Greg Sherman & Co - Record as Colorado Avalanche GM (Part II)
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03-17-2013, 07:01 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: The Frozen Wasteland
Originally Posted by
I don't really know how to explain this D core's problem. Yea you could say there's a lot of slower defensive D, but there's also a lot of guys playing worse than last year, or worse than expected.
ROB is a perfect example. For the most part he was great last year in that second pairing shutdown role with Hejda. He hasn't played a whole lot with Hejda recently, but he didn't look all that great either right before they broke them up. He seems to just be a train wreck this year, which is the complete opposite of his steadying presence last year.
Zanon I didn't really get, or have much hope for when he signed, but he's somehow looked worse than I expected the last month or so. Also just a train wreck defensively, out of position, and slow to react.
SOB had a terrible start, but has been a fair amount better in all areas the last week or so after getting some games under his belt. He's still playing as a borderline top four guy though.
Hunwick looked very good in a 3rd pairing role for most of last year, but even though it appears he's still being used as a 3rd pairing guy, has looked more like the sieve in his first season with the Avs.
Hejda. EJ, and Wilson have been pretty solid defensively, skating, and puck handling wise, but haven't put that many points on the board, or really being a legit top pairing presence out there.
It's really a weird situation to figure out, and I have said this for a while but I think this style of bigger defenseman that we have a lot of, had a tougher time coming off the layoff than others, because it was tougher for them to stay close to top game shape, and adjust quickly to the speed of the smaller more nimble forwards. I wish I followed other teams, and their D more closely to see if this is the case league wide as well, or at least in the West.
I also get the feeling losing EJ's D partner Quincey had a trickle down affect on the team. It started with EJ not being as good all around to end last year, and having to focus more on defense, which resulted in other guys playing too many minutes, or bigger roles than they should. They need to find another legit top pairing partner for EJ, and lean on that duo, and let the rest of the chips fall where they may. That's the best route to go IMO, and the biggest key to this team improving.
Either way, it's clearly not the group they want to go into next year with, and the reason I'm not terribly upset with it is, it seems fairly easy to move some pieces, and let go of a guy like O'Byrne, and re-mold it with a bit more mobility.
Having the shortened 2012-13 season be another losing one is frustrating, but it's better than gambling on some overpriced deals you might get stuck with last summer, just to save a season where your likely not going to be a cup contender anyway. It's still better to serve the long term plan, than the short term one at this mid point of the rebuild.
I'll concede that there wasn't some magical inexpensive free agent available to help out the defense, but I'm not convinced that Sherman has made the best moves he could under the circumstances in terms of rebuilding this defense. It's true that the respective failures of O'Byrne, Zanon, and O'Brien have made a tough situation that much worse, but I still don't think this situation was unavoidable.
I still don't think Sherman is the guy going forward--just too many moves that are still questionable and the complete mishandling of the O'Reilly situation (not to mention that he appears to share the same lack of accountability as everyone else in the organization) leave me with no confidence in his ability to make this club a winner. Admittedly he's made some good moves, but hell, pretty much ever move Scott Howson made his first two years on the job in Columbus worked out as well.
That said, if Sherman is moved out for yet another Lacroix crony, there's no point in changing GMs.
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