The BSN Avalanche Podcast drops this week with the guys talking about how the Dallas Stars might hold the key to the Colorado Avalanche’s draft and look at the success of Nathan MacKinnon at the World Championships.

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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

    2 Questions about Matt Duchene.
    1. If he “gave up” or wasn’t trying this season why was he consistently one of the top face off men this season?

    2. Why dwell on Duchene’s production falloff when almost to a man every member of the Avalanche team had or nearly had their statistically worst season statistically this year? How does an entire team have an off year?

    The worst thing about the present regular jerseys is that they make the players look like they are wearing an apron.

    • The Heretic

      1) You are talking about one facet of the game. One facet that doesn’t involve skating. Duchene is my favorite player and I got pissed at him a lot this season. His skating was straight up lazy. At no point did he look like one of the fastest skaters in the NHL, which was supposed to be one of his calling cards. He skated lazily to the bench for changes EVERY shift. He skated in big lazy circles in both zones, but in the defensive zone he never pressured the other team, just those big lazy circles.

      Yeah, having a face off guy is important but to try and pin his effort level on face offs is just flat out ridiculous. You either didn’t watch any games or you are asking these questions as a troll.

      2) Name another player that cries himself to sleep or just flat out sucks because there are trade rumors or he gets called out.

      I flat out don’t like MacK, but his give a shit was there. His shooting sucked but he tried.

      No one is making excuses for anyone else (except Rants who disappeared down the stretch when he was pair with… You guessed it, Matt Duchene).

      I’ll tell you how an entire team has off year: the core isn’t good enough. Then, the core (cough Dutchy cough) gives up when called out. As leaders, the core should have been leading, instead they threw their hands up and said “Well, gee, I just don’t know what the problem is.” Then the goalie goes down, then your #1 D, then all of your role players say F it, if the big money guys don’t have to why do we? They may be athletes but they are still human and incompetence breeds discontentment.

      I’ll tell you exactly why and how it’s okay to dwell on Matt Duchene: He should be elite. E-L-I-T-E. When he gets to work he is DOMINATING. But he doesn’t get to work very often. If he could be that guy for an entire game they’d rarely lose. When does he do it? In the face off circle, phhhhhbt not good enough. Throw all the excuses you want about his linemates. If you want to know what the rest of us saw this year go back and watch his skate the bench at the end of his shifts. Go watch that and if it doesn’t scream lazy to you then you are incapable of objectivity. If you catch on to that then watch all situations and the only word you’ll be left with to describe his season is: Lazy.

      • bob_w

        First I am a season ticket holder and I attended every home game(including pre-season) except for 3. I have been a season ticket holder since the Avs came and this past season is typical of the number of games I attend. All road games and home games that I do not attend I watch on television. I have been a fan of the NHL since 1967 and was a season ticket holder for the NHL Rockies. So yes I was watching and I was paying attention. You are the one taking a belligerent tone so it seems to me that you are the troll.

        My first comment was in reference to what was said about Duchene’s attitude. If his attitude was that he had given up then I do not see him continuously being a top face off man. There is very little glory or recognition for him in it. It’s interesting that you are able read his mind and intentions while the rest of us can only go by what he said. I saw all the interviews with the core and I never saw any of them throw their hands up and so I believed them when they said they did not know what the problem was. I did see leadership from the core especially Landescog and Duchene. They never ducked the reporters or failed to take the hard questions.

        The days when a single player can dominate an NHL game without the support of his teammates is long long gone.That isn’t an excuse it is a fact. Take a look at the fabulous play of Erik Karlsson of Ottawa. He could not be force he is without his teammates filling in defensively when he takes to the offense and the system that Ottawa uses is built for that. Also in watching the playoffs when one of the elite plyers is having a slump one of the first things the coaches do is change up the lines. Nobody dominates on their own.

        If I was to point the finger for why this team had an off season and players who were playing lazy it would be at guys like Mitchell, Solderberg and Colborne. Compared to previous seasons they completely disappeared. How many times did we see Mark Rycroft on his telestrator showing us how one of these guys left their man unchecked resulting in a goal. Or realizing too late that they had let their man go they would reach out with a stick and take hook, trip or slash penalty. Those are truly lazy plays.

        As for the lack of hustle in returning to the bench I see that with EVERY Avalanche player and have seen it for quite a few seasons. I don’t like it either and do not see why any of the coaches put up with it.

        • The Heretic

          As I suspected, you are incapable of being objective.

          Take face offs out of the equation (well, because they didn’t help us did they?!?) and what do you have to defend his season? How many multiple game scoreless streaks did he have?

          As I’ve stated before, Dutchy is my favorite player. His is the only jeresy I’ve purchased since Roy retired. However, I still can see the truth. He gave up on the team. I hope he bounces back with his new team but there is no defending his season.

          • bob_w

            Your arguments are your opinions. My arguments are my opinions. There is no objectivity in either.

      • bskiff

        Heretic – I hear what your saying about how Dutchy “seems” to be lazy etc, but dude with all do respect you have to watch other players around the league. Watch them away from the puck. They generally do the same things Dutchy does. Skating around trying there best to be in the best position. Watch Malkin, Ovie & all the various stars & superstars around the league. They play the same away from the puck. They all look & play a similar style. Dutchy is not the only one who looks lazy coming back to the bench. Maybe hes exhausred at times. And yea playing on a team like the Avs were this past season, Id be pretty dejected too.

        Your comment regarding Rants lack of production down the stretch; wasnt he taken off another line because of his this lack of production with yhat line? Rants was a rookie trying to find his game & build chemistry with other players. To superstars in Crosby & Kessel didnt work together in Pitts. Does thst mean one of them are to blame.

        Does Dutchy have holes in his game, yes. But hes not the problem with the Avs.

        • The Heretic

          I hear what you are saying but it comes down to this for me: Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

          This season Dutchy proved to me that he is not part of the solution.

          We’ve all been there at jobs we hate with Co workers and managers we hate. I hope Dutchy bounces back with a new org.