Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Colby Cohen Shipping Up to Boston

The Avs once again showed they have a pulse as GM Greg Sherman pulled the trigger on another trade today acquiring Matt Hunwick from the Boston Bruins. In exchange, the Avs sent prospect Colby Cohen to Boston where he spent the last 3 years playing for Jack Parker at Boston University.

Hunwick is another small (5'11" 195 lbs) puck moving defenseman which the Avs seem to love seeing as how they have a few of those already on the team and in the minors. He has tallied just 3 points (1G 2A) in 22 games played this season. However, Boston plays a very defensive minded game so the move to Denver could work out very well for him since Joe Sacco loves this up tempo high offense game.

On paper, it seems like a pretty bad trade for the Avs seeing as how Colby Cohen was pretty close to being NHL ready and has that booming shot from the point. There were some questions about his skating ability but those could still be fixed. Hunwick was a salary dump for the Bruins as they are trying to shed salary to get Marc Savard back from a concussion.

Many fans are going nuts about this trade but I'm sure there were things that management saw that we can't see in Cohen's or Hunwick's game. Given our recent trading history (Winnik, Mueller, Porter, O'Byrne), I don't have any reason to feel this will be a bad trade for the Avs.

Jack Edwards of NESN had a great article about Hunwick today. He seems like he's a great fit for the type of player this organization looks for.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A day to give thanks

Today is the American Thanksgiving and I'm sure everyone is set to be with their families to eat turkey and watch some football...err I mean Avs hockey tonight against the Oilers! A few days ago, Mike Verminsky over at Put It On Ice Blog made a post with numerous Avs fans/bloggers and what they are thankful for this Thanksgiving. Here are the things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

I am thankful for Joe Sacco for getting all these young guys playing a very fun to watch style of hockey. While it is very offensive, he still demands the boys be responsible defensively. It's been awhile since we've seen this kind of excitement from the Avs.

I am thankful for injuries because it gave Budaj a chance to gain some more trust from coach Sacco so he can play more and give Andy some more rest. Also, because we have now seen how beastly Kevin Shattenkirk will be for us.

I am also thankful for Peter Budaj playing like he did during Andy's absense. He gave us a chance to win every game he started was a huge reason we sit atop the NW division

Lastly, I'm thankful for Greg Sherman and co. for staying on course with the rebuild despite some tempting free agents that were out there that probably would've set us back a few years *cough*kovalchuk*cough*.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Vote for Avs in the All Star Game

Fan balloting for this years All Star Game begins today. The ballot features 3 Avs - Anderson, Stastny, and Hejduk. Head over to http://vote.nhl.com and get some Avs in the game.

While you're at it, write in Chris Stewart who's name, for some reason, was left off the ballot.
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thoughts on the O'Byrne deal

As everyone in the hockey world may have heard, the Avs made a trade today with the Canadiens bringing in a monster of a defenseman in Ryan O'Byrne. They gave up prospect Michael Bournival of Shawinigan of the QMJHL. The move wasn't surprising as the Avs defensemen seem to be dropping like flies lately even though Foote should be back soon and they were forced to play with 4 rookies last game.

This is a pretty big deal for the Avs as O'Byrne will bring some much needed size to the back end. At 6'5" 230 pounds, he's the biggest defenseman the Avs have now. From all accounts, he uses his size and likes to hit, he blocks shots, and he's not afraid to drop the gloves. Fans probably shouldn't expect him to put up Mike Green type numbers offensively but he will help solidify the back end with his physical play.

O'Byrne wasn't working out in Montreal. It seems like ever since this goal, the coaches never had the same confidence in him as he never really saw consistent playing time after that. Montreal is no easy city to play in because of the expectations the media and fans put on the players. O'Byrne fell victim to this and the change of scenery could be exactly what he needs. Guillaume Latendresse is a good example of what a move out of Montreal can do for a players confidence.

The loss of Bournival is certainly pretty big as he's starting to make a name for himself and playing himself onto the radar of Canada's World Junior squad. He was drafted this past June in the 3rd round (71st overall) and has put up 24 points for the Cataractes in just 17 games. He wasn't going to make the Avs anytime soon and should be able to be replaced in the upcoming draft.

Joe Sacco said that O'Byrne will be available to play tomorrow night when the Avs head to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets. Foote will not play and neither will Ryan Wilson who is suffering from a blood clot in his leg.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shattenkirk gets the call

Last season (and the end of the 08-09 season), there was a lot of excitement for me from the Avs because there were players getting their first shot at the NHL level. It was exciting because we finally got to see how our past drafts had worked out. Seeing 1st rounders Chris Stewart and Matt Duchene, 2nd rounders TJ Galiardi and Ryan O'Reilly, and late round guys like David Jones and Brandon Yip have such solid seasons was huge in establishing an identity for this club which it had lacked since the lockout.

This season didnt really look like it was going to have that same kind of excitement. The offensive core was pretty much set. Defense was still going to be old and slow. Goaltending was no question. Well thankfully there were injuries because not only have we already seen and been pleased with Jonas Holøs, but tonight we get to finally see 2007 1st round pick Kevin Shattenkirk.

Shattenkirk got the call yesterday and got word from coach Joe Sacco that he would receive a jersey for tonight in a big game against division leader Vancouver. Like we've been seeing recently, Sacco will go with 7 defensemen. Sacco also said Shattenkirk will play on the 2nd PP unit.

Shattenkirk was drafted to be a PP quarterback and he was great at it while playing for Boston University. While having not recorded a point yet this season with Lake Erie, he has been getting better all around as the season has progressed. Lets hope his PP magic will finally come around while he's up with the Avs.
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