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The Not-Quite-Official MHH 2008-09 Season "Platform"

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Okay, kids.  The season is getting closer.  We've now stepped into the "it doesn't seem like summer but man it's still hot out" month of September, and training camp will be upon us before we can tell the difference between Marty Sertich and  Matt Hendricks.

In preparation for the upcoming season, it's important, as a community, for us to get on the same page.  While we don't have to agree on every single little thing---that's boring---we do need to establish the general perspective from which we will view the upcoming season.  What are the "self-evident truths" (so to speak) of the Avalanche this season?  What players have to prove something to us?  What players should be given a little breathing room before we start demanding their execution?  Which teams are our biggest rivals?  What level of regular season success (or failure) is acceptable?

I'll start with some preliminary ideas and we can hammer them out in the comments.  Be sure to chime in wherever you agree or disagree.  The more voices heard, the more representative this "platform" will be.

1.  Joe Sakic is a god among men.  He can do no wrong.  If he struggles or under-performs, it's only because he's reached the twilight of a remarkable career.  Every aging player slows down a bit and scores less.  If that's how this season goes for Joe, so be it.

2. Paul Stastny is a god among men.  He can do no wrong.  If he struggles or under-performs, it's only because he's still in the dawn of a remarkable career.  Every young player hits a rough patch now and then.  If that's how this season goes for Son of Stastny, so be it.

3.  Peter Budaj has earned the role as starting goalie of the Avalanche.  He endured unfair distrust and punishment under Joel Quenneville, and patiently waited his turn while an undeserving Jose Theodore got all the playing time.  He's still young, and there will be a lot of pressure on him, but he's way better than Andrew Raycroft and should be allowed to start at least 50 games---win or lose.

4.  Anything less than 50 points from Tyler Arnason isn't going to cut it.

5.  Like it or not, Tony Granato is the coach of the Avs and deserves the benefit of the doubt, at least until the All-Star break.  If the Avs are below .500 and clearly underachieving at that point, however, we are perfectly free to call for his immediate ouster.  MHH correctly identified Joel Quenneville as the wrong coach for the Avs, so we should not hesitate to pass judgment on Granato, either.  Just wait at least 40 games or so.

6.  While the goaltending is young and relatively inexperienced, and the coaching staff is at least somewhat suspect, the offense is the weak link of the team.  Some players can be relied upon to put up good numbers, but others, like Arnason, Wolski, Svatos, and babies like Hensick, Jones and Stewart still need to prove themselves.  They need to really make a big impact for the Avs to succeed.  The rest of the forwards are bangers and agitators, and can't be expected to carry the weight.  And nobody can get injured.  Ever.

7.  We will pray for Jordan Leopold's health and wellness every night before we go to bed, because the only thing keeping him on the ice is the grace of the lord above.

8.  Detroit is still the worst of the worst when it comes to hated enemies, but until the Avalanche win a game against them, we must distract ourselves with ire toward other deserving recipients.  Namely, the Calgary Flames.  Coached by a douche, captained by a douche, and led in ice time by Phadouche, the Flames are the douchiest team that ever douched.  Their official MHH nickname is "The Flame-Outs."

9. Until we see otherwise, Peter Forsberg is as good as retired from the sport of hockey, and we will not waste time hoping desperately for his return.  Our hats will not be hung upon his presence, in other words.  If he comes back, great.  If not, we'll live.

10.  The "Powerplay Kittens" are hereby retired.  Until a definite trend of failure emerges, we will refrain from creating a meme around powerplay futility.  Tony Granato starts with a clean slate in that regard. 

11.  The official nicknames used by MHH for various Avalanche players will be as follows: Super Joe, Son of Stastny, The Duke, Smytty, Hensiiick (three i's), Boots, Footer, Leoprone, Lappy, Wheels, Lumpy Gravy and The Sheriff.  Nicknames for other players are subject to commentator discretion as long as they make sense and are easily identifiable.  Marek Svatos hasn't earned "Svats Machine" until he has another 30-goal season.

12.  The ultimate goal is the Stanley Cup, of course.  But we also recognize the reality of the situation that faces the Avalanche this season:  A new coach, a young goalie and a thin offense.  Making the playoffs and not getting swept by the Red Wings will be okay.

13.  A sense of humor will be maintained at all times.  Remember, a self-deprecating demeanor can be extremely endearing, so don't take things too seriously.  It's just hockey.  Last year we got bogged down by the bad coach and the crummy finish in the playoffs.  This year, we're going to relentlessly make fun of bad situations to the best of our abilities.  If MHH members are anything, they're good comedians, so a light-hearted approach will persevere.

14.  Joe @ MHH is the Master Debator, Supreme Overlord, and site administrator.  This is a community, but he has the final say and wields the dreaded Ban Hammer.  Cross him at your own peril.  Mike @ MHH and Draft Dodger are his loyal lieutenants and should also not be trifled with.  Keeping your comments positive, being supportive, and maintaining a level head at all times will ensure that your position as a valued MHH contributor is never at risk.

 

Please feel free to suggest additional items to add to the list.  Also suggest amendments, subtractions or alternative versions to any of the above numbered items.  Except for number 14.  That one is not subject to debate.