I disagree, I think blake and the 'duk are still bringing a solid game. Also, Tampas defense last night was suffocating. There was NO open ice out there.
It's nice to give props to Tampa Bay, because they are doing really well right now.
But, that was a horrid effort last night -- not the result of a "suffocating' D. If generating a few moments of interesting skating = good game, then Hejduk was all right, but really Colorado was Awful with a capital 'A'. I'll bet at least 20 teams in the NHL would've brought a better game last night.
Matter of fact, Colorado seems to be getting shakier and shakier right now... inexplicable because Foote and Blake are back on the ice..
BTW, the Avs *OTHER* 6-7 superstars really really stink right now. I mean, wow.. this team looks like a shell of their former selves. They're playing like a bunch of girls out there.
Of course one has to demand more from the stars. But when you now have a 3rd and 4th line consisting of AHLers and enforcers, it weakens the team quite a bit.
You can take any team and remove the first line centre, two third liners and two fourth liners and plug the holes with spares and AHL players. It makes quite a difference. Of course its worse that Forsberg is gone. But Hinote brings an energy game that no one else but perhaps Konowalchuk can bring. Nikolishin was great on faceoffs and PK. So even the lesser names being gone hurts the team. And during this losing stint Blake and Foote have also missed games.
This of course doesn't absolve Sakic, Kariya, Selšnne etc from the responsibility of stepping it up when needed. They definately have to improve their game. But you have to be able to call a spade a spade. The Avs haven't had a single game this season with their full team. During long stretches 5-6 (mostly forwards) players from the ideal lineup has been missing. Together with Kings and St Louis they have been hurting the most this season when it comes to injuries.