My take on the Avs
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03-27-2012, 01:34 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Originally Posted by
Good points all around.
O'Byrne/Hejda is for all intents and purposes our best shutdown pairing. And that kinda/sorta is the problem. We have too many defensemen who do the same thing. Too many big, burly guys and not nearly enough speed/puckmoving. To that end, I think it's time to move on from SOB this offseason. Good guy and I hate to see him go, but we need to make a substantial improvement to this squad in the offseason defensively. Whether that is from outside the organization or within remains to be seen, but O'Brien IMO has served his purpose.
I think Downie is playing hurt. Ever since that shoulder injury he hasn't been the same. But in any event, he and McGinn have cooled off after a ridiculously hot start. In any event I still applaud both trades because it got rid of guys who didn't want to be here anyway for gritty forwards who instantly made us a much harder team to play against.
The Mueller/Duchene dilemma is a tough one. I think Sacco is making the right decision in picking the faster, scrappier forward, but right now I don't think it makes a huge difference...neither player (nor Hejduk) is playing particularly effective hockey right now.
The whole dump-and-chase strategy is a necessity born of the fact that this team lost its transition game with the paradigm shift on defense. They need more mobility and speed on the blueline to allow themselves to capitalize on turnovers like they used to. So in short, he actually DID change his system when you think about it. The Avs certainly were not a dump-and-chase team when he first started with them.
After watching him this season, I truly have become a fan of SOB after not liking him during his tenures with vancouver and nashville. But that is because he seems to have completely changed his game, and seems a lot more mobile than he used to be. I would love to keep him around as the guys seem to love him too, and he is a very passionate hockey player, which is something you can't teach. The defense I see going into next training camp are:
I would love to resign O'Brien to add him into that group, however I can envision him leaving Denver, but only because of the logjam on defense with the recent development of Matt Hunwick becoming superstar-esque
I would LOVE if this team managed to sign Ryan Suter, and keep O'Brien, and went into next season looking like this ideally in my opinion:
That, however, creates a problem with Jan Hejda, who I can't see the avs moving because of his contract/age, and so ultimately, straying from my fantasy signings, I'd imagine O'Brien gets shown the door in favour of a d-core that looks roughly like this next year:
Anyone confident in that defense?
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