Thursday, January 31, 2013

Avs lose, O'Reilly celebrates?

Hello! Today Grading Dater will take a look at a recent game review from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.

Colorado Avalanche loses 4-1 to Edmonton after giving up four power-play goals

This article is a bit of a hybrid: one-half basic and decent recap of the game, and one-half commentary on the Ryan O'Reilly situation. The recap part of the article is fine: quotes from players and Sacco, critical of the Avs as a team where they were soft (special teams), mention of how Landeskog's absence isn't helping, and an acknowledgement that the Oilers are a very tough team right now. The only real beef with the recap side of this article is that Dater calls out Stastny in particular, only later mentioning that his linemates have also been ineffective. Yeah, Stastny being the highest-paid player makes him a target for such criticism, but Stastny has always been a guy who looks great when his line is clicking but never really carries anybody on his back. Calling out "the Stastny line" is probably more constructive and accurate than singling out Stastny simply because he's paid a lot of money, but it's a minor quibble.

The other half of the article is Dater's way of making this game relevant to the Ryan O'Reilly saga, and to a point I do get it: the PK was awful (two straight games with three or more PP goals allowed), and O'Reilly is a very good penalty killer. The pieces do fit. AD writes that the more the Avs lose, the better "O'Reilly's leverage" against the Avs becomes... whether that logic tracks or not I'm not sure, but Dater makes a decent enough case for it. The part that really doesn't work, though, is this:

Wherever he was Monday night, Ryan O'Reilly might have sat back with a smug grin and thought to himself, "That's why I'm worth the money."

Unlike most of his readers, Dater has actually met and talked with Ryan O'Reilly. He knows a bit about the man's personality and how he treats others. And while I understand that this is just a winking attempt at a clever intro, the impression created here about Ryan O'Reilly is that he's, well... kind of a dick.

Maybe Ryan O'Reilly is a dick, and is just cackling with glee as he watches the Avs get trounced, making this just great, factual reporting from Dater. However, my gut feeling is that even if O'Reilly is a huge dick, he doesn't appreciate the Denver Post -- even jokingly -- making it sound like he wants his Avs teammates to continue getting BF'ed just so he can get his money. All in all, a decent write-up of the game, but with an O'Reilly tie-in that misses the mark.

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