biggest apologists in hockey. They never say anything bad about anyone ever, Avs or otherwise. They could be describing Michael Vick and say he had that "persistent legal trouble which overshadowed his brilliant NFL career." They might even defend Alexei Yashin if his name came up as "a talent that could never find the right fit". Homer implies bias, McNabb and Hayes slob everyone's knob.

Tonight's music at the EDM arena... Against Me "Thrash Unreal", Hot Hot Heat "Bandages" , Smashing Pumpkins "Tarantula", and some other songs that may have been taken directly off of XM radio's "Ethel" station. Maybe Someone on the Avs should get XM. (best song for hockey arenas never used The Stills "Helicopter")

Saw a graphic that Clark has the second most D ice time, behind Hannan. Seriously? Say what you will about Clark, but this season Liles, Sauer, and Finger have all played better than Clark, and in my opinion so has Hannan, leaving Clark as the 5th best D-man (6th if you think Leo has played better, I think it's a push) on the Avs this season. So Q will pull Budaj for being hung out to dry, but still gives Clark 20+ minutes of ice time for at the very best inconsistent play.

I have gotten on Clark a bit, but have I mentioned that I have been completely unimpressed with Leo this season as well. The second EDM goal he got completely pushed off the puck by Penner, and the goal was really his fault when he should have been able to at least get a partial clear on the play. I have been really disappointed by him and Clark this game, and season so far to be honest.

(Just to prove my earlier point, for McNabb and Hayes the goal was all about the size and strength of Penner. While it does make Leo not liable for the goal, it was a complete fawning of Penner, and reaffirms my position that the Avs announcers unconditionally love everyone equally, and no one makes a bad play. They should really be Youth Soccer announcers, everyone would feel good about themselves.)

Wyatt Smith is completely invisible on the ice. Why did we sign him, and not a guy like, say, Yannic Perault who could shore up the Avs weakest skill (faceoffs).

If you were going to pick an MVP for the Avs so far this season, you'd probably pick Stastny. Wolski could be a sleeper. But if you've watched all the games, a really strong case could be made for Brunette. He has been really good for the Avs.

ALT shows a graphic of about 10 surprise 0 and 1 goal scorers for the season. about 5 are on my fantasy team, and it's no surprise I am in last, mainly because of Goals, Assists, PP points, PP Goals, and PP assists. That's what I get for taking Brenden Shannahan.

Something tonight I haven't seen as much this season as last, until tonight. The Avs blocking a lot of shots tonight. I am not sure if that's good or bad.

Interesting decision to put Arnason out there with 2:00 left in the game on a PP. I know it's a PP, and I have thought Arnason has been tremendously improved on defense this season. But with a team loaded with Offensive talent that can defend as well (Sakic, Smyth, Stastny, Hlinka, and even Brunette) why not make a PP line of Sakic, Stastny and Smyth, with Liles and Clark on the point. Then the second unit could be Bruno, Hlinka and Wolski, with Hannan & Leo on the point and that pretty much gives you the game right? why risk it with Arny?

So I forgot to mention this as I watch the game, but Budaj has been really good the last 2 games. I'll give Q the benefit of the doubt that the Theo start against Chi was ok because it was a non-division rival and he wants to start Budaj vs NW foes.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) October Wed, 24 Oct 2007 04:59:00 +0000
Oh those poor Beige Wings http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/oh-those-poor-beige-wings.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/oh-those-poor-beige-wings.html always out to get them?]]> jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) October Tue, 23 Oct 2007 14:55:00 +0000 Avs season Update http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/avs-season-update.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/avs-season-update.html
What are the biggest stumbling blocks to the Avs this coming season? Are they their own worst enemy, or will certain teams present specific challenges to Colorado this season?I think Baba Oje, from Melt your face-off, said it best:
They need to play more consistently defensively. There were too many times last year when the other team got behind our own blue liners
and hung the goalies out to dry. Its time that our defenders matured into the new NHL and learned that they don't have the two line pass to protect them. We also need Budaj to play like he did at the end of last season, a high order, but he is capable.

So defensive consistency and goaltending? Yes the defensive consistency has been terrible to say the least this season. Clark, Hannan, Leopold, and Skrastins have, IMO looked completely lost in the defensive zone this season. Sauer has been the best one in terms of positioning, with Finger a solid second (too bad he only plays 1/2 the games). Liles has been pretty solid as well, but 3 defensemen playing solid isn't going to cut it.

Goaltending has been an issue but for a different reason. It's not the play of Budaj that's the problem, but the consistency of Coach Q in just letting things be. I realize coaches need to tinker, and always feel like they can do something to help. But sometimes the best move is no move at all. Let's let the goalies find their rhythem. Budaj played spectacularly in the 3-2 loss to Minnesota last night, don't demote him for the defense's mistakes. If anyone deserves to sit a game, it's Leopold or Clark based on their performance last night. Budaj has played just fine, let him be.

Forwards notes:
♦ Where'd Hlinka go? he looked like he was going to be a force, then disappeared. The Stastny-Brunette-Hlinka line looked good, but of course Q changed that line up.

♦ Wolski has been the Avs best player the last 4 games or so, and has had a great season so far. Always making the nice pass. Stastny has, deservedly, gotten the second year recognition, but Wolski has been great (even if the Minnesota announcers can't pronounce his name correctly).

♦ Brunette has also been great. His passing seems out of this world this season. He always seems to make a great pass.

♦ I saw Arnason make both a good backcheck and a good forecheck last night against Minnesota. Honest to god, both led to good scoring chances. I'll take that kind of effort from him all the time.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) October Mon, 22 Oct 2007 16:10:00 +0000
Jonesy: Put Your Head Down and Skate: The Improbable Career of Keith Jones http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/jonesy-put-your-head-down-and-skate-the-improbable-career-of-keith-jones.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/jonesy-put-your-head-down-and-skate-the-improbable-career-of-keith-jones.html I am finally getting to my review of the book above, "Jonesy" an autobiography by Keith Jones, and written by John Buccigross (my favorite hockey journalist). Keith Jones took the long way to carve out a 12 season career with the Washington Capitals, Colorado Avalanche, and Philadelphia Flyers, before becoming a decent announcer on Vs. NHL coverage.

Even if you don't read the book, it's worth buying for the sole reason that all the proceeds go to Alex's Lemonade Stand, which is a charity dedicated to helping children with cancer, always a worthy cause to donate money too. However I do recommend actually reading the book too, as it details Keith Jones unlikely journey to the NHL, from his eyes.

The best stories are in the first half of the book for the most part. In this day and age of kids, and more parents, taking sports so seriously that all the fun gets taken out of it for the child. Jones does a good job detailing how he was able to stay a kid, and have fun yet still work hard and get to the NHL. His stories about juniors are fun and help people see what the life of a young kid playing hockey is like.

The NHL stories are good too, and it makes you appreciate just how tough these hockey players are. Jones spent just under 1/2 his career playing on a leg he couldn't even do simple stuff such as running and jumping on. It's interesting to see just how much the typical athelete is willing to put himself through.

Unfortunately the most endearing thing about hockey players, their modesty, also makes them sub-par story tellers at times. He continually sells himself short and downplays events that are made for the pages of a good book (which this is). It wouldn't have hurt him and Buccigross to exaggerate, instead of downplay, some of the events in the book. The humility is endearing and honest but some events could have been better with a few more details. Make no mistake though, the book is good and you never get the sense he's saying anything to sell books. The opposite of James Frei, he is always honest.

But I'm being nitpickey, and the book is a good book and well worth the read. IT is pretty short and easy to read, and can be read in 2-3 sittings. If you have a cross country flight you could probably finish it and a couple soduku's in the same flight.

Overall I highly recommend this book to any fan of hockey. A good read that only enhances any library.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) October Fri, 19 Oct 2007 01:14:00 +0000
Weekend: Avs find the best way to get over the Blues... BJ's http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/weekend-avs-find-the-best-way-to-get-over-the-blues-bjs.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/weekend-avs-find-the-best-way-to-get-over-the-blues-bjs.html
Again I'll remind everyone that the sample size is small, and let's see how this plays out over the next month, but it's worth looking at. One thing that's worth noting is the difference between the Blues game and the Columbus game Friday and Saturday night.

I thought the biggest difference in their play between Friday and Saturday was in the net. Our favorite netminder (and by favorite I mean guy who I respect because he hasn't become a cancer, but still can't play goalie) Theo was typical Theo. Solid at times with lapses that cause him to scramble and try and make spectacular saves when he should have an easy one. Budaj, on the other hand, was spectacular on Sat night. He robbed Nash a couple times and made some nice plays. He got unlucky on the ol' puck off his D's ass, but got lucky when Nash pushed a puck wide on a spectacular move so the 1 goal against was probably about right.

And that's the difference between the two goalies right now. Budaj doesn't make the spectacular saves, because he doesn't have to. Theo is trying to make the spectacular save to recover from his own mistakes.

Other notes: I got the Blues announcer's on Friday night, and I have to say, I miss John Kelley doing Avs games. Maybe it's a little bit of nostalgia, but his voice screams Avs hockey to me. He's one of the best regional play-by-play announcers there is, getting excited at the right times, and for both teams. Obviously his focus is on the Blues now. His partner in crime, Bernie Federko, umm doesn't compliment him well, to be nice. There were a couple times where he was trying to make a point, and a good one at that, but he did not take the quickest path from point A to B (like I should criticize anyone for this). As a color guy your job is to make short, concise points about the game, and stay out of the play-by-play guys way especially in hockey where the action is continous. He would start making a good point, get ahead of himself and then lose all cohesiveness. A couple times I turned to Jibblewife and ask "what the hell is he talking about?". The answer was always "I have no idea".

The Avs are now 1-2 against the Central, maybe it's time I layoff the AHL central jokes huh?

Rick Nash is one fine player, and was all over the ice Saturday night. He looks to be back from his dismal season last season.

Quietly behind Sakic and Stastny's hat tricks, Milan Hejduk is having a great start to the season. He has 4 goals, 2 assists and was the Avs best player in both their losses.

You know Skratch was benched for 2 games, but honestly the Avs worst defenseman has been Kurt Sauer, IMO. He has looked lost a couple times, and why the hell was he leading a rush this weekend. Kurt Sauer should never be leading an Avs rush]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) October Mon, 15 Oct 2007 15:19:00 +0000
Boulerice gets non-impressive 25-game ban http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/boulerice-gets-non-impressive-25-game-ban.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/boulerice-gets-non-impressive-25-game-ban.html 25-game ban for hit vicious hit on Kessler of the Canucks in Philly's 8-2 glorious drubbing of Vancouver the other night.

Yes the 25-game ban is nice, but the NHL still doesn't seem to have any rhyme or reason to their punishments. The NHL needs positive, not negative exposure in the US and the 20+ game suspension has almost become common-place. It's obviously not effective, because these types of incidents seem to be more common than they were just 10 years ago.

Greg Wyshanski has a good article on this as well at the NHL fanhouse that outlines some good ideas for punishments.

One thing I would like to see added: A team can't replace a players roster spot for the length of the suspension (And can't healthy scratch him). This would go for all violent conduct suspensions. A player might think twice if they were about to really hurt their team. Right now the team pays no price, Boulerice can be easily replaced in the lineup without costing the Flyers much of anything.

But if the Flyers had to play with a short bench (which would now be 2 men down with Downie out) well, the ramifications for him might be a little more severe.

Just an idea]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) October Fri, 12 Oct 2007 19:08:00 +0000
Fan of the Day http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/fan-of-the-day.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/october/fan-of-the-day.html
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S12rcbES_D8] ]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) October Fri, 12 Oct 2007 02:56:00 +0000