Saturday, January 3, 2009

Avs Bow to Jackets 6-1 - Granato Loses His Mind

I could spend this post whining about a 6-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Would I do that? Absolutely not. I'll only spend half of it doing that.

The other half will be dedicated to Tony Granato going bonkers.

First of all, we all have to remember that the top two centers are missing. Missing Stastny and Sakic leaves gaping holes in this team and if they're going to adjust, it won't happen overnight.

Also, the Avs happened to be running in to a hot goaltender last night. Steve Mason was on a three-game shutout streak, and the Avs were probably lucky to even get one.

However, I can't stand the fact that it appeared as though the Avs simply gave up last night. The defense stopped playing, Granato didn't pull Budaj, and the offense looked worse than the game the Ducks played against Iceland. (The first time around, of course.)

I could fill this post up naming guys who shouldn't be on this roster (Arnason, Clark, and Tucker are just three examples) but it's pointless. We should have kept Brunette. We should have signed a true third line center, and why can't we trade Brett Clark?

Anyway. Granato has apparently lost his mind.

Dater posted the lines for tomorrow night's game against the Wild, and to be frank, some of the changes are very peculiar.

Smyth-Hensick-Stewart
Hejduk-Wolski-Jones
Tucker-Arnason-Svatos
McLeod-Laperriere-Willsie

Jibbles already posted his thoughts on the changes, and I agree with most of his thoughts.

I will say that I wish Svatos was getting time on the second line with Wolski and Hejduk. Svatos excels when he can plant himself in the slot and take a pass from a linemate. Arnason and Tucker aren't prime candidates for that job. Put him with Wolski, Hejduk, or even Hensick and Smyth and see if Svatos can't put up some more goals this season.

I disagree with Jibbles in his assumption that Lappy's place on the fourth line means he won't be receiving as much ice time.

Even when Arnason was on the top line, he was still receiving the same amount of minutes as just about everyone else on the team. I expect we'll see the third and fourth lines receive very equal minutes tomorrow night.


Any team that can beat Detroit is capable of beating anyone. The Avs need to somehow find some consistency. If these lines work, that has a real chance of happening.

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