The injuries forced Granato to revamp the third and fourth lines for practice, with defenseman Chris McAllister skating at left wing on a unit with center Andrei Nikolishin and rookie right wing Cody McCormick, and Riku Hahl centering a line with left wing Bates Battaglia and right wing Jim Cummins.
As a Canes fan, it's disappointing to see what's happened to Battaglia. Two years ago, in the playoffs, he was a force along with his 'BBC' linemates Cole and Brindy. In fact I believe he led the Canes in scoring that playoff year(if not then he was top 2). After the Vrbata-Battaglia trade went down, I didn't think Colorado was ripped off at all. I thought Battaglia would be a perfect fit playing beside Sakic or Forsberg ( they could make me look good on their wing ). Hopefully he can get his act together, b/c Battaglia has the ability to be a physical force (ala Deadmarsh) that Col needs for their superstars.
I think it is too early to tell if Battaglia is in the doghouse. I can't recall seeing any on-ice reason for it if it is true. Battaglia may not have been a goalscoring machine but at least he tries to play with some energy.
yea, I don't why Bates would be in the doghouse. His numbers are disappointing right now, but the effort isn't. He's one of our hardest working players. Why Granato benched him the other night is beyond me. He's going to turn his game around.
As much of a critic of Bates as I've been, I agree it was a terrible mistake to bench him. I have to admit, while the size of those bottom two lines is impressive, their speed is not. Hopefully Granato can teach them a thing or two about aggressive forechecking.
Beside the "super 6", do any other forwards get any PP time for Colorado? I know Battaglia was very effective in Carolina on the PP, using his size in front of the net.
He was used there at some points last season. I'd like to see Granato give that another shot. We have so much firepower on both units, it couldn't hurt to put a big body in front of the net to screen and pick up some garbage goals.
Does anybody else think McAllister on the wing is safer than Mac on D? Personally, I think the less defensive responsiblity he has the better.
i don't mind him playing d AS LONG AS he's no more than the #6. once skoula gets healthy, he won't be in the lineup unless it's as a #12 forward. BUT, unless skoula is going to be back, i'd rather he take that #6 spot and give the #12 forward spot to someone else(anythig to keep smith out of the lineup)
The Avs finally updated the injury status of the players on their website. Hinote, Worrell and Skoula are all listed as day-to-day, Svatos on the other hand is out indefinately. The Avs haven't recalled anybody outside of Smith at this point, so there is hope that Marek's injury isn't too serious.
The fact that both DJ Smith and McAllister are likely to be in the lineup tomorrow makes me want to