Hello! I'm sure that all of you who live and die by every word of this blog are already well aware, it's been a while since we've added anything to Grading Dater. I wish we could say that this is because the Avalanche newspaper coverage has been excellent and beyond reproach, but the fact of the matter is that I've just been a bit lazy. Watching hockey has been knocked down a few rungs on life's priority ladder of late, which means that reading about hockey is a step or two beneath that, meaning that complaining about reading about hockey has been an even lower priority.
This is not to say, however, that the Denver Post's Avalanche coverage has been all bad and we've simply ignored it. For the most part, it's been tolerable, and often very good. Dater has done a fairly good job lately keeping his player biases quiet and his opinions in the background (even on the blog), and has produced some well-done pieces and game writeups. Although we still get the occasional "the season depends on these next two games" sort of melodramatics, the Dater Downer persona has faded away a bit, in favor of a somewhat more objective viewpoint. Also rarely seen of late is the self-important Dater who that he feels it's his duty to rip the Avs every once in a while, and then pats himself on the back when he refrains from ripping on the Avs. Sure, I've read an article or blog and rolled my eyes a bit, but nothing much lately to really embody the big issues with the Post's coverage and get me to the keyboard with my dander up.
Mike Chambers continues to be a significant improvement over his colleague, both in apparent understanding and comfort with the game, as well as (his evident man-crush on Ryan Wilson notwithstanding) his overall ability to remove himself from his coverage. As Chambers has seemed lately to be taking more of an even workload with Dater (let's not say that Dater's lost the starting job, we'll call it a 1A/1B "platoon" situation), I've had less and less to write about. You may be surprised, then, to find that the thing that reactivates Grading Dater is not actually written by Dater, but by Chambers.