I don't want to pile on the Avs for their horrible play last night (outside of Budaj, that is), but here's a list of words* that came to mind over the course of last night's game:
- ungodly, and
The long-and-short of it is this: Colorado, as a team, wasted a great performance by the one player that everybody has supposedly lost confidence in. Budaj had a 0.94 save percentage last night. Let that sink in. 0.94! And he was the second star! In Calgary!
My best theory on last night's game is this: Budaj talked about how he wanted to get 4-out-of-6 points in this road trip. I think the team was thinking that too. Only Boots didn't want to settle for 4 points, he wanted the whole grab-bag of NW goodness. But as we saw last night, everybody not wearing #31 ( and maybe #40, #8, and #37), was willing to settle for 4 points, even though similar play had netted Edmonton and Vancouver a bonus point apiece. This team appears to be lacking a killer mentality, and that starts with the coach. The TSN guys made a reference on how, with a 2-1 lead in the middle of the third period, Calgary was still running a 1-2-2 alignment and viciously forechecking. Colorado, the team down by a goal, was in a 0-0-5 system that the Flames' commenters thought was hilarious! Granato appears to have taken a page straight out of the Q playbook and try and sit on a lead sometime in the first period, and then NEVER come out of the supposed 'defensive' shell.
But you know what really pisses me off? Chicago fired Denny Savard for under-performing with a talented lineup, and many have stated that he didn't have the resume to be a NHL coach. I'd bet my life savings that Savard is more qualified to be a head coach than Granato at this point. There seems to be no system, no accountability, and no desire from any one within the organization to do anything about any of it. For once, I agree with Dater: some players need to be sent down or sat down long term and their spots need to be given to players who may not have the skills for the big show right now, but have the heart. I'm pointing at Clark, Salei, Jones, and most of all Arnason. If we're going to be mired in a long 0.500-ish season, I'd rather have guys giving 100% effort, 100% of the time than players who don't even if the net result is the same.
* And if it looks like I went to thesaurus.com and copied the synonyms for horrible, it's because I did.