Thursday, November 22, 2007

Two Rants, Maybe Three - PP/Liles Scratched

I'm mad. In fact, I would go so far as to say that ALL Avalanche fans are now right now. We've been outscored 14-3 in the last three and it only took a four day break to kill any chemistry we had going. With that being said...

Power Play

With a group of fowards as talented as Sakic, Brunette, Wolski, Stastny, Smyth, Hejduk, Arnason, Hlinka, and Svatos, how in the world is this power play not working? While recent at home (around 20%) the Avs have scored just three goals on the road. (around 8%) It's so bad, they actually get more shots when they're killing penalties!

The Avs were 0-5 in their last game against Calgary.

Last year, when the power play was in the top ten, Sakic was always in the right slot. This year, they have Sakic back where he was when Foppa was with the team - at the point. This isn't the right place for him UNLESS HE IS GOING TO SHOOT. The power play has become a game of hot potato for the Avs. None of them shoot and all of them are looking for the perfect play. The problem is, the perfect play on the power play is sometimes just to put the puck on net.

And why aren't they putting the puck on net? They have two of the best players in the game (Smyth and Brunette) at hovering around the net and either getting tips or putting away the rebound.

But that's just the first unit. On the second unit, they actually moved STASTNY to the point. Why! When Staz is on the point, he can't move around and make plays. The only one who is making plays is Hejduk and he can't do it alone all season.

The worst part is, the adjustments haven't been made. That's a relfection on coaching. If the power play can't work with these fowards, then something is horribly wrong. But remember, it's not just the fowards, which leads me to...

Scratching John-Michael Liles

With the return of Karlis Skrastins, one guy had to take a seat. For some reason, that man was John-Michael Liles. I can understand scratching a guy in order to make a point, but why would you scratch your best offensive defenseman when your team had been outscored 10-2 the preveious two games?

Skrastins is no great defensman anymore. When he was with Clark, they were the big shutdown pair, but that is no more. Skarstins didn't make one difference in Calgary and I didn't even hear his name that much. So why are we keeping him around? Trade him!

And why not scratch Kyle Cumiskey? He's the most inexperienced of the seven and while he helps create offensive chances, he's not at the point of making them into anything productive. Cumiskey is going to be a great player one day, but when a team is in the midst of a losing streak, they need guys in the game who have been there before.

Which leads me to Liles. Third in Avalanche ice time among defenseman and probably one of their biggest shots from the point. Power play anyone? Put Liles out there to shoot a few from the point. Good grief.

Annoyance

I'm fed up with the power play. I'm at the point of groaning when we get one because I realize we have a better shot at scoring 5-on-5. It's sad and if it doesn't improve soon, the Avs are going nowhere.

Game is at 9:00 tonight. Try to enjoy it.

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