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."