Monday, October 01, 2007


Avalanche Blogger Roundtable

by Greg

After the off-season arrivals of Ryan Smyth and Scott Hannan, and departures of Pierre Turgeon and Patrice Brisebois, there's a renewed sense of optimism in Avalanche-land. It's morning in America, to coin a phrase.

They missed the playoffs last year; it's widely predicted they won't again (for a non-Avs fan perspective, Jes has a preview up at AOL Fanhouse, ).

A group of Avalanche bloggers have assembled, meanwhile, to discuss the season -- for the first ever...

The full table of contents is up at Mile High Hockey. Over here, we're hosting question #5:

5. What happens if the Avalanche are under .500 mid-way through the season?

Mike @ BBnR (Bleu, Blanc et Rouge) -- If the Avs are below .500 at the midpoint, Coach Q. will be handed his walking papers. Hundreds of 14-year-olds on the Avs message boards suddenly declare that they never liked his 'style' anyway. Now the obvious choice for his replacement is Granato, but in a startling announcement, Super Joe pulls a Reg Dunlop and becomes a player/coach. Not wanting to miss out on a good idea, the Rangers make Shanny a player/coach also. However, Shanny decides to take it to the next level and play without a helmet. He's killed by an errant Scottie Upshall elbow in the first game against Philly. The hockey world mourns, Jagr wets himself, and Chris Drury assumes the captaincy of the Rangers. The Avs squeak into the playoffs as the 8th seed and get swept by the Defending Stanley Cup Ducks as Scotty Nieds, ala Bottle-Rocket Clemens, comes out of retirement just for the playoffs.

Draft Dodger (In the Cheap Seats and Mile High Hockey) -- There's little doubt in my mind that coach Quenneville will be fired if the team is struggling. If (and only if) the struggles are related to poor goaltending, I could see Giguere opening up the proverbial "cubbard" to move a prospect or two for a goalie the team can count on. Beyond that, I wouldn't expect a full-scale panic from the organization; they've got a solid foundation and won't sacrifice our future for short-term improvements.

Jibblescribbits (Jibblescribbits) -- If the Avs are under .500, unless Budaj has played spectacular and it hasn't been his fault at all, I think Giguere will try and make a deal to bring Bryzgolov in from Anaheim. Even if it's not Budaj's fault, he'll do it for the shot in the arm that they need. The only other
option they may have, and it's truly scary to even think about it at all, is to put Theo in net and hope he catches lightning in a bottle. I hate to say it, I really hate to say it, but under .500 at mid-season (when it's nearly impossible to be under .500 in this scoring system) means the best thing to hope for would be that Theo catches lightning in a bottle, and you can trade him out for some prospect, any
prospect, in the off-season.

Tapeleg (Jerseys and Hockey Love) -- Not.



But if it did, I don't see much changing. I think Coach Q will stay in place, no matter what the season is like. If they miss the playoffs, he's gone, but not before. Granato will not be given his shot as a Head Coach in Colorado, and if he wants that as a career, he is going to have to go elsewhere.

I would love to see a Bryzgolov move, but so would half the league. I don't think he will be available by the halfway point, either traded to a team, or the Ducks realize they need him.

Also, if the Avs are below .500, I may cry. May. A man cry, but still.

Justin (Avalanche Guild) -- Due to the fact that I am extremely superstitious (I'm a goalie - enough said), I will not be answering this question.

Joe (Mile High Hockey) --
If the Avalanche are under .500 mid-way through the season, it will be because Joe Sakic had a heart attack, Scott Hannan was forced to shave his head, Ryan Smyth got traded to the Islanders (again), Andrew Brunette skated so slow he actually reversed the time-space continuum and Paul Stastny defected to the Czech Republic.

Only then would it be possible for the Avs to be below .500 mid-way through the season.

Greg (Hockey Rants and the Post-Pessimist Association) -- Another thing I don't really see happening; it would take a pretty big meltdown for them to be below .500. If they are? New coach, new goalie (unless it's a case of Budaj playing spectacularly behind a porous defense/no scoring).

Jori (Avs Prospects) -- Should the Avs have a sluggish first half, Francois Giguere will have a tough decision to make. The last two seasons for the Colorado Avalanche can be described as transition years as the team struggled to adjust to the salary cap. Expectations are high for this team, but I'm not convinced Quenneville will be fired if they get off to a slow start. I view Giguere as a patient man and he may be willing to let the team work through their problems. However, Giguere could make a transaction. I hear there is some guy named Forsberg who might be willing to join a team sometime during the season. Perhaps he could give the Avs a needed boost.

Shane (Avs Talk)
-- Not gonna happen. But if it does, it will depend on what the root cause is. If the team isn't gelling, Q could get heaved. If Budaj and Theodore are both sucking wind, Weiman will get brought in to give them a wakeup call. And if it's due to a string of injuries, then the trainer will get fired.

Ok, the last one is in jest but so is the question, don't you think? ;)

* * *

There's seven more of these questions out there -- check out the above blog links, or head on back to Mile High Hockey to see the rest.


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