Never one to pull punches, the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater wrote quite the passionate column following Colorado’s 3-0 loss last night in Vancouver.
As in the past, Dater’s biggest issue is with, in his words, “the tone-deaf upper management that tries to rule by fear and denial.”
Look, this is the deal with the Avalanche: coaches and all other personnel are instructed to keep it positive. Don’t criticize the brand, spin it as positive as you can, don’t get negative, have a “Nothing to see here, move on” persona whenever the S hits the fan on or off the ice. This is what anyone who works for the Avalanche in any capacity is instructed to do, or else consider yourself on the next plane out of town if you don’t.
Dater notes the less-than-disparaging post-game comments of head coach Joe Sacco after losing to the Canucks as evidence of the organization’s PR strategy.
Anyway, it’s worth a read.
To be fair to the Avs, they’re missing some key players. Gabriel Landeskog and Steve Downie are both injured, and Ryan O’Reilly is still in a contract dispute with the club.
But if they don’t turn it around soon, they’re going to miss the playoffs for the third time in a row, and the fifth time in the last seven seasons.
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.