Home-&-home vs. the foetid Blackhawks, & what I thought would be a clarificatory exercise proved only a further muddle.
Ten percent of the season down, a couple of this team's best players (Johnson, Duchene) have yet to be their best players, with Johnson coming in for more than a bit of beaking from Anyone But Detroit and Dutchy actually banished to the fourth line the last game. The first and second lines have been inconsistent in production and personnel, as Coach Sacco tries--somewhat in vain, given the roster's tremendous weakness at right wing--to find combinations reasonably without weakness. The team seems, like two years ago, to be getting outshot every single night, and yet is 6-2; they're undefeated on the road, winless at home. A conundrum. But the goalies have performed well, the third line has been strong beyond all expectations--Ryan O'Reilly's gym-rat obsessiveness driving him to nearly a point-a-game pace at this early stage, rookie Gabriel Landeskog playing with aggression & aplomb--and the team's nigh-impeccable when it comes to the skills contest that ends far too many games, 14-1 in their last 15.
Unable to pierce to the root of the Avs, I'll just dump the puck in & go for a line change: the Blackhawks will always be a bad measuring stick for the Avs, because they've got the speed & skill to keep up with the Burgandy & Blue, while also having superior size and experience. (I also think Chicago's Quenneville is a notch better than Sacco. That's no knock on Sacco, who is thoroughly competent, and, based on his goalie handling thru 8 games, still improving.) Another bad comparison will be the Sharks, whose forward size is going to give the Avs problems eternal.
Game 7 1-3 vs Chicago Blackhawks
LIKE SOUNDGARDEN I'VE GOT NOTHING TO SAY
LORD VARLAMOV HE-WHO-MUST-NOT-BE-SCORED-ON HOWEVER WOULD LIKE TO POINT SOMETHING OUT IT IS FUCK YOU
Game 8 5-4 (SO) @ Chicago Blackhawks
HARD TO PLAY AGAINST A FLAWLESS TEAM INCAPABLE OF EVEN A SINGLE PENALTY IN 65 MINUTES STOP STOP STOP GIVING UP THE GODDAMNED LEADS AVS STASTNY OVER TOEWS LORD VARLAMOV HE-WHO-MUST-NOT-BE-SCORED-ON OVER SCOREY CHUMPFORD
--Collision, suiting up at right wing pretty soon, if Yip doesn't get healthy with a quickness