Friday, March 18, 2011

All Things Avs blog: grab bag

Here are a couple quick reviews of some recent blog posts.Nothing here requiring individual reviews for each, so I hope you don't mind me grouping them all together. If you do mind, go ahead and start a "Grading Grading Dater" blog, and let me have it!

In this blog entry, Adrian Dater offers a potpourri of Avalanche and NHL tidbits. Of note is an example of something Dater says that I totally agree with:

There are also the latest man-game injury stats in there, and how they compare to last year and a previous Avs season which currently stands as the record for most man-games lost. (I don’t like the term ‘man-games lost’ by the way. Sounds strange).

"Man-games lost" is just a weird thing to say, so I'm with Dater all the way on this. Can't they just say "games lost to injury?" No, they have to call it a man-game, which just sounds odd. "Man-games" sounds like some sort of Gay Olympics... but I'm sure the Gay Olympics would think of something better than "Man Games," because they just seem like they'd be pretty creative like that.

This blog is basically just Dater touching base on a number of different items, none of them Earth-shattering. This is just what a blog like this should be used for: small items nowhere near important enough to warrant an entire article, but still of interest to Avalanche fans.

My only issue is when Dater starts writing about the Chara/Pacioretty hit again. He tries to put himself in good company by writing:

The hit on Max Pacioretty was overwhelmingly seen by the objective hockey analyst as an unfortunate but all too possible result of a hockey hit.

First of all, Dater wouldn't know an objective hockey analyst if he tripped over one on the way to the bathroom, and so his attempt to include himself in that category simply because he shares their opinion is laughable. Second, although I have indeed read many hockey writers who have said exactly what Dater says, I have heard and read an equal share of opinions by those who know the game who have said that Chara's hit was not clean, and should have received a suspension. I suppose that support for your opinion may seem "overwhelming" when you ignore and dismiss everything that you don't agree with, but the response to this incident seems pretty evenly spread out to me.

Yes, an injury like Pacioretty's is possible in hockey, but that doesn't mean hockey fans should just shrug every time something like this happens. The game can be made safer... simply blowing it off as a natural occurrence of the game, as Dater is again trying to do here, is no way to address the problem. The fact that Chara is not a dirty player does not mean that this was not a dirty hit. It should have been punished as one.


In this blog, Dater asks his reader which Swedish player the Avalanche should take with their presumably high draft pick. There's almost nothing to this blog, just a video of each player. The only issue here is that Dater makes it seem as if these two are the consensus 1-2 picks, and that's just not the case. If Dater wants to entertain discussion on the upcoming draft, then why focus on only two players? Yeah, either of those guys would be a nice pick for the Avs, but there are plenty of other players that are in the top-five discussion, too. Odd that Dater focuses on just the two Swedes... perhaps he's still longing for Forsberg?

I personally think that the Avs should pick Larsson, should he be available. Nugent-Hopkins (currently ranked as the top pick by ISS) appears to be a very promising player, but the Avs have plenty of talent at center, both at the NHL level and in the minors. Landeskog looks good as far as character goes, and the Avs could use some size at wing with Stewart now gone, but it remains to be seen whether his talent will translate to the NHL... he's got a lot of potential, but he's not exactly tearing up the OHL. Larsson is what the Avs need: big, fast, defense, and probably ready to join the NHL right now. Erik Johnson gives them a great young player like that, but the only thing better than one big, fast defenseman is two big, fast defensemen.

Dater's defense to criticism here is that he doesn't offer his opinion, he just asks the question... but that's also the criticism. The fact that Dater skips the #1 ranked player completely, and focuses on these two makes me wonder if he's just doing his "I overheard somebody say these names and figured I should blog about them" thing.


In this blog entry, Dater announces that Adam Foote, having apparently accepted a coaching position next season, is almost certain to retire. In other news, Brad Pitt is handsome and there are no penguins at the North Pole. The only surprise would be if Foote didn't retire at the end of this season... I think even his biggest fans would admit that his last season has been one season too many.

I'm a fan of Adam Foote. He's no Hall of Famer in my book, but I like the way he plays: solid, stay-at-home defense with a bit of a mean streak; sticks up for everybody, leaves his heart out there. One of the best moments in recent memory for the Avs was him coming out of the tunnel in the middle of his first game back with Colorado, just plopping on the bench ready to play. But he was a poor choice to be captain, and he hung on one year too long... on a team full of mediocre defensemen, he's stood out as particulary mediocre. Hate to seem him go out like this, but it's time.

Foote hates adam's apples.
With Foote's apparent retirement apparently right around the corner, this blog deals with the question of who will be the next captain of the Avalanche. I happen to believe that way too much is made of who wears the "C" in hockey... it's just the guy who can talk to the ref. It's really not that big a deal. Dater lists a few alternatives, and gives his percentage odds of each becoming captain, reiterating his recently-stated belief that John Michael Liles will be the next Avalanche player to wear the "C."

I just don't see this happening... Liles has been dangled as tradebait for the last three seasons, he's rarely (if ever) even been given the "A," and I don't see the Avs doing an about-face and handing him the captaincy for this team. Dater's reasoning? "He cares." Oh, he cares! That sets him apart, doesn't it? So Liles has a clear advantage over... Tyler Arnason, then. Terrific.

Dater does do something rather remarkable along the way, however: he admits that he's biased because Liles is "accountable the media." I suppose if NHL teams based their captains on how they interacted with pessimistic, grumpy, insomniac media guys, this would count for something. But they don't, so it doesn't

If Hejduk wanted it, the "C" would be his, but I do agree with AD in guessing that Milan really isn't interested in being a captain. Just doesn't seem like his style. That brings it down to two guys, in my view: Stastny or Duchene. Stastny is the obvious choice (although Dater prefers "more of a vocal guy as a captain"... guess that would have ruled out Quoteless Joe as good captain material, huh?), with Duchene a bit behind. I think the Avs will go the way many teams seem to be going, and give the C to the guy they intend to build their team around for the next decade: and that's Duchene.

This entry attempts to answer a question that really doesn't matter, and Dater gives what I consider a very odd answer in Liles. But I'm not going to mark Dater down just for disagreeing with me... I only mark him down a bit for his "I prefer vocal captains" pronouncement, and for leaving Ryan O'Reilly completely out of the mix.


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