Hello everyone! Ryan here again, I apologize for my silence, work has been insanely busy and I found out that my wife and I are expecting! I have been watching (and loving) the Avs play since the trade deadline.
Of all the lessons I have learned from this season it is this: Keep Coach Joe Sacco. At first I was extremely critical of him; I NEVER liked him as a player and I was starting to despise him as a coach. Especially, with the way the Avs plummeted in the first half of the season I feared that we were about to hand the Washington Capitals a lottery pick. But after seeing the way the team played after the trade deadline I have shifted the blame from Sacco to individual players. Sacco has done a great job for what he has been given (youngest team in the league, lowest payroll). I believe that once the CBA is figured out the Avalanche will come out stronger than most teams.
When Sacco first benched Matt Duchene I was extremely upset to say the least; but with Duchene’s latest benching I no longer see it as a Sacco problem, I see it as a Matt Duchene problem; A problem that Matt Duchene better fix and quick, because this team is slowly moving from being built around him to being built around Landeskog and O’Reilly. When Sacco left Quincey out of the lineup even after he recovered from his injury I was also very upset at Sacco; but after trading Quincey and acquiring Steve Downie I have seen that once again the team had a Kyle Quincey problem and not a Joe Sacco problem. Same goes for Chris Stewart, Brandon Yip and TJ Galiardi; I do not blame the Avs for dumping these players as it was clear that they were not right for this team. It seems that players who are self motivators flourish in Sacco’s locker room, and others who seem to be coach or performance motivated seem to flounder.
Joe Sacco has made some controversial decisions that have sometimes resulted in the ire of fans like me; but at the end of the day I can now say that the evidence is clear that Joe Sacco is a good coach for this team and I trust his judgment. At least Sacco makes the tough decisions that other coaches would be afraid to make, and he is not afraid to stand by his decisions and I admire that.
So I ask Avalanche management to please keep Joe Sacco; and please fix Matt Duchene before it is too late.