2011 Archives http://www.jibblescribbits.com/table/2011-articles/february/ Wed, 24 May 2017 09:44:40 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb His name is (still) Jhonas http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2011-articles/february/his-name-is-still-jhonas.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2011-articles/february/his-name-is-still-jhonas.html Elliotte Friedman is a reporter for CBC sports in Canada. He's one of the best reporters in hockey, and puts pout a weekly column called 30 thoughts. It should be the second hockey website you check after coming here every week. In this weeks 30 thoughts there were a couple thoughts on the Avs, including this one:

5. Two things others say about the Avalanche: they are targeting a young goalie and they will trade John-Michael Liles. It's believed they like Jonathan Bernier and Cory Schneider, although I can't imagine the Canucks doing that. I had also heard Steve Mason, but that appears to be incorrect. As for Liles, every year, he must submit a list of 12 teams he will agree to be traded to. His best friend in the NHL is Ryan Miller and it sounds like Buffalo is interested. By now, you've heard Toronto is, too. It is believed both Buffalo and Toronto are on his list.

Let me take you all the way back 2 years ago, to the season that hell wrought, and look at a little blog post I wrote up, which happens to contain a little information on a Buffalo prospect, named Jhonas Enroth. He's Buffalo's top prospect, and onf of the top goalie prospects in hockey. Not as good as Bernier, but a very good goalie prospect nonetheless.

Low and behold, the Avs are in desperate need of a goaltending prospect that's ready to go in the NHL, and the Sabres are in need of a proven puck-moving defenseman. It's a match made in heaven.

Ok, not quite heaven, as there would have to be more to this deal than just a straight-up Liles-Enroth swap. First, Buffalo is likely to want a little more than just Liles for a top prospect like Enroth. And the Avs would have to someone with some salary in order to get the Avs up to the cap floor (and stuff like that still kills me to type). (Tim Connelly would work. So would former Av, Jordan Leopold)

This isn't advocating the trading of JM-Liles, but it sounds like this year, it's inevitable. One of the teams that wants him has a good goalie prospect, and it would be putting Liles in a situation where he would could thrive. I'm not sure Buffalo's take on this (After Miller and Enroth, their goalie pipeline is mighty thin), but if I'm Sherman, I'm trying to work this deal pretty hard.
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) February Wed, 23 Feb 2011 03:08:00 +0000
Avs wheeling and dealing http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2011-articles/february/avs-deal-last-season-for-next-season.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2011-articles/february/avs-deal-last-season-for-next-season.html
Avalanche trade F Chris Stewart, D Kevin Shattenkirk, and a 2nd round pick to St Louis for D Erik Johnson, F Jay McClement, and a 1st round pick. Holy Schnikes!

Let's start with the easy parts: Kevin Shattenkirk is going to be a very good player, but this is a classic case of asset management. The Avs have some very good offensive defensemen in the system: Stephan Elliot, Tyson Barrie, Cameron Guance, Joel Chouinard and Jonas Holøs all are likely to make some impact on the NHL level, and chances are that one of those guys (bet on Elliot) will be at least close to the NHL player that Shattenkirk is. One of those young defensemen were expendable, and Shattenkirk was worth the most.

I've seen a few comments about how Jay McClement is a throw in, and if that's the case, he's the best throw in in a long time. McClement is a top notch penalty killer (something the Avs desperately need) and at 27 he's in the prime of her career. His stats are pretty average (25.6/27.6 SF/SA/60). But they look phenomenal when you consider he starts in the defensive zone 56.4% of the time, which is tops on the Blues. Essentially he's been the Blues number one defensive forward, and Blues fans feel he could be Selke worthy. Throw him on a line with O'Reilly and Winnik and you have the Avs best 3rd line since Yelle-Podein-Keane.

More after the jump
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) February Sat, 19 Feb 2011 17:27:57 +0000
St. Valentine's Day Massacre http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2011-articles/february/st-valentines-day-massacre.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2011-articles/february/st-valentines-day-massacre.html
A 9-1 drubbing at a random point in a season is tough, but can be shaken off relatively quickly. A 9-1 drubbing at the tail end (hopefully) of an 8-game losing streak is something altogether different.  If Avs fans had an illusion of bouncing back and making the playoffs, this loss quickly obliterated that hope.

But out of something bad comes something good. Last time the Avs were this bad, they got Duchene. This Avs team is headed for the draft lottery again, and have a chance at a pretty good pick. Last season’s magical run had the negative side effect of hiding a lot of the flaws of this team.  Those flaws are now on full display, and can be addressed.

One thing Avs management has always annoyingly done is overvalue their own prospects and their own players. We’ve been saying all season this defense is not talented enough and too small to compete night in and night out. Fans said that in the offseason when we advocated going after Paul Martin or Anton Volchenkov, two stay at home defenders capable of eating big minutes against top tier competition without being embarrassed and two defenders that are unlike anything the Avs have in their farm system.  Last night, and this whole losing streak, was a bucket of cold water to the face of anyone who may have thought otherwise.

This team is still young, still learning, and still rebuilding. We, as fans, got our hopes up that the rebuild was going to be quick. That Duchene and Forsberg would come save us and that the Avs would return to glory. Management did too. But rebuilds take time. Pittsburgh and Chicago were miserable for many years before enjoying success. The Avs have a way to go, and have some good pieces to do so.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) February Tue, 15 Feb 2011 15:19:22 +0000
Sending a message http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2011-articles/february/sending-a-message.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2011-articles/february/sending-a-message.html
Paraphrasing: Sacco told me he changed goalies for tonight in order to change things up and get a win. It's not that Budaj played awfully, it's that he felt like he needed to change things up to try and get a spark.

I'm taking it with a bit if a grain of salt. There's (hopefully) more to Sacco’s decision than he mentions in this quote. That said, I also think there’s at least a kernel of truth to it. If this is the real reason it's mind-numbingly stupid, for a multitude of reasons.

More after the jump
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) February Tue, 08 Feb 2011 15:59:21 +0000
Avs-Wild "High"lights http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2011-articles/february/avs-wild-qhighqlights.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2011-articles/february/avs-wild-qhighqlights.html
Duchene really screwed up on the 1st goal. Centers need to be responsible and Duchene let his guy come right down the slot, which created the 2v1. Stoa didn't hep at all, but Duchene still has a long ways to go in being responsible defensively. He can't cheat that much.

Cumisky just awful on the 2nd goal. I mean one of the worst individual plays of the season. Tries to check Wild player and bounces off. I think the guy may thought Cumisky was a mosquito. Then he whiffs on blocking a pass, when he should have been trying to tie up Brunette. Then tries to check Brunette and it doesn't even phase him. Cumisky is "the Mosquito". Brunette is quite good at going out in front of the net, if people hadn't noticed.

Avs goal: Avs finally the beneficiary of bad D. Wild guy takes the shooter on the 2v1. Porter makes the pass. Goal.

3rd GA: Brunette takes "inside position" on Hunwick (who didn't play defense at all... except for this GA). Brunette then spins with the puck and gets a shot on Andy before Hunwick even touches him, Wilson fails to get physical with Brunetter in front of the net (If you're counting that's 2 Avs defensemen in front of the net with Brunette and not one have hit him) and he puts in the rebound. The Good: Galiardi had the backside guy like he should, which frees up his defensemen to defend. The Bad: Wilson and Hunwick were the two guys Gali freed up to do absolutly nothing. Wilson in fact backs off Brunette to take the guy Gali was marking

2nd Avs goal. Beuty of a pass by the defenseman off the boards, and nice stickwork by Stewie to get the puck to Hejduk. Good play by those guys

4th GA: Andy doesn't trust his defense and makes a mistake in playing the puck. It also takes a bad bounce off the boards right to a Wild who slaps on at Andy, who makes a pad save. Avs defenders (Foote and Cumisky) do nothing to help Andy recover from his puck-playing mistake and let Bouchard have the rebound all alone in the slot.

Watching those highlights was just brutal in the poor defending.
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) February Fri, 04 Feb 2011 04:43:55 +0000
The Avs Defenseman Dilema http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2011-articles/february/the-d-man-dilema.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2011-articles/february/the-d-man-dilema.html
Are the Avs committed to a full rebuild, or does Avs brass feel the sirens song of the NHL playoffs?

The Avs need a big solid defender if they are going to do anything in the playoffs this season, because the current defensive corps is in over their heads. Liles and O'Byrne are a solid 2nd pairing, but are getting killed in a 1st pairing role. Foote is no longer a top-4 defender. Cumiskey, Hunwick, and Wilson all have their problems. Shattenkirk will be really good, but he is still a rookie. Quincey is done for the season. And Sacco will not play Holøs.

So the Avs would need to trade for a big solid defender. However, Avs brass spent the offseason justifying inaction in free agency by telling fans we are in a rebuild, and that we will take our time with it. Doing it the right way and not getting ahead of ourselves. Whether this was a cover for saving money or a sincere belief (or a little of both as I believe) is up for debate, but there’s no debating that a Paul Martin or Anton Volchenkov would make our defense loads better right now. Giving away prospects (like a Stephan Elliot) and/or draft picks for a guy like Rehger undermines the message they’ve sold to the fans for two seasons now. More importantly it undermines all the moves they have done the last two seasons.

The biggest mistake the Avs can make is to try and have their cake and eat it too. Up until now the Avs success has been an added benefit. The winning was very nice, but it was nice because there was no sacrificing anything with the rebuild. Now those two roads may just end up diverging. One example of the connundrum is the Avs face is the status of their best healthy defender, John Michael Liles. He’s a UFA at season’s end. (Made a mistake here. Liles isn't a UFA until the end of next season. Mea Culpa. Still think the idea holds true. h/t to Beachie) He would almost certainly fetch a healthy return at the deadline, but losing him would also be a crushing blow to the Avs playoff chances this season. The long term loss would be minimal due to the likely rise of guys like Shattenkirk, Elliot and one of the other 900 or so offensive minded defensmen in the Avs system who are a year or two away.

The Avs have a choice, and making the right one may be difficult.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) February Thu, 03 Feb 2011 14:24:32 +0000
All Star Games Lessons Learned http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2011-articles/february/all-star-games-lessons-learned.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2011-articles/february/all-star-games-lessons-learned.html
- The NHL Draft created a ton of hype and a ton of press coverage that normally wouldn’t have happened. Next season we need to repeat what was successful in generating interest and make sure a Maple Leaf gets drafted last.
Potential Alternative: make sure A Red Wing gets drafted last.

- The breakaway competition seemed to lack luster with good goalies who were actually semi-skilled at stopping pucks, even at ½ effort. We recommend a format like Montreal in 2009 when we used local goalies who weren’t particular skilled at stopping pucks. Good thing next year is in Ottawa where there seems to be a surplus of goalies who aren’t skilled at stopping pucks.

- Choosing a captain with strong ties to the local rooting allegiances really gave the fans a rooting interest in the game, which is why next years captains should be a Maple Leaf and a Canadian.

- Our biggest fear is that one day a player will get injured participating in all star activities, and so far we’ve been lucky to avoid such a catastrophe. Still, in order to hedge our bets, David Jones should be banned from All-star games for life (not that he’d likely make many, but better safe than sorry).

- In order to get more diversity in the starters, next season instead of fans voting in the starters we’ll let TV execs do it. That way only Americans will make the all star team.

-  Next season we should add the inaccuracy shooting competition, and let Defensemen fire bombs from the point and see which piece of glass they hit. Dion Phaneuf will be an honorary participant whether he makes the game or not.

- Next season the All-star game is in Canada, where the drinking age is only 19. I see a cross promotion with another HBO 24/7 and a rookie open-bar, with guest bartender Matt Duchene.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) February Wed, 02 Feb 2011 04:56:26 +0000