In this blog entry, Dater presents his recap of the day's events. Only two things really happened today: Peter Forsberg did not show up to play hockey, and the Colorado Avalanche did not show up to play hockey. So really, it was a pretty uneventful day when you think about it.
Dater starts with another "Look, I don't usually (blank), but..." intro, and considering that this entry is gloomily subtitled "The Darkest Day in Avalanche History," it looks like it's going to be a solid "F" from the get-go. The second paragraph begins with Dater describing the day as a "disaster in Colorado Avalanche history." I know he's feeling the pain today, but a disaster would be the team plane hitting the side of a mountain (presumably, one that does not resemble a hockey goal). An aging player who can't skate announcing his retirement is NOT a disaster, and a 9-1 butt-kicking is just that, a butt-kicking. So I would have backed off a bit on the "disaster" description, and maybe just have said that the day did not go exactly as planned.
Dater moves on to question whether Sacco will keep his job, and to wonder what other changes might take place before the Feb. 28 trading deadline. I know it's just a quick thing here, but this is a big part of what bothers me about Dater's blog: once again, he's thinking (and writing) like a fan, and not a reporter. He's treading very close to a conflict of interest here... as soon as he says "Sacco should be fired," he pretty much loses his ability (if not the right) to cover Sacco or the team objectively. Of course, many fans are wondering themselves if Sacco will/should keep his job, and they are wondering what the Avs will do to address their losing streak... but Dater's personal musings on the matter should remain personal. At least, though, he doesn't try to answer these questions here, he simply asks them.
He does include some insight from Peter McNab about the team's current struggles, and McNab's assessment is a good one. He says, essentially, that a team needs to lose like this to learn how to win, and I couldn't agree more. To this point in the season, I think the Avs have skated hard and are trying their best, for the most part, and that's a good sign. This losing streak hasn't been a product of any lack of effort, but rather a dearth of talent and experience. I'm going to go ahead and write off the Calgary game as the result of the month-long Forsberg distraction coming to its inevitable conclusion, and hopefully they continue to play hard, even if the wins remain difficult to come by.
Dater closes with a teary good-bye to Forsberg, saying he was honored to cover him and to shake his hand, and telling him he was the best player he ever saw. It's pretty clear that's not really an objective statement by any stretch of the imagination, but I suppose it's probably OK for a reporter to say something like that after a guy's already retired. I'm going to have to think about that for a bit.
Grade: C- It starts off just awful, really, with Dater not even remotely interested in acting like anything other than an Avalanche fan, throwing in some impressive hyperbole and some truly high-end Feeling Sorry For Ourselves. Adding the insight from McNab, and a good-bye to Forsberg that comes close to being authentically touching, pulls it up from a low D.