Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Punk In Drublic

I know, I know. I promised an in-game blog last night and one didn’t show up. Sorry about that. Fortunately I did manage to remember most of the game from the seats that my friend Bob landed, which were five rows up on the opposing side of the ice across from the Wild bench.

Again, I apologize.

If you looked closely at the left side of the tee-vee screen I could be seen on many occasions taunting the Wild. It was fun. I think I somehow managed to get under the skin of Stephane Veilleux...who I guess doesn't like it when I would point at him as if to say "You're next, Frenchy!" Kim Johnsson doesn't like it either. Sorry about that. Freaking out Swedes is a hobby of mine.

A team that should also be apologizing today is the Colorado Avalanche for otherwise tainting what could have been the best NHL experience of my life. Well, the Avs and the guys in Armani suits who sat behind us and seemed to take issue with the fact that we were shouting the entire game…because you know, people do that sporting events. Thanks for making it out of the office to look at the hockey match, guys!

For the third game in a row the Avalanche held a lead only to give it up, then tie the game, force it into overtime, and for the second time, lose. Awesome.

No really, my head feels like it was kicked a few times after yelling things like “Derrick Boogaard eats children!” So thanks to players like Tyler Arnason and Paul Stastny for once again doing nothing outside of skating around the ice. I was fired up, maybe Peter Forsberg needed to be as excited as I was…

This is getting old.

What is wrong with the Avalanche? Why must a Colorado team with superior talent once again allow themselves to be dragged into muck and grind hockey?

Certainly there were good moments to come out of last night’s contest in which Jacques Lemaire got away with wearing a suit from the Herb Brooks mid-80’s collection. Joe Sakic once again did all he could to keep his team in the game, scoring the tying goal. Jose Theodore make a couple of critical saves on odd man rushes in overtime…before Jeff Finger skated to the wrong side of the cage on what would have been an icing call that instead turned into the game winning goal.

But I don’t get it. This team spent an entire season missing passes, going the wrong direction on breakouts, looking confused in their own zone, while at the same time boasting a great corps of talent.

Even when it seemed like the referees were going to help out the Avs the team almost refused to make smart plays. (On one faceoff the referee actually WINKED at us as if to give us the indication that he was going to slant the drop of the puck…but fortunately Paul Stastny couldn’t manage to dig that gem out. Neat.) Instead of out-skating a team that was obviously playing a conservative road game, the Avalanche skated right into their trap. At times they had the flow and cohesiveness of a lunchtime drop in hockey group at the local rink. That isn’t good.

What is it going to take to get this team to even throw the puck at the net and take advantage of bad bounces? This kind of pretty-all-the-time hockey has been going on for over a decade and it needs to stop.

If this Avalanche team is going to make any sort of Cup run and defeat an under-talented and injured Minnesota squad they must gel and gel now. They have to get mean. They must sacrifice. They must push back when they are pushed, and when necessary resort to junk hockey. Because that is what every other opponent since the inception of the Colorado Avalanche has played. Enough is enough.

Otherwise, don’t be surprised if guys like Joe Sakic decide to ride off into the sunset after the team draws the curtain on yet another season in which they underachieved.


Dario said...

Keep up the good work on the blog Aaron. I really enjoy your stuff. I can't wait until I see your comments on this last game and your favorite Frenchy, Veilleux.

Aaron D'Albey said...

Seriously, after last night Frenchy will probably want to stay in his hotel room the next time he comes to Denver. It isn't a threat, it is more of a public service announcement.