Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Colorado Avalanche 2009-2010 Pre-Season Post

Well now that the opening night roster is set, I guess I’ll look like a real stiff with some of my predictions about the team, but seriously, I did take some notes during training camp and I never got around to a post, but the relevant stuff I’ll still cover.
First let’s talk a little about this starting roster for Oct. 1st. Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly will get a shot at the big time game. Well, I think everyone expected “Duchie” to get a shot. O’Reilly, not so much. Nonetheless, I do have in my notes that O’Reilly was showing some good work in traffic on day one of camp. And he showed a thing or two the next two days but nothing real outstanding.

Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Duchie (yes I know how awful that sounds, that is why it is funny! Don’tcha think?)…as I was saying, Duchie looked very fast as well as quick. Fast on the breaks and quick through the tight spaces in traffic. He certainly seems to have a good sense of where his line mates are and where to put the puck. However, I will probably be one of the few to say anything bad about Duchene, but I swear I saw him taking it pretty easy on the back checking. Now, that wasn’t the scouting reports I heard about him going into the draft. But that is what I saw in camp. In addition, on day one he was on a line with Hejduk and Jones and he kept taking shifts about half as long as them. Now, was he tired? Coaching decision? I dunno, but it was noticeable. I haven’t seen any of the preseason games so I can’t comment on anything since camp.

AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

Who else looked good? Well, believe it or not, Tucker looked better. TJ Galiardi, Darren Haydar and on day two, Matt Hendricks got a circle and a star next to his number in my notes. Obviously he thinks he needs to show he can fight to make this team, but there was none of that during camp, I saw a guy that was playing well. Another guy that was getting a lot of my attention was Shawn Bates. Obviously Bates didn’t last long, and I’m not sure why, he was playing well and more than anything I saw him winning a lot of face-offs. A lot, including against Paul Stastny. Call me crazy but I thought the Avs could use a guy like that. So, either the coaches are blind, or I suck at judging talent. Hmmm.
Ok, so who wasn’t on the radar? Well how about Jones? Even though he was playing with Duchie and Hejduk I didn’t see anything new and improved. I still see the guy that DOES crash to the net, the guy that DOES work hard and hustle, but he still looked like that guy that isn’t getting it done, can’t finish. Now he’s hurt (again) so we’ll have to wait and see how his season works out.
I focused on Kyle Quincey a lot on day two. This guy is either a lazy bum that figures he’s already made the roster, or he is just so calm and collected back there that he LOOKS like he is half-assin’ it. Hmmm. Dater has been gushing about him in the preseason, so I hope he is right. I know I saw Quincey getting lapped during the after-practice skate and even cutting across the middle of the ice. Dude, you just got here and you are pulling that? Even the glacier-slow Foote was doing his best to move the feet around the rink.
We’ll have a post up in a couple days with the ’09-’10 predictions. This will be a dead-earnest attempt to connect with the Hockey Gods and predict the future of this team. I’m a bit of an amateur when it comes to voodoo, but how hard can it be? Tarot cards, palm reading, crystal balls. It’s all carnival stuff…I’ve been to a carnival or two.

-From the Point

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