Monday, April 23, 2018

Until We Meet Again

Five thoughts on Game Six

1. I get how Peter McNabb spent years in the bigs getting hit about the face and neck and he’s no spring chicken anymore but can we get the beauty department to ease up on the makeup? Ironsides was done up like he was ready to head to Boulder and cougar a sorority. 

2. The biggest difference in the game tonight? The Avs shot from the outside and the Predators got to the net. The Predators successfully clogged the high slot and outworked in the corners. Rinne wasn’t really challenged until the game was out of hand. Unfortunately there aren’t three pointers in hockey.  Although...hmmmm. 

3. The other difference? The hitting. The Avs and Predators combined for more hits in the first period than there were in all of game five.  I don’t think this was a good look for the Avs. Yeah, they brought the wood but that’s what works for the Predators. They want to get dirty. The Avalanche needed to run around the Preds, not hit them. 

4. It didn’t take long for the wheels to come off of Hammond, did it? The defense had a bad night and Hammond’s last game was spectacular but he used up all of his turbos. 

Next year the Avs have an irritating goalie problem that I feel was compounded when Calvin Pickard was left unprotected in favor of protecting Rocco Grimaldi from Vegas. 

Varlamov, who probably pulled a groin this morning reaching for the cereal, has one more year left on his $5.9 million contract. Bernier is a career backup and Hammond is 30. Outside of that they don’t have any outstanding prospects at the position. None of that makes me feel good. Had the Avs given Pickard a chance I don’t think they would be staring down the barrel of another Varlamov contract.

5. The Avs showed a lot of guts, chemistry, and skill in hanging with the Predators like they did. They weren’t supposed to make the playoffs much less push Nashville to six games. The experience they got will pay off in the future. 

The Avs need to continue to develop their second and third lines. Nemeth was a beast during this series and gives the Avs a rock to build on in their defensive forward corps. Kerfoot and Jost will continue to develop and Compher showed a lot of promise. I’m excited to see Makar and Timmons in a couple of years and what becomes of what I think will be a stout and dangerous defense. 

After much maligning I think Joe Sakic deserves credit for what he did this year. He turned Matt Duchene into Sam Girard, Hammond, and a lot of potential.  He seems to have finally learned the position. He’ll make mistakes, everybody does, but Joe made a lot of good decisions and keeps on learning. It’s about time. 

It’s been fun writing the Dog and Pony Show this series. It was like putting on a very old, smelly pair of jeans that everybody forgot about. 

Until next time, gang!

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