So many players, so little games. This is the conundrum that Colorado Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco finds himself in now.
Players are starting to get healthy. Adam Foote and David Koci have recently returned from IR. The two Kyle’s – Cumisky and Quincey – will be back soon. Craig Anderson is skating, but his return is still unknown. Although Peter Mueller, TJ Galiardi and David Van Der Gulik look to be out for quite some time, Coach Sacco is going to have to start thinking about what to do with his line-up. The confident, young and talented rookies that are filling in for the injured players have proven that they are good enough to stay at the NHL level.
What will Sacco do with Kevin Shattenkirk? The kid has been playing solidly in his own end, and has shown that he is willing and able to jump up into the play when needed. I was fortunate enough to attend “Shatty’s” first game in the NHL (vs. Vancouver, 11/4) and he looked comfortable and played better than some of the veteran D-Men.
What about Greg Mauldin? This kid has spent 7 years in the minors, gets brought up to the show, scores his first ever NHL goal, and has been playing great! Who in their right mind would not want him on the team?
What will happen with Jonas Holos? Here’s another young player that has tremendous upside. Yes, he’s made some mistakes in his own end and hasn’t been lighting the lamp like John-Michael Liles, but while playing junior hockey in his home country of Norway, he put up as many as 30 points in 40 games as a D-Man!
Now is the time for Coach Sacco to start getting creative with the line-up. The Av’s will be “chumming for Sharks” tonight at Pepsi Center and none of the players want to end up as “bait”.