Everything Else

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.

 

Game #79 Preview

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Well, this isn’t good news for the Central Division.

Today Patrick Roy, the anchor that had been holding out, when not outright destroying, at least a decently talented Avalanche squad, resigned as coach as half-GM or whatever it was they labeled him. I’d like to think he lost a power struggle with Joe Sakic, mostly because Sakic might have one clue where St. Patrick didn’t have any.

What this means for this year of course hinges on who the Avs hire and what he does. The Avs aren’t loaded or anything, but this isn’t a completely helpless roster either. It comes with pretty good center depth if Matt Duchene is moved back to center, which he obviously should be. MacKinnon-Dutch-Soderberg-Grigorenko is not the worst start.

Everything Else

Yes, we made the mistake of letting Anthrax out of his cage. It happens from time to time. Ryan was kind enough to share a space with Thrax, which is more than 99% of the populace is willing to do. From tomorrow night’s program:

Since the Avs shutout the Hawks here last time, they’ve gone 5-2-1 which means they’re 10-4-1 since December 1st. Is this real or just a spike of good fortune?

Murphy: This is real. Despite their defensive shortcomings (especially with Erik Johnson out a couple of weeks), the Avalanche were never as bad as they were in November when they were trying to integrate a big chunk of new players onto the roster and losing an improbable amount of close games. Carl Soderberg, Blake Comeau, Francois Beauchemin, and Andreas Martinsen are now making important contributions on a nightly basis and have added a supplementary presence the core group badly needed. What we’ve seen since December is a market correction. Many of us predicted a borderline playoff team at the beginning of the year, and that’s right where they are now 41 games in.

Anthrax: When I was in high school, I got a puppy. Cutest little guy in the world, sweet face, big brown eyes. Problem with this dog was, he was impossible to train. Deuces dropped all over the house, pissing in the corner of the living room, it was awful. Then, finally, one day, it’s like something clicked! The dog is waiting by the door to go outside, I let him out, he goes out and drops corona-corona in the yard, like a Good Boy. I was thrilled! The next day, I woke up, and I couldn’t find my car keys. Do you see where this is going? The dog ate my car keys. Surgery for the dog, the dumbass.

Are the Avs gonna eat my car keys? Probably. I’m gullible though, so I have hope.

Everything Else

Avalanche Snowman Christmas vs evil empire

Game Time: 7:30PM
TV/Radio: CSN, NBCSN, WGN-AM 720
Rocky Mountain Oysters: Mile High Hockey

While the Hawks’ schedule at first blush would indicate an opportunity to get right over the next couple weeks while facing teams behind them in the standings, things don’t always end up playing out that way. Especially against the Avalanche who visit tonight, who continually have given the Hawks problems over the better part of this decade.

Everything Else

avalanches vs oldschool

Game Time: 7:30PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN, TVA, SN1, SNO, WGN-AM 720
The Banquet Beer: Mile High Hockey

Amid the blowing snow propelled by wind carrying sub-zero chills, the Hawks will host the Colorado Avalanche for the first time this season on the west side. And though the Avs have predictably and hilariously fallen squarely on their stupid asses this season as basically everyone thought they would, they have still always been problematic for the Hawks even when they have sucked to (mile) high heaven.

Everything Else

Hawk Wrestler vs. AU7UN

FACEOFF: 8pm Central (about 6-beer o’clock for most of us)

TV/RADIO: CSN, WGN 720

SO BUTTONS: Mile High Hockey

Perhaps the Avs are being weighed down by everyone in the hockey world’s “I told you so’s”, but it has not been a very kind season to the Snow Drifts Of Denver. And we can’t say that it hasn’t been hugely satisfying to watch. Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic couldn’t wait to tell us how they had the system beat, and now it’s beating them over the head. Delicious.

Everything Else

Hawk Wrestler vs. AU7UN

FACEOFF: 8pm Central (about 6-beer o’clock for most of us)

TV/RADIO: CSN, WGN 720

SO BUTTONS: Mile High Hockey

Perhaps the Avs are being weighed down by everyone in the hockey world’s “I told you so’s”, but it has not been a very kind season to the Snow Drifts Of Denver. And we can’t say that it hasn’t been hugely satisfying to watch. Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic couldn’t wait to tell us how they had the system beat, and now it’s beating them over the head. Delicious.

Everything Else

Anyone who expected the Avalanche to win the inaugural season of the newly aligned Central Division at this time last year is a damned dirty liar. Yet the Avs bested both the Hawks and Blues down the stretch only to be hilariously eliminated in the first round, in overtime of game 7 at home versus the Wild. Again.

Now the Avs will look to build on the success of last year with their young core despite losing their most defensively responsible center within the division, being on the ass-end of what is bound to be a hellacious numeric regression, and being run by two morons, one of whom is an ill-tempered dickwad behind the bench.

Everything Else

images vs AltLogo

Game Time: 7:00PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN, RDS, WGN-AM 720
Rocky Mountain High: Mile High Hockey

As the hockey world anxiously awaits tomorrow afternoon’s trade deadline even amidst the flurry of activity this afternoon (particularly in Anaheim), there still remain games to be played tonight. One of which will be the first time the Hawks will be indoors on West Madison in over a month to take on the ever irritating Avalanche.

Everything Else

oldschool at Semyon Varlamov Avalanche

Game Time: 8:00PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN, WGN-AM 720
Innocent Until Proven Guilty: Mile High Hockey

After their Stanley Cup win in Game 25 of last year, it was hard to imagine the Colorado Avalanche as getting any more irritating. Fortunately, they’ve gone and exceeded basically everyone’s expectations, as has been wonderfully articulated by the Fifth Feather on this site. But far be it from me to miss an opportunity to pile on.