Anderson, Stewart and Shattenkirk have been traded for Johnson, McClement and a plywood goalie. Certainly, I was shocked as I thought Stewart and Shattenkirk were integral pieces of the Avs jigsaw. Agreed, it had been a long time since Stewy earned his GD tag, but he was just coming off injury and getting up to speed. Shatty had been playing okay, I thought, but it is hard to tell with the Avs playing like a cesspit of suck.
However, even after a few days of calming thoughts and reading reasoned arguments to and from, something is still sticking in my craw and I think it's time to get it out.
Here's what we know: Offered a 7.5mil 2 yr contract in the offseason. Nearly doubled his wage packet. Not a bad return for half a good season and a great playoff performance (in the 1st round). His play after the Olympic break was not so good and that probably impacted on the contract amount.
What I suspect: He threw his toys out of his pram and played like he didn't care. Sssh Dater, I'll get to you in a minute. I don't care what anyone says, only 7% of all communication is verbal. He did not look the same player this season. He gave up a lot of soft goals and in contrast, he didn't seem upset about it at all. He didn't have the snap, the swagger or even the lateral movement of last season. I remember watching several games where he had just made a save and the rebound comes out miles and he is still down and looking lackadaisical. I'm shouting "GET UP ANDY" and he seemed apathetic.
Yes, he has had several 30 and 40 save nights this season, and even during games, he occasionally seemed like the old Andy, but this season, when did he ever rally the players, bark instructions to his D and play like he truly gave a fuck?
Were his injuries more severe than first thought? Was he playing injured? Simple - don't fucking play, then. If you are a liability, you should have the balls and say, you don't feel right and don't come back until you do. This applies to a goalie much more because if any other player makes a mistake, normally, it doesn't cost a goal. If you are a goalie, you have zero margin for error.
Either way, his injury (if applicable) certainly didn't hinder him in his first Sens game.
Here's what we know: Top power forward and major grit for the Avs. Broke his hand in a fight (shit happens, tell Iginla not to fight), slowly coming back to form. Benched several times by Sacco, in addition to being demoted to AHL last season.
What I think: The adage goes that you can't sack the dressing room, but you can sack the coach. Sacco seems to be trying to change that, by shipping out his malcontents. It seems to be that the dressing room is toxic right now and no one is pulling in the same direction, but as everyone knows, we don't know that for sure. Perhaps they all enjoy a quick game of Monopoly before a match.
However, he has made some thinly-veiled digs at the fans that loved him.
“That was great. That was probably the best crowd I’ve ever been in front of. It’s going to be easy to play here if the fans are like that every night.
Now, I know that hockey players on a new team say stuff like: "the fans here are really great, blah blah" but Is it fair to the old team's fans to say "That was probably the BEST crowd I've ever been in front of."
I'm sorry, but as a paid up member of the CGDS fan club here on MHH, I think that he is doing a disservice to the Colorado fans. He surfs the internet and I bet he googles himself to see what we say here.
when things aren’t going your way, you just do what I did tonight, simplify my game, go hard to the net and good things happen
Shame you only remembered that after you left the team eh, Stewy?
What we know: Shatty says the same thing as Stewy about the crowds:
Chris and I haven’t seen a crowd like that in a while. To know that you have such great support here .....
It’s refreshing for us
and on the players:
There’s obviously a lot of talented players here and it’s pretty refreshing to play with such great guys and great talent.”
Are you suitably refreshed to play with great talent and great fans?
People have been so high on Shatty for a while, it was people on MHH that got me excited about seeing this kid play and creating a buzz about him.
What we know: In the Anderson trade, he had this to say about the fans and Andy:
Moreover, I can’t believe so many Avs fans who threw him under the bus so quickly. So many fans seem to think he “quit” on the team this year. Does anybody have any evidence of that? I sure can’t find any. A lot of people seem to think he had bad “body language” in games this year. Yeah, maybe at times he did, but does that mean he quit on the team? I don’t think he did. And how is a guy supposed look, especially on a night like last Monday, when Calgary was just waltzing into the zone all night, doing anything it wanted? Was Anderson supposed to look happy about that?
Threw Andy under a bus? Really? No one was being anything other than supportive, even with his personal leave, the overarching emotion was "Andy, we hope you sort your problems out and come back to us." Was that throwing under the bus? Trade talk was only going on when it became apparent that he wasn't even trying. For proof of that, look at how he was at his first Senators game. Now that is trying. So don't piss on my back and tell me it's raining.
Was Anderson supposed to look happy about Calgary waltzing around? I don't give a flying fetus. IT'S HIS FUCKING JOB. Do you think that people in a combat zone are happy that the Taliban are waltzing around? Do they spit their pacifiers out? They man up and do the job. Something Andy has been woeful at this season.
What we know: Oh too much about the random benchings, demotions, etc etc. He does not appear to have a working system in place and his tactics do not appear to change.
What I think: Firm but fair is the ideal disciplinary stance. If you are too firm and not fair, resentment breeds. If you are too fair, but not firm, contempt and complacency breeds. I think he is unbalanced in his disciplinary outlook. I couldn't tell you why, but Holos couldn't get a startup, yet Hunwick who played awfully to start with was given every opportunity. Benching JM Liles, who seems to be one of the hardest working players out there doesn't make sense.
I think it is telling that Shattenkirk talks repeatedly of being refreshed. Maybe the atmosphere at the Avs locker room is just too thick, too oppressive and maybe Sacco needs to back off a little and just relax the players somewhat.
Tactically, I can't understand why he continues to make the same mistakes. I do not understand the bias towards a system that doesn't suit the players (dump and chase, except the players lose the puck when they get muscled off it, constant passing in the offensive zone until a poke check sends the puck out, normally for a breakaway and goal).
If I can see it, then so can coaches. It hasn't taken them long to come up with countering strategies. I heard a coach even say "Colorado always play north to south, so we play east to west blah blah blah" I could be wrong, but I thought it was Mike Babcock.
Sacco has done great things with a non-existant budget, AHL players and youths, but he really needs to change things around. A coaching change (not Roy) would be advantageous, maybe for the season after next.
Sorry for the long post and if you stayed this long, thanks!