Colorado Avalanche and Blue Jackets; A Philosophical Look


The Colorado Avalanche hit the ice again tonight against a Columbus Blue Jackets team that is 0-8 (seriously?). I don’t even think the start from the Avalanche last year can compare with the dismal nature of this sluggish opening of the gate for the Blue Jackets. But, as the band Chicago would say: “It’s only the beginning”.

Nonetheless, this is a serious business, and jobs are won and lost in the throws of such a brutal beginning. Todd Richards probably didn’t turn to see the door close behind him as he was told to leave. But, I guarantee John Tortorella is sure to take note of what caused such an unceremonious exit — in attempts to remedy the situation before he feels any sort of security with his new job.

These are just the underlying storylines that enter the game with the teams playing in it, a match between two teams desperate for definition, an identity. Words can wield that identity surely — that’s the basis of persuasion — but an identity is truly molded by character. In the most simple — and cliche — terms, actions speak louder than words.

Patrick Roy has shown that his vision for this team’s identity rests in the realm of speed, skill, and size (grit). Those are the words constructed to determine the foundation of the team. But, how the Colorado Avalanche actually play is what reflects their identity.

At this point, they are lacking one entirely, but I think the words mentioned to describe the direction are certainly a good place to start the action.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are also in a realm of doubt because it is inevitable that their style of play will be drastically different under the guidance of John Tortorella. So far, they are 0-1 with him as a coach, but they have got to be itching for a win, which means they will be well prepared for the game tonight.

Colorado Avalanche Recent Developments

Let’s jump to business. Mikko Rantanen has been assigned to the AHL, and there’s a bit of controversy concerning the timing of the decision. That’s neither here nor there, Rantanen goes to the AHL where he’ll have the chance to develop, and Dennis Everberg comes up to the big team.

Everberg is here, and he’ll be on a line with John Mitchell and Carl Soderberg. Which means the fourth line of Cody McLeod – Mikhail Grigorenko – Jack Skille will stick together. Also, Comeau goes back to Matt Duchene’s wing, which keeps the revolving door that is Dutchy’s left wing spinning.

That topic is like a desert cactus though because there’s plenty to take from it, but it’s already been drained of all reserve, we’re down to the last drop and Dutchy needs to produce, the numbers are black and white.

Related: Where are the Colorado Avalanche and Matt Duchene?

What is interesting is the fact that the bergs will get together, that is Soderberg and Everberg. Unite the Swede’s, I’m starting a campaign; although, Roy can leave Landeskog with MacKinnon unless Everberg pulls some magical rabbit out of his hat of skills and earns some serious minutes.

Everberg brings identity to this team, he knows his role and he will fill it well. Hopefully his style of play is contagious, and the Colorado Avalanche take on a form. Good things need form and direction, and the chaos Avalanche fans have been subjected to so far this year is formless.

The defensive pairings for the Avalanche are likely to stay the same, and that’s alright because as bad as Nate Guenin is, I think he’s still better than Brad Stuart. Anyway, hopefully Tyson Barrie’s return will spell the end of Nate Guenin’s hold on this roster because Brandon Gormley provides a wealth of promise.

Colorado Avalanche Need to Show the Will to Win

The Colorado Avalanche are filled with talent, there are players who express the desire to win, and the team/coach certainly enjoy winning. However, they have yet to prove any semblance of a consistent will to win.

This begins with a desire for the ultimate boon, the Stanley Cup and that mythic threshold that must be crossed to obtain this glorious artifact. But that beginning is only legitimized by actions that point to that desire, and so far the Colorado Avalanche seem to be lacking championship effort entirely.

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Pundits can argue that the Colorado Avalanche are no where near a championship team (which is probably a warranted argument), regardless, that does not mean that such a team would shy away from a championship attitude.

In fact, Patrick Roy has openly expressed that his goal is the Stanley Cup, which means that the play of his team — as well as the players themselves — should reflect this determination.

Perhaps the playoffs are out of reach, but I imagine the players are not resigned to such a disappointing outcome. If that is indeed the case, then the Colorado Avalanche need to prove that they have the will to win.

There are certainly a plethora of statistics available to analyze the varying aspects that point to a bad Colorado Avalanche team, but there is no statistic available to analyze sheer determination.

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I believe this team has that ability, biding time, dormant, and just waiting for the call to action, if only it could be employed. Furthermore, Patrick Roy’s dislike of advanced statistics — and his retorts against them — essentially reconstruct the same ideals that these advanced statistics propose to begin with. In other words, he preaches Corsi because he wants high-quality and consistent scoring chances while limiting the opposition to as few as possible.

Where’s the secret there? That is how the game is played, advanced statistics point to how a team may be lacking important aspects to their style of play, but it doesn’t offer any solutions.

Teams try to play in a fashion that allows them more scoring opportunities than their opponent to begin with. However, I posit that results stem from a passion to play hard and win every single night you hit the ice, that’s what culminates in puck possession and wins, not some arbitrary stat put to good use.

I’ll run into some issues here questioning our players’ resolve surely, but I’m not convinced that Patrick Roy’s style is the defiling systemic issue it is played out to be. There is no infection here, perhaps just a disjointed form of communication, or a lack of employing the actual system to its intended use.

How Do The Colorado Avalanche Win?

The Colorado Avalanche need their top forwards to produce surely, and tonight they face a beaten and bruised Columbus Blue Jackets team that needs another shiner.

When a team is in a transitional phase in coaching this early of the season it is important to exploit every weakness with a resolve that stifles any attempt for the Blue Jackets to get their game going. It’s time for the Avs to take ownership of their fate and determine it with a passion that dictates the end means.

I have nothing else to say.

What do you think about the team’s motivation so far this season? What else could be done in order to ensure that the Colorado Avalanche are satisfied with their results? Do you think the problem is in fact systemic? As always, your opinion is valued so voice it in the comments! 

Next: Avalanche Offense on Rushes

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