Written by Sean Payton | 23 October 2011

GAME8-11Another road game, another shootout win.
  • Obvious stuff first: what a game from Landeskog.  How many young players would get that chance late in the 3rd and not bury it?  
  • Incredible pass from O'Reilly on the play.  Factor is now the leading scorer on the team with 7 assists.
  • Had a great feeling as Lindstrom was skating in to take the 3rd shootout attempt because Crawford had never seen him before.  I use the phrase "Player X beat Goalie Y like a rented mule" sparingly, but I think it applies here.
  • I think its save to say that this wasn't EJs (and to a lesser extent Hedja's) best game.  His giveaway to setup Frolik with Chicago's first goal was absolutely brutal and inexcusable but to his credit, he didn't completely meltdown after the play.  
  • I thought the Hejduk / Stastny / Jones line was a good move - Kobasew had shown he couldn't play with Jones and Stastny and now you've got a power forward (or the closest thing we have to it) in David Jones with our best pure goalscorer in old man Hejdie.
  • That being said, and knowing how solid the O'Reilly line is - where do you put Duchene?  He's not going to stay on the on the 4th line - Sacco was clearly sending Matty a message about working harder - which isn't a shock after a slow start and some defensive lapses.  He'll probably center Kobesew and Lindstrom in Calgary.
  • Only McClemment and McLeod had less time on ice than Dutchy in this game.
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Written by Sean Payton | 21 October 2011

  • Well, I guess we can put an end to all of that 81-1 and talk.  
  • You could sort of see this coming.  Colorado had been off for a few days and Chicago has a very good team.  They really took the game over right after O'Byrne scored and completely dominated the 3rd period until around 5 min left.
  • I was really impressed with the Kane at center.  I know he didn't end up on the score sheet, but he seemed to have the puck all night long.
  • The best Av was far and way Varalmov.  Varly did his best again to keep the Avs in it, absolutely robbing Toews and Seabrook in the 2nd with his pad and then flashing the glove to keep Kruger from scoring his first NHL goal in the 3rd - keeping the Avs within one goal.
  • Not a great defensive game from Duchene, who lost Toews on the first CHI goal and had the same thing happen to him again in the 3rd.
  • After a great opening night, Kobasew has been fairly invisible, and only has 1 assist, even though he is playing two of the hottest Avs right now in Stastny and Jones.  Stastny gave him golden chance to score in the 2nd on a pass across the goalmouth and it looked to me like Koby wasn't expecting to get the pass.
  • I really like the red bar goal light they've put in the Pepsi Center (vs the small red blub).  I remember seeing those in Tampa last year and thinking "well that's a whole lot easier to see".
  • Man, Bruno looks weird in a Hawks uni.
  • Really interested to see how the Avalanche respond on Saturday night.
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Written by Sean Payton | 18 October 2011

  • Enjoy this Avs fans - they aren't going to be this good all season long.
  • Nice OT winner from Jones, who had turned the puck over at the red line moments before his GWG.  Jones now leads the team with 4 goals.
  • It was nice to hear Doc Emrick call the game on Versus.  I can't remember the last time he called an Avs game (maybe the 2011 Playoffs)?
  • It was even nice to hear Pierre McGuire call the game.  He is an easy guy to pick on, and yes, he always makes a comment or two that make me roll my eyes, but he knows his hockey and isn't afraid to call a guy out when they aren't good enough - which you'll almost never hear on a regional broadcast.  
  • What a play from Nikolai Kulemin on Toronto's 3rd period goal.  Knocking that puck out of midair was truly a thing of beauty.  (Granted, Giggy should have never given up a rebound on Phaneuf's shot to allow Kulemin to score.)
  • The Avs got caught icing the puck too much in this game - especially the McClemment's line, which simply couldn't hang with Kessel's line.
  • That being said, I did think that McClemment did a nice job killing penalties in this game - the Leafs were 0-4 on the PP.
  • It kinda hard to believe that Liles didn't score in this one.  I'm sure Dater would have put $100 on him to score the OT winner when the 3rd period ended.
  • Not a great game from Lindstrom.  He looked a little out of place at times, and I really would have liked to have seen him bury Phaneuf's god-awful 3rd period turnover that sent him on a partial breakaway.
  • There are 4 players that lead the team with 5 points each, and none of them are named 'Stastny' or 'Duchene'.
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Written by Sean Payton | 16 October 2011

  • Colorado needs to lobby the NHL to start every season on a extended Eastern Canadian road trip.
  • Who else thought the game was over when Desharnais scored?  Good timeout by Sacco after the goal to refocus the team.
  • Great to see Stastny get going.  His line accounted for 4 of the 5 goals and his steal and goal from Subban at center ice will have Montreal radio talking for days.
  • The Avs have 3 lines - each one with an offensively dynamic center - that teams have to worry about defending.  Good luck, NHL.
  • Avs with Mueller: 3 games, 3 goals.
  • Avs with Lindstrom: 2 games, 12 goals.
  • Johnson finally had what I'd call a good game.  2 assists, including a fantastic pass to setup Jones' PPG goal.
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Written by Sean Payton | 13 October 2011


  • So obvious stuff first, what a way for Landeskog to get his first goal (even if he didn't shoot it in).  His line (with Factor and Winnik) has been the Avs most consistant line over the first three games by far.
  • This was the first game we saw Varly come with less than his best stuff.  I liked the way he battled through it and bottom line, he gave the Avs a chance to win.
  • Rick Nash was far and away the best player on the ice.  Good on him to stick with the club that drafted him, but its sort of a shame that his career is whithering away in Columbus - he'd be worshipped if he was in a market like Toronto or New York.
  • Nevermind the point shot on the Landy winner, Hejda did a great job in the 3rd of neuralizing Nash who otherwise would have probably took the game over.  
  • Columbus needs to figure out that Steve Mason is the next Andrew Raycroft.  (One stellar rookie year, otherwise career backup)
  • Erik Johnson was a total mess again - he looks like he has no confidence with the puck.  I'm very disappointed in the way he started the season - I really thought he'd come out this season with a better effort.
  • McClemment was also a total mess.  A complelely inexeucable turnover to Nash with a lazy one handed pass right in front of his own net in the 2nd to gift wrap Columbus' first goal.  Good thing they put that A on his sweater - it really sets an example for the young kids.
  • Special thanks to the manager at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Fargo, ND.  He listed to me when I explained that the Avs game was on 771 no matter what the guide and his sheet said.  Sorry for freaking out on you a little...  

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Written by Sean Payton | 10 October 2011


So full disclosure, I watched the game on a fairly pixilated iPad screen while in Minnesota.

  • So obvious stuff first, Varly was absolutely fantastic.  In addition to stopping everything he was supposed to, he had two highlight reel saves.  I said it last game, it is certainly nice to have NHL quality goaltending back in Denver.
  • I mentioned I thought Landy looked out of place last game - he didn't at all this game.  I'm officially retracting my "I'd wouldn't be surprised if he got sent down" statement.  (The cap floor makes this difficult to do, anyway).
  • Mueller continued to look very wary of any sort of contact.  I know that his linemates were in on the game's only goal, but I think his play in particular is really holding the line back.  
  • I know it hasn't paid off in any goals (some posts though) yet, but Avs defense is throwing a lot of pucks at the net from the blueline.  Lots of shots are getting through, too.
  • Quincey has looked very good offensively in both games.  
  • How about the hit Obi put on Chara early in the first??
  • McClemment took a god awful tripping penalty about 190 ft from his own net.  He continues to look completely out of place on this team in a way that reminds me of another veteran #16 who wore a unipron not too long ago.  It looked like he hurt his arm pretty good on a shift right after the Bs pulled Rask...
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Written by Sean Payton | 09 October 2011

Let's start with some positives...
  • Varly was fantastic, and kept the Avs in the game after Detroit took full control of the game during the 2nd and 3rd.  It's nice to have NHL caliber goaltending back in Denver.
  • The Avs best skaters were Kobesew and Factor.
  • I'm expecting really big things from Factor this season - his offensive game really started to take off late last season and he hasn't showed any signs of that slowing down.
  • Kobasew showed me why he is playing on a line with Stastny and Jones.  He's a smart, hardworking and responsible veteran forward who has more skill than people give him credit for.  It's unlikely he maintains this level of play for an entire season - my wife and I couldn't recall him ever being as effective in a game with Minnesota last year, but right now, he's going.
  • Really disappointing effort out of Erik Johnson.  I know everyone is going to have an off night, but to have it opening night?  We shouldn't be surprised, this is who EJ is and it's why St Louis was willing to let him go.  He has far too many off nights. Unfortunately, it's going to be tough for the Avs to win when he is having one.
  • I really don't like the Duchene / Mueller / Hejduk line.  When these 3 are together, their game is all finesse.
  • Mueller looks like he doesn't want to get hit and Hejduk just isn't going to play a gritty game.  Duchene isn't the hugest of guys - he needs some size on his line.  They need to be broken up, because you can't have your best player neutralized by his wingers.
  • I wouldn't be shocked if Landeskog gets sent down after 9 games.  He looked out of place far too often, including a horrific turnover at his own blue line that could have easily ended up in the back of his own net.
  • It's nice to know that we can still #blamehunwick.  (Thanks Jessica).
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Written by Sean Payton | 18 September 2011

Thoughts on Training Camp, Day 2

  • If Joakim Lindstrom doesn't make this team out of camp, the entire front office should be checked for mental illness.  He has looked nothing short of fantastic playing both days with Stastny and Jones.
  • Ryan O'Reilly has figured it out in the offensive zone - 3 goals today.  Look for a career year from Factor.
  • I really hope they don't play Duchene / Mueller / Hejduk on a line.  They were certainly fun to watch - trying to make pretty play after pretty play, but absolutely no grit.
  • Even if Elliott, Barrie or Siemans aren't quite ready to play in the NHL out of camp, Hejda and O'Brien will significantly upgrade the blueline.
  • Landeskog has done nothing to lose a spot on this team.  Just like yesterday, he had a great game and a so-so game, but he never looked out of place.
  • 2011 7th rounder Dillion Donnelly looked completely lost today.  (Not really all that shocking...)
  • Players on the 2010-11 Avs who had better get ready for Cleveland: Yip, Stoa, Gaunce, Porter, Cumiskey, Holos, Hunwick.
I won't be at tomorrow's session (stupid work) but I will be at Tuesday's Burgundy / White game at Air Force.  Look for more thoughts after that game... no comments

Written by Sean Payton | 17 September 2011

My thoughts after Training Camp Day 1.
  • Mueller looked sharp and didn't shy away from contact.  
  • Landeskog had a so-so first game and then a nice 2nd game.  He kept beating people on the wall and going straight to the net.
  • Factor continued his late season strong offensive play - he looked great in the offensive zone.
  • Duchene is good enough to coast through the sessions.  Reminded me of the way Sakic used to play through these and the way Hejduk still does.
  • Johnson was solid and made one special play in the offensive end with a brilliant pass.
  • Brandon Yip and Ryan Stoa were both invisible. 
  • Worst player on the ice was #62 Troy Rutkowski - it wasn't even close.  The day started bad and seemed to snowball on him.
  • Nice day from Chuck Robasew.  Hopefully, his presence means that Kevin Porter isn't an everyday player.
  • Cumiskey and Hunwick continued to be poor.
  • McLeod was going like it was a playoff game.  
  • Olver wasn't backing down physically.  He may get into a fight before camp is over.
  • Easy to see Duncan Siemans' talent, but no way he plays in the NHL this year.  He is as thin as a rail and is not playing nearly fast enough.
I'll be there tomorrow for day #2 in a (far too big for me) Bruno gamer.  Come say hi! no comments

Written by Sean Payton | 16 September 2011

Training Camp for the 2011-12 Colorado Avalanche opens tomorrow!

To get you ready, here are the players who have newly issued numbers and are likely to challenge for a roster spot:


Tyson Barrie - #41

Stefan Elliott - #46

Cameron Gaunce - #24

 Jan Hejda - #8

 Matt Hunwick - #22

David Liffiton - #4

Duncan Siemans - #25

Gabriel Landeskog - #92

Joakim Lindstrom - #28

Brad Malone - #42

Patrick Rissmiller - #11


J.S. Giguere - #35

Seymon Varamov - #1

See you at camp this weekend!! no comments