The BSN Avalanche Podcast drops with AJ Haefele and Adrian Dater breaking down the Avalanche’s 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils.

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AJ Haefele

This Aurora, Colorado native moved to Katy, Texas at a young age but found himself right back at home in 2009 and would begin covering the Avalanche a year later.

Before joining BSN Denver, A.J. had been writing for and briefly managed the popular Avalanche blog, Mile High Hockey. A.J. has been providing detailed practice reports, training camp coverage, and in-depth looks at the Avalanche and their divisional foes since 2010.

  • bob_w

    While Zadorov did make a bad play on NJ’s 1st goal if Berrie did not call for the puck maybe he should have warned Zadorov that there was a Devil coming in from behind. Communication is important in those siuations.

    On the Devils 2nd goal the initial shot was from close in and was rising causing Varly to throw his glove hand up quickly and it deflected off the top of the glove webbing giving a rebound shot that went up his shoulder and then fell in front of his right pad. Varly shot his right leg out and up anticipating a a high shot but Boyle’s shot went along the ice and under the pad. I find zero fault with Varly on that goal. There were 3 Avs at the net. Boyle was allowed to get behind EJ, one Av whiffed on a backhand clearance and nobody thought to hook or deflect Boyle’s stick.

    • Av-a-dabba-doo

      IMHO Bob’s comments are typically high-quality. Makes this site better.

  • cerveau

    I was at the Umass UConn game last night. I enjoyed watching Cale Makar, and he certainly has flashes of impressive speed. That said I wasn’t hugely impressed. Other defensemen were good too. It will be good to have him on board, but I’m not expecting miracles. IOW, Dater, don’t be holding your breath waiting for Makar to show up.

    • Charlie Anderson

      I’ve been wondering, since the pick, what it is exactly that separates Makar from say Barrie, or now Girard. Or possibly even someone like Warsofsky. Wouldn’t it be nice if New Jersey didn’t have our #1 draft pick?

      • AJ Haefele

        They’re all pretty different. Just because you see offensive defenseman on the small side doesn’t mean they’re all cut from the same cloth.

        Girard it begins with skating. He’s smooth an effortless, a classically beautiful stride. He’s creative with the puck and he uses great vision to attack weaknesses in the defense. Very very good passer.

        Barrie is a good skater but the weakest of the three we’re talking about here. He attacks with the puck, creates space, and abuses that space to his benefit. I don’t think he’s as good a passer as Girard but he understands how to pick his spots better (experience goes a long way!)

        Makar it also begins with skating but it’s different than Girard. He’s much more explosive in that he gets to his top gear in a hurry and creates separation from players and stresses defenses in a way Girard and Barrie simply can’t. A good passer, he also has a great shot to go along with it, though it’s been slow to translate at UMass so far. Defensively, he probably has the highest ceiling but I expect both Makar and Girard to surpass Barrie as a defender in the long run.

        • Charlie Anderson

          I will of course sir, defer to the expert (you). You would know and I would not cuz I’ve never even seen Makar play. But what makes people say we may have the next Erik Karlsson on our hands here? BTW I’ve been shocked and stunned and blown away by Girard’s play in the defensive end generally. He can really muscle some fools off of pucks, much larger fools even. Maybe he’s just being underestimated and taking hilarious advantage of it, but if Makar is as good as Girard we still probably did well with that #4. I’m still more excited about Timmons, but I saw him play in person in San Jose.

          • AJ Haefele

            Offensively, Makar’s ceiling is compared to Karlsson’s because they’re similar-ish. I wouldn’t expect Makar to put up 70 point seasons or anything but him being a consistent 15-goal, 50-point player is a reasonable expectation for Cale Makar. He’s explosive offensively. He can flat smoke people just from his skating alone. Then you get into his puck skills, which are dynamic and similar to that of a high-end forward, and you get a guy that can make just about anything happen any time he’s on the ice. He’s the whole package of skills. His shooting, his passing, his skating all combine to give him the highest upside of anyone the Avalanche own the rights to.

            Timmins is very exciting in his own right because he’s such a good all-around player already. His skating a little behind that of the other guys we’re talking about here but his size and defensive acumen open up some possibilities for him that may not exist for the other guys. I think ultimately Makar and Timmins could end up working the PK in the NHL but I’d be surprised if Girard ever got that assignment.

          • Charlie Anderson

            Yer a f*kin pro AJ. Thanks for all the good work on all this hockey stuff, but esp. thanks for the good hilarious attitude. Hockey is for fun!

          • AJ Haefele

            <3 <3

          • cerveau

            I totally concur with the praises towards AJ and AD!
            I may not always agree with their opinions but I always totally enjoy their intelligent as well as fun spirit!
            Keep up the great work guys!
            That also goes for the commenters.

          • cerveau

            Makar did show flashes of speed but the UConn defensemen seemed able to handle it, to my surprise. And there were one or two other UMass defensemen who struck me as nearly as if not as much of a threat as Makar. Maybe that’s because UConn was devoting their best resources to shutting Makar down, much as teams in the NHL do with McKinnon.
            I was also thinking Makar might do a lot better with NHL team mates as opposed to college team mates – even though many of the college players are the same size as the NHLers, the speed and power of shots for the college kids are notably weaker.

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