The Avs have around five centers vying for a spot this season. Sakic, Stastny, and Guite are shoo-ins. That leaves Arnason and Hensick trying to capture the third center spot. Arnason is still the heavy favorite to not only play, but to never be a healthy scratch. (Hey, if Quenneville didn't do it, hopefully Granato learns from the mistakes.)
When trying to differentiate between Arnason and Hensick, there are some things that pop out right away.
Hensick actually cares. He's a rookie who really wants to play.
Arnason takes nights off, looks like he'd rather be playing marbles than hockey on some nights, and usually ends up saving his career against the Edmonton Oilers.
Hensick has two goals and three assists in the preseason. That includes the shootout winner against the Kings on the 29th.
Arnason has registered exactly zero goal while chipping in one assist on a Matt Hendricks goal. Now, if Hendricks were staying with the Avs, maybe Arnason would at least be useful from a chemistry standpoint. He can't even help a player who will actually be on the roster this season!
Of course, just as I'm about to finish up this post, I read in the NHL Game Recap from tonight's Chicago-Colorado game:
T.J. Hensick of the Avalanche took a stick to the face in the first period, scratching the cornea in his eye. He didn't return to the game. Hensick has two goals and three assists in the preseason.
Well that's just dandy. Arnason, by the way, was given the night off. Andrew Raycroft gave up six goals on twenty-three shots, and the fact that David Jones, with a two-goal game tonight, is now on pace to hit over 82 goals this season, just made my head explode.
Preseason games don't mean much. However, if Tyler Arnason was scoring, oh, I don't know, as much as Matt Hendricks did in the presesaon, I'd be a little happier with him as the team's third line center.
Come on, Omsk. Don't you need a center for Jagr?
Roundtable Alert: Mile High Hockey continues to be your central hub for the 2nd Annual Avalanche Roundtable. Remember to be here on October 5th as The Avslova Factor takes part.