So the Avs have entered full-on south of heaven mode, with the longest losing streak in franchise history. As usual, Jibblescribbits nails the situation and gets there before I do. If you want sober-sided and clear-headed analysis of OH FUCK WHAT NOW in the aftermath of a 9-1 silent scream of a game, he's gotcha covered:
This team is still young, still learning, and still rebuilding. We, as fans, got our hopes up that the rebuild was going to be quick. That Duchene and Forsberg would come save us and that the Avs would return to glory. Management did too. But rebuilds take time. Pittsburgh and Chicago were miserable for many years before enjoying success. The Avs have a way to go, and have some good pieces to do so.
But what to do the remainder of the year? Are the players live or undead? Have they quit on coach Joe Sacco, no longer marching to his orders? Former unquestioned number-one goalie Craig Anderson has gotten crooked, and been crossed off as the starter for four straight games now; I think it's clear that he at least has given up on Sacco and that he (Anderson) won't be brought back next year.1
As for Sacco...I'm guessing the powers that be will watch to see if the team completely gives up on him. If they do, he'll probably get shitcanned in the off-season. If they don't, he'll probably come back.
But I'm just frustrated and incapable of coming to a solid conclusion about this team. All year long, I've been pretty sure they were a little worse than they were last year--but when they're good, they're just irresistable. If I could just convince myself they sucked, I could lie back and enjoy the remainder of the season, calling the games development for the younger players, and chalking up each loss as a mandatory suicide with good long-run consequences. But then they look good and I get excited again...then they turn into nightmares on skates, shell-shocked ghosts of war barely bothering to go through the motions against teams I loathe.
So fuck it. Maybe the rebuild hasn't actually started yet. Maybe it's time to put the screws to the management team, read between the lies they're spewing, & make sure we're not falling in love with the best players on an abysmal team.
So here's my suggestion.
They should trade everybody but Budaj2, Liles, McLeod & Koci & tank a couple more years, get some draft picks.
Why those guys? Because they are the ones who I have so far seen give a fuck every single night. Nobody else. They don't play well every night, but they actually fucking care every night.
Do I know any way to cleanse the soul other than tantrums and foul language? Not really. So, in this rebuilding year that bids fair to be a lost season, all I can really do to hold on is root for wingnut agitators like McLeod to fly around like dissident aggressors, spill some blood.
--Collision, going in the tank for the rest of the year
1I want to be very, very clear about this. Not bringing St. Mayor Craig Anderson back will be a major mistake. This year has been a terrible one for him, but his career numbers suggest he'll be good again next year, wherever he ends up. Every year since 2006 he has had a save percentage of .917 or better; I predict next year he will again, and that whoever ends up working for the Avs won't.
2Why keep Boods? First, I'm a huge proponent of stability at the backup goalie position; those are the guys who the team practices with, and they bring a lot to the table when they're liked. By all accounts, Budaj is tremendously well-liked by his teammates, despite a religious background that earned--earned!--him the nickname "Flanders".
Plus, if you want to rebuild, throw a guy out there who'll let in 1 out of every 10 shots consistently. That is how you get a lottery pick, my friend.
Also found this, which is a similar defense of Budaj & his decent stats and excellent helmet work.