The Avalanche have, by all accounts, an enviable depth of legitimate goal-scorers on the roster. They have the personnel to roll three scoring lines, with the third likely to be one of the best thirds in, as a minimum, the Western Conference . Even though the fourth line brings much needed grit, it still generates plenty of chances. The defensive corps is heavy with offensively-gifted blueliners, with even more recent draftees with similar skill-sets in the developmental system. Taking that kind of macroscopic, big-picture kind of view into consideration, I find myself asking the following question: Is Quenneville the right kind of coach for that kind of team?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Coach Q renowned for his defensive systems and considerations? What about the current Avs roster (heck, what about the Avs roster since the Lockout), suggests that this team has the personnel and experience to win with a defense-first approach? Not much, in my opinion. Maybe I’m wrong, but I really think that Quenneville was the sentimental choice for head coach and might not be suited for a team with the makeup of the 2007-2008 Colorado Avalanche.
I’ve watched the Avs forwards peel off from applying pressure in the offensive zone to assume defensive stands milliseconds after a turnover next to the opposing goalie, I’ve seen the entire team play dump-and-don’t-chase with a one-goal lead, and I’ve seen too many comfortable leads slip away in the late stages of games for me to wonder if the style of play/system/scheme that is being employed is the right one for the current crop of players. Is a defensive mindset being rammed down the throat of the players to the detriment of their potential? Wouldn’t a more open, run-and-gun, take-your-shots-and-hustle style of play allow the team to dominate more frequently? Sure we’d still see the occasional stinker of a game like the nightmares in Dallas and Columbus, or the shoot-the-lights-out insanity of the last Blues game, but I’d much rather see this team do what it does well (score goals) on a regular basis instead of waiting for them to luck into a decent defensive night and eek out a one-goal win. Or even worse, squander a good performance by the top lines by taking their foot off the gas when the game is still in doubt because they don't have the manpower or skills to play the system Coach Q wants them to utilize.
Maybe I’m crazy, and if so, tell me why or why not. I’m interested to see if I’m the only one seeing this or if Avs-nation is collectively starting to wonder if somebody else behind the bench would be able to get this team to reach its potential on a nightly basis, and not just after horrendous losses.