Running on about three hours sleep here, so not gonna get too fancy on the keyboard. For some stupid reason, I decided to rent a car to get around New York (and Philly) over the weekend, including the very stupid decision to drive into New York City yesterday while the New York City Marathon was still going on. I swear, I don't know how anybody lives in New York. I mean, I love New York and all, but it's truly terrifying trying to drive there. Everybody is a maniac behind the wheel, everybody will cut you right off and not think twice about it and it takes about 16 hours to go one mile. I got up at 6 a.m. today in North Bergen, N.J., and left for LaGuardia Airport, about 12 miles away. My flight was at 10:35. It took two hours to get to the airport, because of traffic.
Thing is, I am a former New York City resident. From 1965-69 or so, ages zero to four, I lived down in the Greenwich Village area. So, I can gripe a little.
But now that I'm back on my couch in Thornton, I can relax a little and commune more about the crazy night that was Sunday night in Brooklyn. Definitely have never seen a night quite like it, with Matt Duchene getting traded during the first period, then staking him out by a freight elevator to get his parting thoughts.
Now that it's over, let me add some quick-hit type of things, stream-of-consciousness style.
Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion revealed this morning that he thought he had a deal with the Avs to get Duchene on Saturday. He was so confident the deal would be done that the Senators had a plane waiting in Philadelphia to take him away. So, that better explains why Duchene was so irritable looking during the day, especially after the game with the Flyers. I tried to make some happy small talk with Duchene after the 5-4 shootout win, complimenting him on his play even. Duchene mostly just grunted and stared straight ahead, not talking much with me or anyone else from the team.
I was of the mindset Saturday that any deal involving Duchene was shelved again, maybe for a while. But another thing Dorion mentioned today: A chance meeting between Avs assistant GM Chris MacFarland and Nashville assistant GM Paul Fenton over the weekend helped revive talks. Things happened fast after that.
Duchene will wear No. 95 with the Senators, because 9 was already taken by Bobby Ryan.
I think it will be a much happier locker room now with the Avs. Does that mean they'll be a better team? Maybe not. Duchene is a very good player and he was doing a lot of good things for a team that was 8-6-0 with him in the lineup. But if better chemistry makes for better teams, maybe they will. Even though the Avs lost to the Islanders last night, there just seemed to be a lot of relief on the faces I saw. It's up to them now, though, to show more leadership without Duchene, to prove that this is their team.
A lot of people have talked about Erik Johnson's comments about Duchene last night (video of them here). I definitely don't think there was a lot of love lost between Johnson and Duchene these last couple years. Not saying they were enemies, not saying everybody has to sing songs around the campfire to be a good hockey team. Just sayin.'
I can't wait to see Johnson's first shift against Duchene this weekend in Sweden. (I won't be going to Sweden, but BSN's own Jesse Montano will be, so keep that mouse pointed right here at BSNDenver.com for the coverage).
The Avs plan to have Samuel Girard jump right in to the lineup starting this weekend. With Anton Lindholm out indefinitely with a broken jaw, there's a bit of wiggle room still in the top 6/7 D. This probably means Chris Bigras or Nikita Zadorov might be back on the bench, with Bigras the more likely of the two.
Patrik Nemeth didn't play in the third period Sunday, but I'm told he should be OK for the weekend.
I'm also told that J.T. Compher should return from his broken thumb. He will be the replacement for Duchene in the top six, at center. Tyson Jost (lower body) made the trip to Sweden, but it's not clear yet when he'll return. Blake Comeau will be further evaluated Tuesday. Jared Bednar said early indications were that his head injury wasn't serious, after getting hit with a puck behind the left ear. But you never know how head injuries will develop.
Carl Soderberg, a Swede, didn't take the team charter to Sweden. His wife is expecting a child, so he's back with her in Denver. No word on whether he'll journey to his homeland by Saturday or not yet.
There have been rumors that the Avs hope to flip goalie Andrew Hammond in a new trade. We'll see.
Alexander Kerfoot, who scored two goals in the last minute of the game last night, wrote a blog from Sweden.
I'll be doing a new podcast with A.J. Haefele Tuesday, to talk more about the last couple days. Check out his own breakdown of the trade in a solo pod he did, here.
Here is the full video of Joe Sakic's meeting with the media last night: