Planning the Preseason
The NHL Preseason is upon us. And that’s got me thinking, what is the goal of the preseason? What matters and what doesn’t? Is it the time to tally wins and losses, goals and primary assists? Is it a time to see what the youngsters can do? Is it a time to put into place the new systems you are looking to run this year? The answer is: yes.
For me, the interesting thing is how you manage and rank all of those priorities. In the “Well, duh!” Category, health is the single most important factor that you can hope for. Beyond that, I think the preseason should first and foremost be about getting your line combinations set for the regular season and having those lines work on executing the type of hockey you want them to play in the regular season. Use your bottom two forward lines and your bottom D pair to evaluate those guys that you think may deserve a push for those final roster spots. By the time preseason game five rolls around I’d like to see decisions made, players cut, and the final product on the ice for those last two games. If wins come and goals are scored, that’s great, but that, to me, is so far in the periphery of what the preseason should be about. It’s about being ready to win when the wins count and the goals mean something.
I’d like to hear your thoughts…agree? Disagree? Drop a line below.
Avs Week in Review
Since we last jived some actual hockey, albeit meaningless actual hockey, has been played. The Burgundy and White game came and went, highlighted by some teammate fighting (more on that below). And the first and second preseason games have officially taken place. I will admit, I watched the first game in spirit (while wishing I slept instead) and didn’t have the ability to check into game number 2. Here’s what you might have missed.
- Nikita Zadorov (as broken by our friends at BSN) has re-upped with the team to the tune of a shiny new bridge deal at 2 years worth $4.3 mil total. Due to some Visa issues he’s yet to take the ice in Denver, but he still has plenty of time before October 5 to get up to speed.
- The Avalanche has announced some cuts and then cut even deeper a day after preseason game numero uno. Most notable here is that Rookie Camp darling Nic Meloche was let go to prepare for AHL camp while Travis Barron and Conor Timmins appear set to miss the start of their respective CHL seasons.
- On a sad note: Tyson Jost and Tyson Barrie were injured early on in training camp and have yet to feature in any live hockey action. Paging Mr. Miyagi because to us Avs fan, win/lose do matter.
- Matt Duchene did indeed report to camp and he is on the Team Sheet for preseason tilt #2 and is centering Nail Yakupov and Alex Kerfoot throughout the preseason.
A Penny for my Thoughts
This week I’m burning on some of the new points of emphasis that the NHL is looking at. We’ve only seen a hand full of games across the league and if they are telling of anything it’s that the parade to the sin bin will be long and boring.
- On Slashing: In many ways I get the crackdown on slashing calls. My point of contention here is that they shouldn’t have to make this a point of emphasis, it should already be one. In what world, where 99% of the time the puck you’re supposed to be playing is on the ice, does your stick need to be in a position to take a downward or lateral aerial strike at an opposing player. These are the types of dangerous and silly plays that need to be enforced out of the game.
— Anthony (@alcirillo) September 21, 2017
- On Faceoffs: As opined last week, we don’t need stupid rules to slow the game down and have it be played at an advantage. The beautiful part of hockey is when it’s being played 5 on 5, mano y mano. Let’s save the sin bin for more egregious actions than a FO infraction. I’m not sure how tongue in cheek Brad Marchand meant it, but I would rather have D-men taking draws the parades to the box.
— Wiser Fans (@WiserFan) September 21, 2017
Hero of the Week
I’m giving this weeks Hero Award to A.J. Greer. Someone asked the other day who the next Avs cult hero would be. Greer is on the fast track to that kind of notoriety. If A.J. Greer had a high school superlative it would be: Most Likely to Cause Someone Else Take Their Skate Off and Try to Stab Him. After last year this team could use a little bit the piss ‘n vinegar attitude that Greer brings to the table. It’s not always a great thing to see a player fighting his own teammates and being tackled by the teams starting goalie, but this year, I think that’s fine, fine just fine. It’s nice to see a guy going full bore in practice because you know he’ll give you that in a game. Keep doing you, AJ, and you’ll have the fans cheering your name from the Pepsi Center seats in no time.
Friends of the Blog
- This weeks Friend of the Blog is Eurolanche. Our friendly neighbors across the Atlantic are a devoted bunch and even make a yearly pilgrimage to Denver for some Avs games. They do good work and only seek to further the Avalanche fan experience. A special shout out to them for taking notice of some excellent work by our very own Vladimir Poutine:
— Eurolanche 🇺🇦 (@Eurolanche) September 16, 2017
- Burgundy Rainbow Co-creator, Author, and all around bad ass @seamill12 has started a Burgundy Rainbow GWG Challenge. This will be a game day challenge for our readers to make some predictions on the nights games. Submissions must be made on Burgundy Rainbow dot com. He will post the questions early on game days to allow plenty of time for proper responses to be made. The tally has already started, but it’s not too late to join. Here is a sample of what you can expect for the challenge.
Comment of the Week
I am happy to introduce a new feature this week called Comment of the Week. We here at Burgundy Rainbow use Discord for our Game Day Thread chats. I will be going back through the #GDT on Discord and awarding 3-5 Comments of the Week. They will be recognized in this space weekly. Comments can be: intelligent, witty, silly, etc. If there is something you find worth noting, drop an emoji on the comment so it stands out. Let’s have some fun here.
Tune of the Week
Hockey is back, and the in fighting has already begun. We are all passionate fans around these parts and we have heated taeks on things that involve our favorite team and players. The Tune of the Week this week is a simple reminder that we are all friends here and that at the end of the day, we all want the same thing:
Dahlin Stanley Cups.