Just some random thoughts post-trade deadline. A busy day on Twitter had me feeling feelings and thinking thoughts that I wanted to share. Enjoy.
Paul Stastny, Still an Av
Yet another trade deadline comes and goes and 26 is still an Av. Honestly, I’m not surprised. He’s a fabulous hockey player with tremendous smarts and skills. I know many Avalanche faithful would prefer to see a little more skill from him but that’s just not his specialty. He excels at making the players around him better. Speaking for myself (which is what one generally does on a personal blog), I wouldn’t mind seeing him in the burgundy and blue until he’s done playing hockey, but that’s just me. As a good friend on Twitter also said:
@AvsPodcast I don’t think Stastny wants to go anywhere else. Hockey is less of a business for him than for others.
— Stephen DeGraff (@sfdegraff) March 5, 2014
Hockey is a business. No one can argue with that. When your father and uncles were world class/Hall of Fame players as well, hockey is a family business. That’s a little different.
Stastny has also publicly stated that a “hometown discount” would be a possibility with the Avs. That’s unheard of (and I’m not sure what his agent thought of Stastny’s public comments) but either way I really like it. Stastny is happy here and that’s not a secret. He’s also world class hockey player. I hope he’s here for a long, long time.
Trade Deadline Thoughts
The Avs made one move yesterday picking up goaltender Reto Berra from Calgary for a second round pick in the 2014 draft. Joe Sakic made it clear that this was a precautionary move on the team’s part because Jiggy’s back has the tendency to act up from time to time. I think it also showed a couple more things: Jiggy’s time in Denver could possibly be over beyond this season and the team’s confidence in Sami Aittokallio wasn’t as high as they wanted it to be. We’ll see how the rest of this story pans out as the season rolls on. Berra is currently on the Avalanche’s active roster.
The lack of Avalanche trades showed a lot from the organization as well. The Avs are generally happy with where they are and it’s difficult to be unhappy with that as a fan. Sure, we all can agree to a certain point that the defense could use a piece or two, but it also seems like defense by committee (when everyone is healthy and/or not suspended) has worked quite well so far this season. Mark Rycroft, in Tuesday’s post game said that the way Erik Johnson has played this season was almost like a free trade in itself. Great stuff. And as I said on Twitter yesterday, sometimes the most effective defense is solid goaltending and a balanced offensive attack.
The Factor is a Factor
Ryan O’Reilly has quietly moved himself into the top 20 goal-scorers in the NHL this season. His performance in the defensive zone should be noted as well.
Hey Avs (I know you’re going to read this and take what I say very seriously),
No rush. No hurry. Feel free to lock 90 up long-term whenever you see fit.
Icing on the Cake
Again, just speaking for myself here, but I’m getting to the point where the rest of this season is almost icing on the cake. The Avs were picked to finish near the bottom of the conference by pretty much everyone at the start of the season. I couldn’t argue with that. I’m definitely a “glass half full” type guy, but didn’t expect near what I’ve seen so far this season. I simply wanted the Avs to improve. They’ve done that and so much more. As they stand right now this is the best Avalanche team in the team’s history. That’s crazy. The next few weeks include some huge games against some of the best teams in the league. We’ll see where our teams stands then, but what I do know is that this team has me excited for the next decade plus. I’ll take it for sure, no matter what the rest of this season brings.
I was sitting at the game last Friday night and reflecting on the future of this franchise:
Nathan MacKinnon is 18 years old.
Matt Duchene is 23 years old.
Ryan O’Reilly is 23 years old.
Gabriel Landeskog is 21 years old.
Semyon Varlamov is 25 years old.
Erik Johnson is 25 years old (for a few more weeks.)
Tyson Barrie is 22 years old.
This team’s best hockey is hopefully yet to come. How great is that for us as Avs fans and how scary is that for the rest of the league? Pretty great and pretty scary.
Let’s Go Avs.
P.S. Thanks to those of you that play #AvsTwitterPsychic game in and game out.
If you’re not playing, you totally should. It’s fun, it’s super easy, and it involves no skill at all. Sound interesting? Check out the #AvsTwitterPsychic official home page here: