Everything Else

 vs.   

PUCK DROP: 6:30pm Central

TV: WGN

S-E-N SPELLS SEN: Silver Seven Sens

Whether you like it or not, the Hawks will kick off their season tonight. For better or worse…and it’s worse. It’s already worse, as #3 goalie Anton Forsberg–who would have backed up Cam Ward tonight and probably had a decent shot of usurping him to get some starts before Crawford returns–went TWANG! at the morning skate and now Collin Delia is currently on his way to Ottawa. That’s how you kick this pig!

There’s really no way to mask this anymore: The Hawks lineup sucks. The top-six you could make a case for, and I’ll admit to being awfully interested in seeing what Alex DeBrincat can do with Jonathan Toews, and what this Brandon SaadNick SchmaltzPatrick Kane line can do. That could be fun! Maybe Dominik Kahun is more than just a German Tony Salmaleinen? We’ll find out. Toes has needed a playmaker for a while now and we know Top Cat can do that. If Kahun is anything, and that’s a pothole-filling “if,” that line could surprise. Saad and Kane have torn a hole in the Earth together before, but that was a long time ago now. But hey, I love things that are old. Except myself.

But after that? You would read the names of these two lines to a misbehaving kid to punish him. “If you don’t start paying attention in physics I’m going to list out the Hawks’ bottom six repeatedly!”

“NO! NO! I promise I will! I love Newton’s third law! I’m totally gonna opposite reaction in this bitch!”

Artem Anisimov and Chris Kunitz on the third line is aching to be scorched. But then again anytime Arty is on a line that doesn’t include Patrick Kane it’s the same story. For some reason Marcus Kruger has moved to a wing to accommodate Luke Johnson. Q is moving a favorite toy so make way for SuckBag Johnson. Let’s all think about that for a minute and then die. David Kampf and John Hayden are here because the rules state someone has to. This is the second straight season that Hayden has “looked great in camp,” so his seven goals on the year will be even more special this time around.

As for the blue line…I mean do you want us to? Fine. Duncan Keith and Henri Jokiharju are the top-pairing. It really could be anything. The fading star and the possibly-overmatched-but-exciting kid. Keith has never been apt to be the more conservative partner in a pairing, and I’m not sure he has to be here. Maybe let both of them do their thing and just see what the hell happens. What do you have to lose? We’ll see how Keith takes to it but it would be a first if he were to rein his game in to let someone else be the aggressor. But hey, stranger things have happened…is what I’m contractually obligated to say here.

Beyond that…well, Erik Gustafsson and Brent Seabrook are the second-pairing. If this was Seabrook five years ago, you’d be about that. But now he can’t cover for Cowboy Goose and Seabs himself has some cowboy leanings that his sloth-like foot-speed hasn’t dissuaded him from. Goose showed something toward the end of last season, and of course he has the lucky charm of the “Fels Motherfuck” (TM) which should carry him to a Norris, obvi. Still, the Hawks haven’t given up on him even though he’s 26 now and we’ve seen them discard a host of prospects before reaching that age so they must think there can be a middle-pairing puck-mover in there somewhere.

As for the third pairing…

Luckily, the Senators are not a team that’s going to make anyone pay for their various roster misdeeds. Anyone who’s worth anything is either a neophyte (Brady Tkachuk, Thomas Chabot), or a veteran who is simply waiting for his cell to ring to tell him he’s been released from this hockey malebolge (Matt Duchene, Mark Stone). Put it this way: Zack Smith was on waivers two weeks ago and is now the #2 center. That’s a life lesson right there, mister man.

Clearly, it’s going to be a long damn season in Ottawa, which just about no one is going to notice in retaliation against the owner/avoiding the trip to Purgatory-In-Reality Kanata. And the hockey will be even more boring as Guy Boucher is only going to be more convinced to trap even more given the talent discrepancy he’ll face on most nights. Most Senators games are going to look like what Steelers-Ravens games will look like in three years. You’ve had booster shots you enjoyed more.

The Senators will hope to get a promising season out of Thomas Chabot, a step from Ryan Dzingel (LOCAL GUY), and basically hope a couple other veterans can spasm a few goals to be trade bait at the deadline. But hey, they’re one of the few teams to figure out that you have to bottom out on purpose to get back up the mountain.

So I suppose it’s the perfect starting point for the Hawks. They can rack up a win and at least feel like maybe they could start to build some momentum before some very tough games this weekend. If the Hawks were to start 0-3, and you never know, then they’ll already be feeling like they’re fucked without any of the usual fun and Joel Quenneville will be facing questions about his job before he’s even through a week. Let’s try and put that off as long as we can, even though we know it’s coming.

 

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We’re not saying you should feel for Matt Duchene, because hey, he’s got a lot more money and talent than you. And that rich-kid smirk that you lost long ago when life’s pressures and obligations cratered the glint in your eye. But the unfairness of the NHL’s, and really North American sports’, trade-system is kind of on display with Duchene the past couple of seasons.

Dutch signed a new deal with the Colorado Avalanche before the ’14-’15 season. He was coming off a 23-47-70 season, and the Avs duly rewarded him with a $6 million per year deal for the next five seasons., And it’s not like Dutch didn’t produce. The four seasons before this one he’s put up 98 goals and and 214 points. If you need, that’s 22 goals and 53 points per, or thereabouts. Maybe that doesn’t equal $6 million in some people’s eyes, but it’s pretty damn close if it’s not.

It wasn’t Duchene’s fault that Colorado originally had a deranged bullhorn as a coach in Patrick Roy who ran the team into the ground. And it wasn’t Duchene’s fault that the Avs had to rebuild. All he did was play and score. But because he was expensive, and wanted to be more so when he hit unrestricted free agency for the first time, and the only time he would get to do so in his prime, he wasn’t in the Avs’ plans. So he had to go where he was told.

Ottawa actually was all right with him, because it’s not far from where he’s from. But it’s also not Dutch’s fault this is a basketcase organization that really had no business picking up a player like Duchene. It’s amazing how teams can get blinded by a playoff run that springs from a good draw and a hot goalie and a couple bounces. Yes, the Sens were a goal away from the Final two seasons ago blah blah blah. Anyone with a critical eye knew that team had no business being there, and were it not for Craig Anderson and dumb hockey luck it wouldn’t have been. It was a shit division they could escape, all the more proven when its champion Canadiens were dispatched easily by the same, non-descript, boring-ass Rangers team they had rolled out for six or seven seasons.

But they did, and Duchene was there to watch the bottom fall out on yet another Guy Boucher-led team, even with his 49 points in 64 games. Now he’s there for the nadir, or at least a portion of it, until he gets shipped off somewhere else that he’ll have no say over.

You can see why players want those no-movement clauses, and why they’re so protective of their UFA status. Thanks to the rules, you only get there at 27 or 28 if you’re lucky (Duchene will be 28 when he does), and given how the league has skewed being 30-years-old or over, you only get once chance for a mega-deal. This will be Duchene’s.

You have to hand it to the Sens, too. They acquired a player they really couldn’t have much use for in exchange for the biggest trade chip they’ll have in Kyle Turris, next to Erik Karlsson that is, and now they’ll have to move Duchene along for far less than they gave up because he’ll be months away from free agency instead of years. This is galaxy-brain shit, I tells ya.

Anyway, who might be interested in Dutch? There are a few contenders with needs on the wings. The Blues are the first that come to mind, but what they have left to deal after getting Ryan O’Reilly this summer is questionable. Also they’d have to move money to fit him in. Vegas and Nashville are always interested in fast wingers, and cap space isn’t a problem for either. The Kings could desperately use him, but they’re going nowhere anyway. Carolina could use all the offensive talent it could find, but who knows how they’ll evaluate him now that their system is based on how much a player grabs himself and snorts. Let’s just say there won’t be a shortage of takers.

And the Dutch can hit the market and get paid what he’s worth, or have a team make it worth his while not to. Can’t say he won’t have earned it.

 

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You find anyone willing to admit they’re a Senators fan these days. We were pointed to this person on Twitter, who confiscated our phones and made us where a shrouded hood while he drove in circles. We felt just like Pierre Dorion. Anyway, here’s what you need to know from the inside. 

We don’t want to be insulting, we know it’s been a rough summer for Senators fans, but…why are you even bothering this season?

 I guess at the end of the day it’s just entertainment. I’m still really looking forward to watching Mark Stone, who is one of my all-time favourite players. With Brassard gone and Pageau out for the year he won’t have good line mates, but that has never stopped him from producing or playing great defensively. I’m not sure if he’ll be a Senator after the deadline, but regardless he’ll be fun to watch.
Thomas Chabot on the top pair with Chris Wideman is also going to be great to watch. While Chabot was pretty bad defensively in his rookie season, he’s such a skilled player and has the potential to be a number #1 defenseman. I also think Wideman will surprise a lot of people. He was injured all last season, but in his 3rd pairing minutes the year before he was amazing. Size has always been an issue for him but he’s a good puck mover and does a great job of getting the puck to the net from the point.

Why should Pierre Dorion be trusted with the rebuild that is coming for the Senators? And if he’s not (he’s not) is there any hope that the higher-ups know it?

While so many of his trades have been brutal, Dorion’s biggest strength is his drafting ability. As a GM he’s managed to pluck some great prospects outside of the 1st round like Formenton (47th overall, 2017), Batherson (121st overall, 2017), and the Dahlen he traded for Burrows (42th overall, 2016). While the Sens don’t really have a young guy with star potential outside of Chabot, they have a surplus of players who look like a safe bet to develop into top six forwards/top 4 defensemen.
I honestly don’t see him getting fired any time soon. I think Eugene Melnyk really likes him, and they seem to have a strong relationship. What they need to focus on now is building up the front office. With no assistant general managers, Dorion was running the team alone all summer. They hired a lot of scouts over the past month, brought in a new assistant GM, and are still looking for another one. Scouting and development are so important during a rebuild, so I think providing more resources to both Dorion and their prospects will have a bigger return on investment than any free agent signing they could possibly make.

Is it really advisable to have Brady Tkachuk spend the season in Ottawa?

I think it is. He isn’t eligible for the AHL so the Sens would have to send him back to the OHL. I don’t think he would progress much in his development there because it wouldn’t be challenging enough. As an 18 year-old he was 4th in points and 1st in shots on his Division 1 NCAA team, so playing in the OHL as a 192 pound 19 year-old against teeenagers would be nothing for him. Since he’s already so physically mature and defensively responsible I think the NHL would be the best option for him.

Is the only endgame here somehow getting Eugene Melnyk to sell the team? Is that in any way feasible?

The Sens just completed a $135M refinancing over the summer, so I don’t think there will be a sale this season. With something like 4,000 season ticket holders, an angry fanbase, zero optimism surrounding the team and a downtown arena still years away (the Sens play 25km from downtown) I really don’t see things getting better anytime soon.
Having a low payroll will make it hard for them to be anything better than a bubble team, but it’s not insurmountable. The Sens have a lot of good prospects coming through the pipeline, so taking advantage of their cheap ELCs and first RFA contracts will be key over the next few years. But they absolutely need to find a way to move Bobby Ryan’s contract and have to trade Ceci at the deadline.

 

 

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We’ve never liked Joe Sakic. Oh sure, all-time great player. The center the Hawks could never have, the player Jeremy Roenick could never be. But it was always him standing in the Hawks’ way in the mid-90s. He who scored that goal in Game 4 in ’96 that prevented the Hawks from taking a 3-1 lead (while Chris Chelios’s leg was numbed by his own team’s doctor). He had 65 points in 55 games against the Hawks. It felt like it was 174.

So we rejoiced when he was hired as GM of the Avs in 2013. Surely this was just a move to placate an eroding fanbase, give them a name they recognize and would give the most amount of leash because how would anyone in Denver ever be mad at Joe Sakic? Another rock-headed former player being used to insulate an ownership no one really cared for.

It all started so promisingly, as the entire franchise bent to the will of Patrick Roy, a vapid bullhorn come to life. They goofed one division crown, and then tried to chase that for three more seasons. They signed Jarome Iginla, which they didn’t have a need for. They signed Francois Beauchemin because Roy wanted a big, bruising d-man while ignoring he couldn’t catch anyone. They jerked around Tyson Barrie. It was going so swimmingly to keep the Avs in the toilet for eternity. The dream was almost real.

Then Sakic fired Roy, or at least got him to quit, which is just as good. He went outside the Old Boys Network to hire Jared Bednar. They didn’t flinch when they had a historically bad season last year. All the while, he drafted Rantanen, Greer, Jost, Makar. They traded Ryan O’Reilly and got J.T. Compher. They finally cashed in on Matt Duchene and got a huge haul out of it. They’ve straightened out Gabriel Landeskog, and put something in Nathan MacKinnon’s food. What the fuck is going on here?

And now the Avs look set to rise out of the muck. No longer will they be an after-thought with weird colors. Can you imagine how obnoxious this will get when the Denver hipsters catch on? It’s going to be awful.

Your ass used to be beautiful, Joe. And now you’ve gone back to our nemesis. History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.

 

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 vs. 

RECORDS: Senators 21-28-9   Hawks 25-27-8

PUCK DROP: 7pm 

TV: NBCSN Chicago, NHL Network for some reason

WISHING THEY HAD NO RECOLLECTION, SENATOR: Brian5or6

This season, especially lately, the Hawks haven’t gotten to face too many teams that are a bigger oil spill than they are. Of course, when they have that hasn’t stopped them from getting thwacked by Arizona or Vancouver (twice). But hey, at least the Oilers haven’t gotten one over on them since like, October! Anyway, the last team the Hawks put a DLR on before Saturday’s was Ottawa back in that nation’s capital, and things seemed a touch rosier then. The Hawks would then win two games over the next 36 days. That’s how you get where we are now.

For the sake of educational purposes, the Ottawa Senators will provide an example of what a team really in crisis, in a tank and in full rebuild looks like. The only team propping them up in the East standings are the simply dizzy and confused Buffalo Sabres, and that’s in the Atlantic Division where five teams can’t touch their nose. They’re about to ship off everything that’s not nailed down, and even if they do all that their owner might just fold the team or move them because he feels like it as he might be Canada’s biggest asshole this side of Don Cherry or the Barenaked Ladies.

All the drama for the Senators over the next few days will be if they’re going to move along Erik Karlsson, which they pretty much have to. He’s at maximum value now, and though you could never get equal value for one of the greatest d-men of all time, you’ll come a lot closer now than you would in the summer, where any team acquiring him would get two playoff runs with him instead of one. It’s funny, earlier in the year we were saying the Hawks should be in on that derby. Seems so quaint now. Whether the Sens like it or not there’s really  no reason for Karlsson to re-sign there for all the money in the world unless he really loves having nothing to do and rarely playing games that matter. He’ll have 20 teams lining up to pay him what he wants soon, and few players get that chance.

Karlsson won’t be the only one packing his bags if he goes. Both Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone, two forwards who you would have heard way more about had they played somewhere else and/or ever had a real #1 center, look to be packaged goods as well, though Stone is a definite goner and Hoffman might stay. Derick Brassard is another who should get the movers ready. They’ve already packed off Dion Phaneuf because the Kings huffed some paint and decided that contract was a good idea. If the Sens were really adventurous they’d see if they could move along Matt Duchene again, because he’s not going to do them much good in the immediate future while they’re sucking hind-tit.

And then when you look at it, you see the Hawks are only a few games better, though in a far better division, and suddenly the world seems a very cold place indeed. The Hawks will be showcasing their own talent in Wingels and what looks to be Anisimov and Jurco tonight, as the latter two will skate with Patrick Kane. Either that, or Q has entered full, “Nothing Really Matters” mode and is just going to do stuff to do it and listen to a lot of Joy Division because how the hell else do you fill the time?

One intriguing line is Top Cat-Schmaltz-Duclair, because that’s something you could see being utilized in years to come. That is if Duclair closes the year strongly. You see what could be, but you also see what it is, and he’s going to have to show he can connect the two before we jump to any conclusions about where he’s going. Vinnie Smalls-Kampf-Hartman is at least a quick and entertaining fourth line, and hopefully they’re allowed to just be a kindergarten recess out there with their speed.

This is another scapler’s night off, and the Sens have never been much of a draw even though they might have the best player on the planet. Be curious to hear how many red seats are in the house tonight. This is the path they’ve chosen.

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One of the bigger trades in recent season’s took place early this one. It involved three teams, which rarely happens in the NHL. The Senators punted Kyle Turris to Nashville after he made it clear he wasn’t sticking around Ottawa long-term, and received Matt Duchene in return. The Sens didn’t get anything else.

On the surface, it makes sense. The Senators saw they were going to lose their #1 center, Duchene was another nominal #1 center on the market, and made the switch. They thought there was a better chance Duchene would want to stick around past his contract, though we won’t know that until July when he can be signed to an extension. And of course, this deal took place when the Senators hadn’t completely seen their intestines fall into their legs. There was still a lot of “this season” in the trade.

Still, you have to wonder if the Senators would do that deal again.

Duchene is better as a winger than he is a center, and as a center he’s almost certainly a #2. That’s where he was best in Colorado, letting MacKinnon doing the heavy-lifting or riding shotgun with him on a wing.

And Duchene is just not all that good, his Team Canada pedigree aside. He’s topped 70 points once, and 30 goals once, though he scored at that pace in the lockout-shortened season-in-a-can. His scoring would make for one of the best second-liners in the league, and a first-liner if you squint. But that is not what gets you closer to a Cup.

Now Duchene has to wonder if he wants to stick around for a rebuild, and that’s the reason he asked out of Colorado. Except this summer he’ll only have one year left on his deal and his value won’t be as high as it was in November when he was traded the first time. The Senators very well may have acquired something for a dollar that they’ll have to sell for 75 cents or less.

Duchene turns 28 next season, so if the Senators are about to embark on a plan that’s going to take two or three years to come to fruition, he’s going to be past his peak. And considering that all of Hoffman, Stone, and especially Karlsson are all being put in the shop window, three years might be conservative. You don’t build around players that are going to be over 30 when you’re going to be good again.

If the Sens are doing the full-blow up they might as well see what’s out there for Duchene. The Bruins could use another forward, and the Penguins were in on him the first time. The Send don’t have a surefire #1 center or d-man in the system, though Aaron Luchuk and Logan Brown look like they could be something in a couple years.

This is why decisions shouldn’t be made off one playoff run. The Sens got to a the Eastern Final last year on the back of Anderson and Karlsson, but anyone looking at this roster could have easily told you it was too goalie-dependent to expect anything near a repeat. And Anderson’s up-and-down career was another red flag. Turris heading into free agency was another.

The Sens could have gotten a future piece or two for Turris. Look what the Avs got for Duchene. But focused on the now has put them back two or three seasons.

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Brian5or6 has been our Sens guy for a while now. But apparently this season has erased the light in his eyes (and if you’ve seen his Twitter videos, you know there actually was one). Again, that could just be the result of living in Ottawa, we don’t know. And we don’t want to know. But keep that in mind as you proceed here. 

Let’s get the big one out of the way: Is Erik Karlsson a Senator after the deadline? Should he be?
If Erik Karlsson is not a Senator after the deadline, I’m moving to the forest. Going off the grid for awhile. Basically, I’ll need to find myself again. Come to grips with the loss and then just continue to give’r. Does that answer it?

If Karlsson goes, and everyone is available after him, do the Sens have anyone they want to build around?

Mark Stone is one hell of a player to build around, but let’s face facts here. If Karlsson goes, the team folds and its possible the actual city of Ottawa folds with it


What does all this mean for Matt Duchene, exactly?

It means that he is awesome but that he should start looking for a new job once Erik leaves. And I’m not talking another hockey job. Because when Karlsson leaves, hockey is dead to me. And to everyone else I’d imagine.

GM Pierre Dorion got a contract extension. How does that make you feel?

It makes me feel like shit

What is the endgame for all of Eugene Meylnyk’s diarrhea of the mouth? He’s not going to get a new arena downtown, right? 

The end game is to get all the money. Everyone’s money. Your’s, mine, the janitors cleaning up piss in the bathrooms.

 

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 vs. 

RECORDS: Hawks 20-15-6   Senators  14-17-9

PUCK DROP: 6:30

TV: NBCSN Chicago

BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT: Brian 5or6

Well this seems like a momentous day for really weird reasons. We’ll get to that in a second. After getting to recalibrate their weapons by firing on the stationary target that is the Edmonton Oilers, the Hawks can double that up by doing so against the Eastern Conference version, the Ottawa Senators. And they may get to do it against a severely hampered Senators team, and believe me when I tell you this team didn’t have a lot to hamp. With the 2nd half of the season kicking off tonight, this would be a good way to get it started the right way. Then again, the Hawks couldn’t have started the first half off any better (TEN! TEN! TEN!), and look where that got them.

No reason to not start off with the biggest piece of news, and that is Brent Seabrook will be a healthy scratch tonight for the first time…well, ever. I don’t recall this happening in his rookie year, though it might have and we’ve just blocked most of that season from our memories. In fact, Seabrook has been something of a rock of durability, missing only 11 games in the ensuing 11 years since. But you can’t say that Seabrook hasn’t earned this, and the Hawks pairings would make a lot more sense if they looked something like:

Keith-Murphy

Forsling-Kempny

Oesterle-Rutta

Of course, that’s not what they’ll look like tonight as Oesterle will stay with Keith, the two kids together, and Kempny and Murphy returning to their natural sides on the second pairing. This way Q doesn’t have to rearrange three pairings. While Murphy took the blame for Friday’s loss unfairly, Seabrook has been this all season and now can’t even get the space to do the things he does well, i.e. shoot and pass. He’s been either slow or uncaring or both down low in his own zone, and that’s just not good enough. At the moment, he’s not one of the best six d-men the Hawks can send out there.

The hope is that this shows Seabrook that he’s not untouchable and has no guarantees. At almost 33, he’s never going to be what he was but he can certainly be more than he is. At that age he really should be able to handle third pairing or even sheltered second pairing minutes ok, and he hasn’t done that all season without Connor Murphy (CONNOR MURPHY!) saving his ass. Seabrook will draw back in soon, perhaps as soon as tomorrow, and there better be a fire under his ass when he does.

As for the rest of the lineup it looks like Tomas Jurco will be the forward scratched as the suddenly spiky Patrick Sharp sticks around.

None of this should matter of course, because the Senators are the NHL’s little league right fielder with the glove on his head twirling in a cirlce. They’re second-bottom in the East and three points adrift of the team above them, the Canadiens. And while this isn’t much of a roster outside Karlsson, it’s not helped by SUPER GENIUS Guy Boucher running a system suited for 1999 and boring the shit out of everyone involved. And the system doesn’t work when it’s not getting lights-out goaltending, and Craig Anderson is 36. This a team that doesn’t really have a top-liner anywhere unless you count Matt Duchene, and he’s basically a top line wing playing center and a really good rhythm guitarist at center instead of a lead.

Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman are great second line scoring wingers too, but now that Bobby Ryan is turning colors in the sun they need them to be first line scorers and that’s just not who they are. Karlsson can only do so much.

Making it even better for the Hawks tonight is that several Sens are either sick or hurt and gametime decisions. Duchene (you’re holdin’ up the show!), Oduya, Ceci, Brassard all might not make the bell tonight, though all could play as well. This is not a juggernaut. This team is bottom 10 in goals per game, goals against per game, and shot for per game. They do limit shots against them ok thanks to Boucher’s strangulation of anything interesting that might happen, but Anderson just hasn’t been up to the challenge of stopping the ones they do see. Again, 36.

No excuses here. The Hawks have to get this one, and they really have to sweep the week before the bye hits and teams pass or get farther away from them simply because they’re not playing. They’ve missed enough hanging curves of late with losses to Vancouver, blowing a lead against  Vegas when they had played the night before, and arguably missing the first 30 minutes against a wonky Calgary team. No more bullshit.

 

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We don’t know where exactly we found @Brian5or6. That’s the case with most of our friends. We just ended up this way. Anyway, you can read his stuff at Brian5or6.com. 

 

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For Hawks fans my age, the Colorado Avalanche probably has an outsized presence in our psyches. It’s the scars from having them parachute that unholy team into the conference from Quebec at a time when the Hawks were probably icing their best team in a decade. And while we knew the Hawks couldn’t hang with the Wings, there was always a puncher’s chance in a series (1992 wasn’t that long ago then). But once the Avs showed up, we knew the Hawks were doomed. They couldn’t get through both, and promptly didn’t get through either.

Those two Cups the Avs managed in ’96 and ’01 seemingly have given them an outsized presence on the national stage, too. Because the Avs haven’t mattered in a very long time. In the past 10 years, they have the same amount of playoffs berths as the Panthers. They’ve won less rounds than the Coyotes. They haven’t won a game beyond the first round in 13 years. If it wasn’t for the Varlamov-inspired, PDO-from-hell season of ’13-’14, the Avs would be embarking on their eighth-straight playoff-less season. But we don’t put them in the same category as the Arizonas and Floridas of the world. Flags fly forever, I suppose.

Anyway, let’s get into this muck.

Colorado Avalanche

’16-’17 Record: 22-56-4  48 points  (dead ass last everywhere)

Team Stats 5v5: 48.5 CF% (23rd)  46.6 SF% (28th)  48.0 SCF% (26th)  6.2 SH% (29th)  90.6 SV% (30th)

Special Teams: 12.5 PP% (30th)  76.6 PK% (29th)