Monday, January 24, 2011

Mission Impossible

Remember the way Mission Impossible always starts? With the secret message self-destructing? Well in this case Peter Forsberg is watching the Colorado Avalanche self-destruct and apparently, just like in Hollywood, he is going to take the impossible mission.

The latest blow to the injury-wracked Avs is the season long loss of Tomas Fleischmann, diagnosed with pulmonary emboli or in English: a blood clot in each lung.
The Avalanche are up to 235 man games lost to injury. Obviously not satisfied with last year’s huge statistical loss of players to injury the Avs are on pace to blow that number out of the water this year.
And these aren’t just role players that are missing time. Chris Stewart went down for seven weeks when he was the leading goal-scorer on the team.
TJ Galiardi missed several weeks with a broken wrist. A guy that was depended on for top six work.
Kyle Quincey though not quite playing to expectations was slated for top four defensive duties: out for the season.
Let’s not forget that Peter Mueller, a top six forward has missed the entire regular season.
And then there is Craig Anderson, a workhorse last season, missing multiple stretches at a time.

And that brings us to the glaring issue this season. Inside the drama of Mission Impossible could be another classic: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Budaj.
Is this the season like 2006-07 where Budaj salvages what he can of a Theodore-like season? I shudder to make such a comparison but at this point Budaj has played 23 games and Anderson is sitting at 28 games. Granted much of that is due to injuries but Anderson is not anywhere near his 2009-10 form. They have near identical stats and at this point Anderson’s are headed in the wrong direction.
And after another weak game Saturday, Peter Budaj is getting the call once again.
Arguments that Anderson’s defense isn’t giving him any help are only as valid as they were last season when Anderson faced a shooting gallery night after night and nonetheless stood on his head for this team.

PK and PP
Sure, sure. The Avs are up there in the power play but so are the Blackhawks and they just recently climbed into the top eight. And Peter Forsberg is sure to nudge that number up some more. But where the Avs really need to improve is on the horrific penalty killing. Currently the third worst team in the league. And Forsberg isn’t going to help that much. In fact he will likely challenge it as Foppa has never been short on PIMs.

Your mission Peter Forsberg, should you choose to accept it: play till the trade deadline and see how that ankle/foot performs at the NHL level. If everything goes well be prepared for the weight of a city’s expectations to be placed on your shoulders.

-From the Point

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