St Louis Blues v Colorado Avalanche

Columnist: Avalanche coach Joe Sacco ‘dismissal should be expected’


If you’re a Colorado Avalanche fan, the end of this dismal 2013 season can’t come quick enough.

The Avalanche are dead last in the league by three points. Hopes of making a playoff run are completely gone and have been for some time, and frustration within the dressing room is starting to boil over.

See Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s comments here, and the day-after reaction from his teammates here.

Then, late Tuesday evening, a strongly worded piece from Denver Post sports columnist Mark Kiszla was published online, essentially calling for not only head coach Joe Sacco to lose his job, but that a front office clean-up should also take place. Here’s an excerpt from his column (which can be read in its entirety here).

Yes, for starters, Sacco needs to worry about saving his job.

It should already be too late. With the Avs doomed to miss the playoffs for the third consecutive season in his four-year stint as coach, Sacco’s dismissal should be expected.

Of course, not everything wrong with the Avalanche is the fault of Sacco. A hose should be turned on to clean out the front office.

But when a team loses interest, it is an ugly condemnation of both the players and the coach hired to motivate them.

Perhaps it’s a good thing the Avalanche have only nine games remaining in the season.

Already without Eberle, the Oilers could also be missing Hall tonight

Taylor Hall
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Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.

Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.

The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.

Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.

Sabres waive d-man Donovan

HKN Sabres Senators
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Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.