Granato Needs to Take Charge - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Granato Needs to Take Charge

I know a lot of folks are concerned about Peter Budaj. I am too. But right now I'm more concerned about Tony Granato.

I was worried about the TG signing when it happened and over half you of you responded in the poll that it was the wrong move. One of you said "Hell yes" and I think I know who it was ;)

So far it appears Granato has: solidified the lines (good), opened up the offense (good) and put faith in the #1 goaltender (good). However it appears to have come at a cost. A lack of role identification.

Is Jones a power forward or a defensive specialist? Is Sakic a forward or a defenseman? Should players collapse low or stay high? What do players do if stood up at the blueline? 

The Avalanche still look disorganized on the ice and that can only be fixed by a coach grabbing control of his team, implementing a defensive system to complement the offensive one and holding players accountable for mistakes.

It's only three games in so there's still time to fix the problems. But they have to admit they are problems and not just bad bounces before they can move on to step two.

Case Study: Special Teams
Special teams were atrocious last year so what happened? The guy in charge of them - or at least in charge of the PP - got promoted to the head coach position.

So far this year Granato has used over a dozen players on the PK including the young David Jones. Jones has actually spent more time on the PK than Joe Sakic has. He also spends more time on the PK than he does on the PP. Isn't that a bit odd for a power forward?

Backdoor passes are always wide open, except with Ian Laperierre who has done a good job covering the middle of the ice, and the team seems to get mesmerized by the puck as opposed to worrying about coverage.

The disorganization and holes on the ice make me wonder if they actually practiced to look this confused.

The failure of special teams falls squarely on the coaching staff to fix and regardless if TG is in charge of them, he is still in charge of the team and is accountable for the shortcomings of the systems. Or lack thereof.


GEO said...

The fact that Sakic doesn't do much penalty killing is extremely odd. He's always been one of the hardest working defensive forwards on the Avs.

And for some reason, doesn't it seem like the Avs are always beaten to the puck when it is shot around the boards? For instance, if Hannan wraps it around the net in the defensive zone, the intended Av will just wait for it and usually ends up a) getting checked and b) losing the puck.

Oh, and the whole "going down to block the shot" thing, is being done way too much.

Mike at MHH said...

One thing I've noticed that man-to-man defense for the Avs consists of standing NEAR the opposing player, but not engaging him or his stick in a manner that can be construed as defensive. Is that really what the players think is acceptable? They need to get on sticks and not just occupy lanes or opposing teams, especially PP units, will continue to victimize them as they merely occupy space.

Shane Giroux said...

Yep, the defense has been pretty passive to start the season.

The Avs are getting beat to the puck on dumps because the only time they dump is once they've been stood up at the line and nobody is moving their feet anymore.

They need to recognize when the won't be able to carry the puck in and toss it in while they've got some momentum.

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