The BSN Avalanche Podcast drops with the guys breaking down Colorado’s losses to Ottawa in the Global Series and look ahead at what can be done to help their murky roster makeup.

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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.

  • jpwheels

    “Stick it to Duchene”? That’s a awfully petty attitude Dater.
    I think it would be best for the Avs to focus on their game, improving, and winning games.

    And Zadorov “probably wants to get out of here now” …really?
    I can understand fan frustration and disappointment. But the frequent sky-is-falling negativity is getting hard to listen to.

    • BIngishi

      I agree, Stick it to Duchene seems immature.
      This team watched the circus of the media around Duchene and must be able to emphasize. Overall I thought everyones reaction to the whole situation was extremely mature and the way ugly situations should be handled. It sucked he didn’t want to play here but he showed and didn’t cause a scene ( the media made one for him), or whine.
      I’m just glad its all over and we can really focus on something other then that circus.

      • AJ Haefele

        Being part of that media, I can tell you there wasn’t much of a circus around Duchene. The loudest conversations about Duchene were being started by guys not in Denver. Those of us actually around the team regularly…didn’t spend much time on him. The odd drop in and check how he was doing but the day he finally decided to talk to the media, there were a grand total of…two reporters there.

        • OCMS

          AJ, the blame the media mantra is way to embedded in people’s psyche to win this one. Even though Duchene asked for a trade almost a year ago, I’m sure there are plenty who still think this was all a media driven story all along.

    • OCMS

      I think AD’s point is that the leaders on this team had a chance to show that this is their team and that they don’t need Duchene to win. While a good solid hit would have been fun to see, I think it’s more about how they played, which was not all that impressive.

      Basically, what I was hoping for in Sweden was:
      1) Avs wins
      2) Big games by Landy and MacK
      3) Duchene tallying a handful of points
      4) A few scrums centered around Duchene and maybe a good clean hit on him

  • Av-a-dabba-doo

    Feedback, boys:
    – IMHO the best and strongest point coming out of this podcast was your contention that it is time (if not past it) for Coach Bednar to make some significant personnel decisions. And NONE of those are as important as the one concerning Nikita Zadorov. What a major disappointment that we are where we are with Big Z. To think that I had hopes of him possibly even developing into an all-star eventually! Now none of us seem to have any real assurance concerning the trajectory of his future. Exactly how did this happen?! Personally, I agree with you guys, that we need to make a full commitment to him this year and seek to develop the promise we thought we saw last season. Was it a mirage? Sure looked legit to me.
    – I am not with Adrian’s anti-Duchene motivation at all; even less so than AJ is. To me the desire to rub Matt’s nose in it is the wrong kind of thinking for a number of reasons.
    – Surprised no one is mentioning MacKinnon’s jittery puck-handling? Does he even possess a one-timer from the wing on the PP? Never see it. He always first plays fiddle-faddle. Either he is undergoing a crisis of confidence or I was wrong in thinking he was ever good with the puck in the first place.
    – I’m not as down on Nieto or Nemeth as AJ is. More with Dater here. On the other hand, not as down on Yakupov yet as is AD. Even Mironov has really not been bad of late. It’s his first year in the league, is it not?
    – Like everyone else, applause for the poise and skills we’re seeing right off the bat from Girard.

  • Chris DeMott

    You don’t suppose AD really, really, wanted to see Duchene get beat – do you?

  • BIngishi

    I have to vehemently disagree with you AJ on you Kerfoot statement. You win games by your top two lines scoring. Yes JT was expected to be the #2 Center as AD said but based on the cast and his three weeks off Kerfoot was given the responsibility and he stepped up hard. Looking at his stats and his two way play for an undrafted player he is an absolute steal. You win games and become a championship team by having players that aren’t your all-stars become well above average (Nikita Kucherov). I am not saying Kerfoot is Kucherov but the kid is showing a Hockey IQ unprecedented in an undrafted kid. For me right now he is the highlight surprise of the Avalanche season.
    To win games we need kids like Kerfoot to keep scoring, Jost and JT to stay healthy, and our top line to maintain the type of pressure we have seen in their best games. Honestly just watching this season it feels like a team on the rise and not a team of mismatched Jigsaw pieces that was last season. I am not saying were going to make the playoffs but we look infinitely better then the team we saw last year and there is a lot of positives to be taken away.

    • AJ Haefele

      Kerfoot was a baller…but he wasn’t the second center this weekend. Compher and Co. ended up seeing more ice time and that’s an issue. And we just saw what happens when Kerfoot is your best forward by a country mile – you don’t win games. He needs more help from the top guys than he got. And just nitpicking here but Kerfoot WAS drafted, he simply didn’t sign with the team that drafted him.

      • BIngishi

        I apologize 150th overall still a steal. I misread my info. Still the hockey iq he exhibits as he continues to step up against top teams second line pairings is unprecedented in the modern era for such a low level draft pick. Also the avs could have won that game if they hadn’t allowed taken bad penalties as their even strength game was no awful defensively. Yes the big guys need to step up but depth scoring and discipline are more important.

  • Av-a-dabba-doo

    I’m honestly not asking this in any sort of offended way, but why are my comments disappearing? I spent some time posting my response to this podcast last night, and it was definitely displaying here. Then this morning I look and it has vanished. I am confident that there was nothing deemed inappropriate in the comment, so I am puzzled. This is the third time this has happened, and I just don’t want to keep taking the time make posts if many of them are going to be deleted for whatever reason.

    • jpwheels

      That’s really weird.
      I read your thoughts last night. And you’re right — there was nothing you said that should/would have given someone reason to delete them.
      Maybe you could copy/paste your comments to a text document or something so you could easily repost them if your posts keep coming up MIA.

      • Av-a-dabba-doo

        That’s an idea worth considering. Thanks, ‘Wheels.

  • I’m writing this as I listen:

    – AD, I think you have higher expectations for this team than I, as an Avs fan, have. Given that this is a very young team, I fully expected them to lose both games based entirely on the fact that they would probably struggle to handle the Duchene media frenzy on top of the travel to a new country and time change. Ottawa, a very veteran team, is much more likely to handle those things better.

    – As for Bernier, I don’t think starting him was a mistake. That seems like 20/20 hindsight to me. Had he played well I doubt anyone would be questioning the decision to start him. Goalies, and Varlamov in particular, tend to play worse in the second game of back-to-backs. And then in terms of his play, you’re really going to fault him for a one-in-a-million bounce, a shot he was completely screened on, and two others he would have needed a spectacular save to stop? He wasn’t beat clean the entire game. That’s all I want from a backup frankly.

    – EJ wasn’t bad. AD claims he didn’t do anything offensively when he actually had a few good rushes, had three shots on goal, two assists, and was in general a beast on the penalty kill.

    – Otherwise I generally agree with what AD said at the beginning.

    – Yep, bad coaching overall especially in terms of offensive strategy and defensive execution.

    – What AD sees as doing nothing (Bednar not actively listening to Bennett’s end of game plan) could easily be seen as him showing trust in his associate coach. I don’t know which is the accurate way to describe it because I’m not in Bednar’s head, but neither is AD.

    – Bourque is clearly on the roster 100% to kill penalties and otherwise not hurt the team. With Soderberg and Jost out and Duchene gone the Avs are a bit short on penalty killers.

    – I was watching both games for that EJ hit on Duchene, but to be honest I never saw an opportunity for him to do that. Duchene never had the puck down low in EJ’s corner, never stood in front of the net, and never tried to carry it down the wall on EJ’s side. Sure, it would have been nice to see EJ crush Duchene, but I don’t want him going out of position to do it. Also, it’s worth noting that Landeskog in game 1 used a power move on Duchene and got a scoring chance out of it. Not sure if anyone noticed that as they didn’t note on the broadcast that it was Duchene in coverage on that play.

    – Can we please not anoint Gerard a star before NHL coaches and players have had a chance to figure him out? Yes, he’s been great… against guys who have never seen him play before. I’m not saying he won’t be great in the future as well, but I fully expect some growing pains.

    – “I never saw any passion” when Barberio went to the box? I don’t know which feed AD watched, but on that last penalty, Barberio looked absolutely crushed in the box. He looked like someone who had just cost his team the game.

    – The timing of the deal: What’s the alternative? It’s not up to Sakic when other teams agree to the terms of the deal. I’m sure Sakic would have loved to make that exact same deal months ago, but it hadn’t been agreed to.

    – Z wants out? I think that’s a stretch.

    – Totally with you guys on player development.

    – Why is Lindholm not the future? He’s a 22 year old defenseman with 21 games of NHL experience? Why would anyone give up on him now?

    – I think Yak could work as a powerplay specialist with very protected minutes, but the Avs aren’t really able to do that.

    – Thanks for the food for thought guys.

    • Chris DeMott

      Thank you Voice of Reason. Dead on, on this one.

  • Charlie Anderson

    Where was Landy? Where was Sodo? I thought Nemeth and Lindholm were sorely missed. Girard needs to be with AJ. Rocco/Bourque instead of Greer? WTF?

    • Av-a-dabba-doo

      I guess Soderberg’s wife was having a baby.

      • Charlie Anderson

        I know the “excuse”, just seems weird to me. I mean do we even know if she had the baby? Sodo get paid MILLIONS of dollars to play for this team and those 2 games were in Sweden his homeland and he’s been one of our better players. This isn’t even his first child, and for all we know his wife is still pregnant and going to deliver…..when? Is he going to miss the next road trip too? I’m just wondering wtf? It’s probably going to take him a month to get back to the level he was playing at after a week and a half+ off :/

        • OCMS

          Sorry, dude, but that’s his wife and kid and they are the priority. Not sure why it not being his first child matters. If you are married, go ahead and try that on your wife and report back here. If you are not married, I hope for your sake that Charlie Anderson is a made up name, because you may not get a date for a while. 🙂

          If travel was part of my job, I’d surely miss a trip if my wife was about to give birth. We have no idea what her status is and it’s not our business. What if she has had a high risk pregnancy? What if the child is at risk? It’s not like he can jet back from Sweden in a few hours if there had been an issue like he could have from the east coast.

          • Charlie Anderson

            Well said and I totally agree with you. So does my wife, she loves to tell me that I’m lucky to have her because I’d never get a date without. And you guys are right. I just have a hard time getting excited about new babies when there’s already so many people on the planet, and dwindling/polluted natural resources. Anyways I totally wish the best for Sodoberg’s wife, child, and family. It’s gonna be a rough job market when that kid’s 30.

  • Charlie Anderson

    I wonder if Sodo is going to miss the next road trip as well. What’s the due date for gods sake? It’s going to take him a while to get back to the level he was at after all this time off.

  • Blackboard Warrior

    I totally agree about Bednar. I’ve been saying this since last year: the guy doesn’t show any interest in winning. He doesn’t show any fire when someone screws up, he doesn’t make any adjustments when the game is falling apart, he doesn’t hold people accountable.

    Of course, I don’t know anything about what happens in the locker room and at practice. I’m just giving my impressions as a viewer and a fan.

    Dude needs to step it up, big time.

  • CO-008

    I agree 100% with Dater – it isn’t exactly “sticking it” to Duchene, I think that phrase is getting blown out of proportion. It is about the “leaders” of this team coming together and coming out with pride and showing both the rest of the team and the Avs fans that they can win without Duchene, and to mirror the thoughts they have shown in the locker room interviews that they are proud to be here and want to win as a member of the Avs. There was almost zero energy it seemed in both games, aside from the first period of the first game. Landeskog waited until the end of the 2nd game to show any emotion and fight? Where were the hits, where was any crashing of the net, or clearing the front of the net and making an effort to be harder to play against? The only player I saw protecting the front of the net in the defensive end was Mironov – one time. Same with Bednar getting outcoached again and making no adjustments. Just frustrating all the way around. I had so much excitement coming in these games to see the energy they would come out with against Ottawa/Duchene and they played timid and weak – I am with AD, I am concerned about the games coming up if this is the energy they showed in these emotional games.

    Oh yeah, and scratch Barberio and put in Zads please.