Thursday, October 9, 2008


Straight off the couch it’s the DNP with Game One of the new Avalanche season!

I'm excited! The new season means one thing above all else: we get to make fun of guys on skates with mullets again. Ahhh, I missed hockey.

So without further adieu…

6:30 left in the 1st Period- I’m finally cutting in to the game after what seems like hours of arguing with the help at Cox cable. Seems Center Ice doesn’t cover games shown on Versus. I did not know this. So for five more dollars a month, I now have permission from the cable people to watch the Avalanche on m’teevee! Lo, the price one must pay to pay attention to ice hockey while living in the middle of a desert. I’m…not smart.

5:08- Wolski goal! Is this the start of a career for Dub Dub? From the looks of it the kid gained no weight. This isn’t a good sign but what do I know, I live in my Mom’s basement.

3:50- Love the announcers on this game. “Tony Granato is much more confident this time as coach…”

We are in good hands. Coach is confident this time. I’m reassured.

Mike Richter and Bryan Leetch are at the Can for the big start of the new season. Is there any way the Avs can talk Leetchie into moonlighting? These are tough times. Dude might need the money! Someone should ask him.

2:52- Scott Hannan goes back for the puck. He did a lot of that last season. I have to wonder what is less fun for a defenseman- Going back for the puck? What about getting hit by the puck? Ooh...or how about almost never scoring?

Actually, outside of hitting, what is really that much fun about being a defenseman?

1:50- The Avs are having issues clearing the puck, and I just noticed that Smitty’s mullet has been trimmed. I’m becoming legitimately concerned about the team.

The first intermission interview of the new year is with Captain Joe who somehow manages to express that he likes the Avs depth this season. As always I feel that Joe did a good job on that interview. I mean, there were parts where he could have improved, but really he’s just taking it one interview at a time, while hoping for the best.

I missed Joe.

This just in! Robbie Luongo was named captain of the Canucks earlier. I thought naming your goalie captain wasn’t allowed in hockey, but now that I think about it, who else is going to be the captain of that squad?

18:00 left in the 2nd- The Avs jump out with better D and kill off a penalty. This kill is special because it involves Joe Sakic back checking at the age of 39. I’m not even sure how to describe that sight now that I know that once your body gets much past the age of 32, sneezing wrong can cause you to throw out your back.

14:27 - Two interesting things just happened. Ruslan Salei brought out the boomstick on a nasty slapper from the point, and Scott Thornton cleaned out Darcy Tucker.

I’m okay with both of these things.

14:40- Krejci and Lucic. One is Canadian. One is a Czech. I’ll let you decide.

13:26- Nothing big from Joe Sakic, ladies and gentlemen. Remain calm. The man only stole the puck from two defenders, snapped off a rope, and left the cleanup for Cody McCloud. No biggie.

12:45- Interesting news here: Brett Clark changed sides so he could play with Adam Foote. Methinks this may cause problems for the defense.

11:31- Darcy Tucker gets pinched out of the play after beating his man to the puck.

(I have nothing here other than I just wrote the above so I don’t have to type it again in the future. I can cut and paste. It is more efficient. This team will score, oh yes. But their physical guys have to actually control the puck when they are being physical. Let’s move into the 3rd period before I get more aggravated)

14:24- Michael “Knight” Ryder with the score. Can someone explain to me why the producers of Knight Rider decided to stick a fin and ventilation pipes on the Shelby? It looks like a remote controlled car that would sell at Wal Mart. I’m bummed.

9:43- Score! Jordan Leopold to tie it up at four. He somehow managed to get the puck to the back of the net without giving himself a hernia. I think we all win on this one.

The media circus stops for a moment to interview Natalie and Don Granato, Cammi’s parents. I gotta say it, they are exactly what I envisioned the leaders of the Granato clan to be: Nice, courteous, and worn the hell out from years of driving kids to practice at 5am.

7:30 to 4:00- Grind time. This game has all the makings of an overtimer. Which would mean that there is the potential Keith Jones may refer to it as a "tilt" during the next break.

3:20- Svatos between the circles? No!

Here’s a terrifying fantasy pairing: Marek Svatos and Tyler Arnason. Watch it Edmonton! Are you seeing this?! Fear the Avalanche! Fear them!

2:36- Krejci. Score. Something tells me he has the potential to be one of the best players in hockey and not even his own coach will have confidence when trying to pronounce his name.

“Um. Krererrrejjjji-seee. KarIRRRidge-essessssEEE. Um. David did great tonight.”

1:41- The Avalanche go on the PP right at the end of the game. Now THIS is worth the price of a ticket in a bad economy.

It’s go time. Shot. Shot. Shot annnddd….

3 seconds left- NO! Captain Joe gets stopped on a snapper up close! GAAHHH!!!!

Game over.

Okay I admit it, this might be another frustrating season, but if the Avs keep up the tempo it might not be lame.

Good times.

I’m going to bed.

The Season Opens Tonight on Versus!

Your Colorado Avalanche open the season tonight on Versus against the Boston Bruins for what should be an exciting start to the season for two teams which are already struggling to make the playoffs.

The Avalanche feature a (finally) healthy team led by the returning Joe Sakic, who apparently figured out over the summer that he wouldn't know what to do for eight months of the year without hockey. (Denny's gets pretty boring if you try and hang out there for longer than two hours. They won't even keep filling your coffee if they figure out that you have nothing else to do. It's soooo totally lame!)

Captain Joe needs a mere 28 assists to pass Mario Lemieux on the all-time assists list. Say that five times fast...assist list...assist list...

On the other bench will sit the Boston Bruins, who have plenty of time to pay attention to hockey now that it is clear the Patriots stink (yes!). Terry O'Reilly retired years ago so the Bruins will look elsewhere for a man willing to fight the newly minted antagonization combo of Darcy Tucker and Ian Laperierre.

Zdeno Chara is about seven feet tall on skates, and for some reason opposing players have yet to figure out how to trip him out of the rink. But you know it could happen, that's why we watch.

I'll roll out my commentary after the game, since I lack the ability to type fast enough to keep up with the fastest game on Earth. So join me then as I explore new ways to make fun of our favorite sport.

The Colorado Avalanche tonight on Versus- They show hockey there. No really.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Knight Rambler

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

So what to write after what seemed like the longest offseason in the history of the Avalanche?

No Cup. No electrifying new players. Nothing but the lingering effects of being unceremoniously dumped in the second round by a juggernaut. Hooray. I've gone through five versions of what is supposed to be my grand 2008-2009 version of the DNP and I keep returning to one conclusion: I'm not excited at all by this year's edition of the Colorado Avalanche.

What is there to cheer for outside of an encore performance by Captain Joe?

Let's ring off the Avs hot summer signings!

-Darcy Tucker. Really? The last time I checked it took Mats Sundin in his prime to lift Tucker to a level where many hockey fans genuinely dislike him. Was keeping Andrew Brunette around going to be that difficult?

-Andrew Raycroft. Okay? Should the Avs coaching staff be preparing to scout around for another goalie if Jeff Hackett coaches the former Calder winner back into form, and he leaves for more money? Or is he going to simply end up as the backup to a guy who should be a backup- Peter Budaj?

Or should they just play Jeff Hackett? Hmm...

-Per Ledin. Do you apply this before or after swimming and does it leave any unsightly discoloration?

Recently Chris Stewart was cut from the squad. I seem to remember campaigning for him amongst friends last season, only to be baffled once again by his inability to make it through a training camp. Stewart is in his early 20's so there is still hope, but really, shouldn't a guy chosen in the first round have enough talent to at least scrape his way onto the 4th line?

Joe is a year older.
Hejduk is always sore.
Svatos is half robot.
Wolski is well...Wolski.

This is why every time I try and talk about the Avalanche I end up disgusted and wanting to walk down the street slapping people like Bernie Mac in "Head of State"! I don't want another season of hoping Ryan Smyth can knock out 55 games.

Maybe T.J. Hensick will rise up and stun hockey...and maybe he'll find a way to eat himself heavier than 93 pounds...

There are rebuilding years, which happen out of nowhere because of bad circumstances. There are rebuilding years which are somewhat predictable because change is necessary.

And then there are the Avalanche this and last season, who were and will seem to be the only team simultaneously rebuilding while trying to win the Cup. It is an ambitious, bipolar policy which will continue even after Peter Forsberg laces 'em up around mid-December, gets injured in practice, and kills 4 million dollars in cap room while nailing down 17 games on the season.

For me that doesn't promise much excitement at all...

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.