Friday, July 11, 2008

Puck Daddy Interviews Jose Theodore

Greg over at Puck Daddy just posted a great interview with Jose Theodore, seen to the right as Roberto Luongo's midget sidekick.

It's a fairly candid interview which I find characteristic of most of Jose's interviews. He never denied the struggles he had on the ice nor the off-ice troubles he got into - most notably with the Paris Hilton ordeal.

Sure, you can claim reporters tossed up softballs to him and never really "took him to task" but I don't believe that was ever necessary. If he had stood on the rooftops proclaiming: "I am a God amongst men and all shall bow before my goaltending prowess" - as some of his most ardent supporters do for him - then it would be a different story.

The one answer that will likely stand out to Avalanche fans is the response on whether Theodore felt he "owed" the Avalanche anything:
I owed them respect. They believed in me when things weren't going that well. If they thought it would have been a good idea to buy me out, they would have. But they didn't do that. They're a great organization, so I do owe them for getting me back on track. But I put the work into it also.
Amen to that. It wasn't just the Avalanche who stuck by Jose Theodore, Jose Theodore stuck by Jose Theodore too. And if it would have made sense for the team to buy him out, I have no doubt they would have done so. The Avalanche did it because they were trying to make the best of a tough situation and were lucky to have a guy who actively worked on his game rather than just collecting his paycheck.

I will admit it stuck in my proverbial craw when he said:
When I saw things weren't getting better with Cristobal, I knew there was going to be an opening. I didn't want to sign too quickly in Denver. I just waited for the spot, and that was my first choice.
But it only hurts that he felt Washington was a better choice than Colorado. Not that he owed it to Colorado to sign him with them but decided to bolt for Washington over a "measly" $2M.

In the end, the most controversial goaltender in the league is now another team's problem. I'm comfortable with that.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Avalanche Wake Up Too Late Against Capitals

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
That is if they even woke up at all. This was obviously a tired team playing back-to-back games on the road. No matter how conditioned these athletes are, they're still human.

Of course, that's never an excuse for a poor showing but it does help ease the blow of nearly getting shutout for a second straight game.

And boy was it close. Just 3:21 left before Marek Svatos scored a beauty off a 2-on-1 with Wojtek Wolski to break the shutout bid.

Unfortunately, just 38 seconds before that the Caps had got their second of the night on a 2-on-1 of their own. David Steckel got credit for the goal but it was actually Kyle Cumiskey - the man who created the 2-on-1 - who deflected the goal into his own net past a sliding Theodore.

Sluggish Skaters
The Avalanche looked very sluggish and it obviously got more noticeable as the game went on. The first goal was scored mere seconds after Glen Healey showed a clip of Marek Svatos dogging it on an offensive rush. Sure, there were a few players still giving hell every shift - both named Cody - but for the most part everyone felt a step slow. Cuthbert kept saying the Avalanche were in a "defensive shell" but they just didn't have the energy for offense it seemed.

Theo and the D
The defense and Theodore did a commendable job for the second straight game as they were able to shut down the trio of Ovechkin, Semin and Backstrom. Jordan Leopold played particularly well on D. He did a good job of getting body position and separating players from the puck along the wall.

Theodore made just 21 saves but there were quite a few quality saves to keep the Avalanche in it. In fact I just caught one on the SportsCenter Honour Roll. He's looking more comfortable in net than I can recall in a while.

That confidence might end quickly though if Q decides to switch back to Budaj for the next game. After all, it's been one loss more than he usually waits to swap 'tenders.

Honestly though, it's a tough call as Theodore is playing great hockey but he's not getting any wins. The W is the most important stat and it seems like the team has trouble getting it with Theodore in the net even when he's not giving up softies.

With a 2-day break before the next game, the odds are likely 75% in favor of Theodore starting. I'm taking bets if anyone wants in on it.


The lines were shifted up a bit today as Quenneville tried to spark the slumping Stastny and Hejduk. The duo was split up and Svatos moved up to skate with Stastny and Brunette while Hejduk moved down to play with Hlinka and Wolski.

Brunette looked completely out of place on the top line and Stastny and Svatos never really got any chemistry going. When Wolski and Svatos were on the ice together though, they tended to work well together.

Tyler Arnason skated on the fourth line with Cody McCormick and Kyle Cumiskey and I won't even dignify that line with any comments.

All-Star Game Shootout Contest
I caught this game on TSN - no Mcguire though thank goodness - and they broke the news that the All-Star game will feature a shootout contest. Which of course is exactly where the shootout belongs as Darren Dreger said. However Dreger had some rather dour news that he heard if players don't take this seriously (ie. no lacrosse style goals) the goaltenders union (there's a goaltenders union?) will complain.

Complain about what? It's the All-Star game you prima donna asses! The players absolutely should pull out moves that wouldn't be done during a regular game. This is for fun. It's for the fans. Hell, it's for the kids.

Those goals aren't going to count against your career stats so as I always say: relax, take a deep breath, down a Molson and chill the f' out.

- Wolski continues to be strong on the puck but he's not been as strong on the body as he was in the beginning of the season
- Jeff Finger broke up a sure goal on the first Caps PP as he continues to improve his play
- Bradley fought Finger after Finger "bailed on a play" by "moving out of the way of a player trying to hit him" (what, you're not allowed to move anymore?)
- Q was going with 2 D men on the point during the PP proving that he visits In the Cheap Seats
- Cody McCormick creates so much space on the ice due to his physical play
- Theo made a glove save at one point
- the Avs D got away with 3 notable no-calls (2 on Clark and one on Skrastins)
- the Capitals are much more physical than I expected
- could TSN be more enamored with Mike Green (yes, he's playing unreal but I don't need to be reminded each time he touches the puck)

Related Links Event Summary Recap
In the Cheap Seats Recap
Japer's Rink Recap
Denver Post Recap