What can the Avs do to get back on track?
Sorry I haven't posted in a while, with the holiday season, things seem to get a little bit hectic around here and they don't allow a lot of time to blog. Also with the way this team has been playing, I might have wrote something pretty bad.
Well as an Avs fan right now, I have to say I am some what embarrased right now. The team is on another slump, and minus a five game winning streak a few weeks ago, is in a major slump. The team has gone 2-7 since their 5 game win streak and gotten a total of 6 points out of a possible 18. And the team was one wide open net and a last second goal away from losing three points. In the overtime win against Buffalo, in the dying seconds Buffalo had a wide open net and their own player blocked the winning goal from going in. While in Saturday's overtime loss to New York, the team tied it up with only 4 seconds remaining. The team is just not on track and they are not playing their style of hockey. The lowest point recently was their 2-0 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. All I can say is coach Joe Sacco needs to find a way to light a fire under these guys before it is too late!
But is it too late already? The answer is not if the team can turn it around right now! The team plays the Red Wings tonight at Pepsi Center with the hope of breaking out of this slump. This team is missing the jump in their step that they have had during their best games, and the defense is playing horrible right now. A lot of people are putting the blame on goaltenders right now, and I feel this is just stupidity coming from Avs fans. Ever since Roy retired, the goaltenders have taken all of the blame for lousy play by the team. When honestly, no one is going to replace Roy, and therefore no goalie on this team is going to live up to the standards of Patrick Roy. Anderson had such an incredible season last year, that him playing anywhere near average is an automatic call for him to be traded. I say that that is rediculous. Anderson played a whole season with terrible defense and he was able to carry the team to a near first round upset of the number one Sharks. It is no wonder that the magic has somewhat finally worn off and he is looking human again. That is no reason to shelve the blame on him entirely.
The defense was terrible last year, and it is no different this year. Some thought we would get addition from sabtraction when we got rid of Brett Clark, but leave it up to another player currently on the roster to step into the role of terrible player. It seems every night, the Avs have at least two defensemen that decide they don't want to show up. For a while it was Wilson, then Quincy, and now it's Hunwick. The team never gets consistency from its defensive players. Add on top of that some questionable decisions from Sacco, the biggest being the benching of Jonas Holos, and you have a terrible back line for the Avs. Good news is Holos will have another chance to get back at Sacco tonight since he will be replacing the injured Kevin Shattenkirk. No worries for Shattenkirk though as its only a bruise and should be back shortly.
As for what this team could do to right the ship before it sinks, I feel that the team needs to trade for a big defensive defensmen. Right now as it stands, when Kyle Cumiskey returns from injury, the avs will have a total of 4 puck moving defensemen (Liles, Hunwick, Cumiskey, and Shattenkirk). This is probably the biggest reason the defense is playing so bad, they don't have enough guys that are just there to shut down the other team. Ryan O'Byrne was a great pickup for the team, now they need to go after at least one more guy like him. I feel like a player like Kaberle or someone like him would be perfect for the Avs, and I hope that they make a move soon. The loss of Kyle Quincy is magnifying this problem even more.
Let's see if the Avs can jump out of this slump with a big win over rival Detroit tonight, or if I will be a very unhappy bloger come tomorrow!