Thursday, January 5, 2012

Why the Avs need to trade for Bobby Ryan

Earlier tonight, Ducks GM Bob Murray told the LA Times' Helene Elliott that everyone on the Ducks roster is in play except for Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu. Yes, this includes the big 3 of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan who just last season no one would of ever thought would be for sale.

Bobby Ryan is an interesting one as his name has already surfaced in trade rumors earlier this season. Another thing to note there is that the Avs did have some interest in possibly trading for Ryan. Sure, a lot of other teams also had interest and for good reason. Ryan is only 24 years old, in his 4th full season and has scored at least 30 goals in every season so far. The only player taken before him in the 2005 draft was some guy named Sidney Crosby. He also comes with some good size at 6-2 209 lbs. He may be having an off year with only 13 goals through 37 games but honestly who on that Ducks team is having a good year? Also, on his current pace he's still going to get pretty close to 30 goals.

He would fit in great with this Avs team who is one of, if not the youngest teams in the League. He already has more goals than anyone else on the team (in a down year). He is also a pure goal scorer which is one thing the Avs could really use in the top 6. With the exception of Hejduk, the Avs have no wingers who are capable of scoring 30-40 goals on the wing. Maybe Gabriel Landeskog will get there one day but after Hejduk is gone are the Avs supposed to rely on only Landeskog to score the goals?

Another argument is that Paul Stastny needs a winger to play with. That's a valid point since they've stuck him with just about everyone on the team including fellow center Matt Duchene. Ryan would be a huge upgrade to a Stastny centered line over guys like Winnik, Kobasew, Porter etc. They have also already played together for the USA during the Olympics 2 years ago so there should even be some chemistry. This would also take Duchene back to his natural center position to give the team added center depth.

Only problem is what the Ducks would want in return. In that same interview with Helene Elliott, Bob Murray said he is not interested in draft picks and would only want core type players if his core players are traded. This would mean for Ryan they would probably want a Duchene, Stastny or O'Reilly. Those 3 also would be considered untouchables from the Avs standpoint. One deal I would try to work out is one that centered around David Jones. Throw in a top prospect like Tyson Barrie and the other 2nd rounder that we still have and maybe Murray would think about it. Jones would have to start scoring for that to work out though. Another option would be to give them 2 forwards like Jones and Peter Mueller to give them some added depth on the wing.

Bobby Ryan is one of the top young players in the game right now and if the Avs are serious about wanting to build for the future, this could be the elite goal scorer that could help take them to the next step. It's all speculation at the moment and there's no guarantee that the Avs will even make an offer now that they've started winning again but it should definitely be something Greg Sherman and co. take a long hard look at.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Avs back in playoff spot after win over Kings

If you were to ask any of the hockey experts out there if they thought we would be sitting here just after the new year and have the Colorado Avalanche, they would probably all say no way. Well here we are 3 days into the new year and the Avs find themselves holding down the number 8 seed after their shootout victory over the Los Angeles Kings last night at Staples Center.

The Avs got a break early when Jason Williams allegedly tipped the puck into the net with a high stick. It didn't look like it was high but the war room in Toronto felt otherwise since they kept with the call on the ice that it was no goal. The Kings kept the Avs in their own zone for much of the 1st period and ended the first 20 with a 12-5 shot advantage but couldn't score a good goal.

It didn't take long for the Kings to find the back of the net in the 2nd period. King's captain Dustin Brown was able to slip the puck between Semyon Varlamov's legs just over a minute and a half into the period. The Avs were able to keep the shots a little bit closer in the 2nd but the Kings still had the 9-7 edge in the period.

Jonathan Quick looked like he was on his way to his league leading 6th shutout heading into the 3rd but Ryan O'Reilly had other plans. With just under 6 minutes left to play in the 3rd, he made a nice move around a Kings defenseman and fired a beauty of a wrister off the pipe and in the net on the far side of Quick.

Varlamov stole the show. He was brilliant the whole game and the reason the Avs held on for the win as he stopped some really good Kings chances in the final frame and all 3 shooters he faced in the shootout. Varly improved to 6-0 in shootouts. He ended the game with 31 saves and was the game's 1st star.

The win gave the Avs a 22-18-1 record on the season and moved them into 8th place in the West 1 point ahead of San Jose. The Avs have played the most games in the league so the teams behind them all have games in hand. It is very important that the Avs just keep winning to avoid losing that spot. Avs now have a 3 game win streak and have won 8 of their last 10 overall.