Avalanche Notes 10/24/96

Avalanche Notes 10/24/96

Post by 'Mad' Mark Chel » Fri, 25 Oct 1996 04:00:00

* Defeated Edmonton 7-2 at home 10/13.  Colorado came out and dominated this
game early, chasing Oilers' goalie Curtis Joseph after two periods and 5 goals
in favor of Bob Essensa.  The only part the Avs didn't dominate was the third
period, when they were playing out the string.  The team was carried by LW Eric
Lacroix's first Avs hat trick, accomplished in the first 34 minutes of the
game; and by captain Joe Sakic's team-record-tying six points in the game.
Colorado ups its record to 3-2-1, the home record stands at 2-0-1, and they
lead the season series with Edmonton 1-0-0.

+ Multi-point scorers--Lacroix 3G 1A, Sakic 1G 5A (ties COL record set by Peter
Forsberg last year and is Sakic's career high), Ozolinsh 1G 2A, Kamensky and
Forsberg 1G 1A.  Goals--Lacroix (3,4,5), Ozolinsh (2), Sakic (2), Forsberg (4),
Kamensky (1).  G Patrick Roy--33 saves (3-2-1).
+ Shots:  EDM 8-5-22-35, COL 11-9-8-28.
+ Power play:  2-6, penalty killing:  7-7 (killed 24 straight penalties).
+ Injuries:  RW Claude Lemieux (groin), RW Adam Deadmarsh (bruised ribs) missed
the game.  Healthy scratches--D Aaron Miller, LW Landon Wilson.

+ LW Valeri Kamensky played played his first game of the season against the
Oilers after ending his holdout/signing a new contract.  He didn't appear to be
very rusty, and contributed with 1G 1A in the third period, playing on the same
line with C Peter Forsberg (like he did most of last season).

+ The Avlanche drew a bench minor for delay of game when the crowd threw debris
on the ice after Kamensky's goal (the Avs' 9th and final goal) in the form of
magnetic schedules that were given out before the game.  Referee Dave Jackson
warned the team earlier, the warning was audible on the PA system; and the Avs
were penalized after a repeat performance.  Per the league policy, the Avs were
not penalized when hats were thrown on the ice after Lacroix's third goal.

+ C Joe Sakic leads the NHL in points and assists after the Oilers game; he has
2-10-12 in six games.  D Sandis Ozolinsh has scored points in all six Colorado
games (2-7-9) and leads the league in plus/minus rating with a +8, just ahead
of D Uwe Krupp, who is in a three-way tie with +7.

* Negotiations between team owner Ascent Sports and the city of Denver over the
proposed Pepsi Center arena took another *** turn.  Denver took the impasse
public to the local media, which angered Ascent and CEO Charlie Lyons.  Both
sides still blame the other for not having a deal done; the biggest problem is
negotiating a financial settlement for the city to make up for revenues that
would be lost if Denver allowed the NBA Nuggets to escape their lease at
McNichols Arena, which lasts until 2007-08.  The Avalanche on the other hand,
are only under a lease to play at the 20-year-old arena through the end of this
season.  There has also been talk of building the arena in the suburbs, even
going as far as putting the Avalanche there as soon as it could be built, and
leaving the Nuggets to fulfill their lease at Big Mac, then move.  Despite all
this; both Ascent and the city want to get the deal done and to build it in the
Central Platte Valley in downtown Denver, just east of McNichols.

* Lost 2-1 at home to Florida 10/15.  This game was a bit of a boring one; as
it was played at the Panthers' defensive style of play as opposed to the free-
wheeling open game preferred by the Avalanche.  Florida has to be given credit
for the defense, winning most of the faceoffs on the evening; and frustrating
the Avs.  They also get some feeling of revenge for Colorado's sweep against
them in the Stanley Cup Finals last season, even holding the Avs to a
franchise-low 2 shots on goal in the second period despite arriving in Denver
in the wee hours of the morning after a game in San Jose the night before.
However; both of the Panthers' goals had to be considered "cheap"; as Avs
forward Mike Keane put the puck in his own net past a surprised G Craig
Billington :10 seconds into the game on a Florida centering effort from behind
the net that went off his stick.  The Avs tied it up midway through the period;
and it seemed like the game would go to overtime and be a tie game; until the
Panthers' Tom Fitzgerald stole the puck on a Colorado power play and his shot
barely trickled over the line behind Billington for the shorthanded game-
winner.  The Avalanche record drops to 3-3-1, the home record falls to 2-1-1,
and trail in the season series 0-1-0.  The game also ends a 4-game Colorado
unbeaten streak (3-0-1).

+ Multi-point scorers--none.  Goals--Gusarov (1).  G Craig Billington--30 saves
+ Shots:  FLA 8-15-9-32, COL 15-2-9-26.
+ Power play:  0-6 (one shorthanded goal against--first one of the season),
penalty killing:  6-6 (COL has now killed 30 straight penalties).
+ Injuries:  RW Claude Lemieux (groin), RW Adam Deadmarsh (bruised ribs) missed
the game.  Healthy scratches--D Aaron Miller, LW Yves Sarault.

+ G Craig Billington finally made his first start of the season, giving Patrick
Roy an evening off.  Billington played very well in the contest, allowing the
two goals against, even though neither was his fault.  Billington has not
complained about his role; and apparantly will not according to an interview
with him I saw.  He is also apparantly content with his job backing up Roy as
opposed to still being with IHL Cincinnati--where he was slated to go until the
Avs picked him up in the waiver draft.  D Sandis Ozolinsh's 6-game point
scoring streak was stopped in the Panthers' game.

* Defeated Vancouver 9-2 at home 10/19.  The Avalanche destroyed the Canucks
in a 40 minute span--after a scoreless first period which the Avs dominiated on
shots; they scored 4 times in the second period, including the first goal on a
slap shot that broke the stick of Canucks G Kirk McLean and still went in, and
the next one on a 50-footer that went through McLean's pads.  They added 5 more
in the third, highlighted by the exciting chance when a player comes out of the
penalty box in time to have a breakaway, which happened to forward Mike Keane.
The Canucks finally broke up Patrick Roy's shutout bid with slightly more than
2 minutes left.  Colorado used a total team effort, with strong defense and
goaltending; and having 7 players tally multiple points.  Colorado raises its
record to 4-3-1, 3-1-1 at home; and lead the season series 1-0-0.

+ Multi-point scorers--Young and Sakic 2G 1A, Kamensky and Miller 1G 1A, Ricci,
Krupp, and Corbet 2A.  Goals--Young (4,5), Lefebvre (1), Miller (2), Sakic
(3,4), Keane (1), Gusarov (2), Kamensky (2).  G Patrick Roy--23 saves (4-2-1),
315th career win with MTL/COL, he has a 2.55 save % and .907 GAA.
+ Shots:  VAN 5-7-13-25, COL 10-13-9-32.
+ Power play:  1-5, penalty killing:  1-1 (COL has now killed 31 straight
+ Injuries:  RW Claude Lemieux (groin), RW Adam Deadmarsh (bruised ribs) missed
the game.  Healthy scratches--LW Landon Wilson, LW Yves Sarault.  D Curtis
Leschyshyn left the game (I didn't catch the injury) and did not return.

+ Some milestones from the Canucks game (which was an 8:30pm Denver start to
accommodate CBC Sports); LW Valeri Kamensky's goal was his 100th career NHL
goal and he has scored 2-3-5 in the three games since his return; RW Scott
Young's second goal was his 100th with Quebec/Colorado.  D Uwe Krupp's +12
rating leads the NHL after the Canucks game; D Sandis Ozolinsh leads all NHL
defen*** in scoring with 9 points, Krupp is in a 3-way tie for second with 7
points.  Also, the game was the 465th consecutive game that the Canucks' Trevor
Linden has played in--the longest active streak in the NHL.

+ An interesting breakdown I heard (courtesy of the radio broadcast the other
night) that really shows the Avs' inconsistency this season:  they have scored
29 goals at home in 5 games (5.8 average), but only 6 goals in 4 road games
(1.5 average), which averages out to 3.9 per game overall in 9 contests.

* Lost 5-1 at Calgary 10/22.  This game was a story of the Flames outworking
the Avalanche all game long, particularly on defense; as G Patrick Roy was
either left alone or faced odd-man rushes.  It was also another inconsistent
performance, something that has plagued the team so far in the season.  The
Avs never led in the game, thanks to Calgary's Theoren Fleury and the hat trick
he scored; their only goal was scored with 2 minutes left in the game to break
up the shutout bid by Trevor Kidd; who had a fine effort for the Flames.  With
the loss, the Avs' record drops back to .500 at 4-4-1, 1-3-0 on the road and
they drop out of first place in the Pacific Division.  The Avalanche trail in
the season series 0-1-0.  The loss also marked the Avs' first loss at the
Saddledome in 5 games as a Colorado franchise.

+ Multi-point scorers--none.  Goals--Deadmarsh (1).  G Patrick Roy--30 saves
+ Shots:  COL 8-9-8-25, CAL 11-16-8-35.
+ Power play:  0-7, penalty killing:  3-3 (COL has now killed 34 straight
+ Injuries:  RW Claude Lemieux (groin), D Curtis Leschyshyn (bruised tailbone)
missed the game.  Healthy scratches--LW Landon Wilson, LW Yves Sarault.  LW
Eric Lacroix is playing with an injured shoulder suffered against Vancouver.

+ RW Adam Deadmarsh returned after missing 4 games (his last game was 10/10 vs.
Anaheim) with bruised ribs; he scored his first goal of the season against the
Flames, which was the Avs' only goal of the game.  To show another point on
how the night went, C Peter Forsberg was held without a shot on goal.

+ Calgary's Fleury got his hat trick via a penalty shot awarded him at 15:22
of the third period; awarded by referee Mick MeGeough, who ruled that he was
in the clear when the Avs' Peter Forsberg hauled him down on a shorthanded
breakaway.  It is the first penalty shot awarded against the Avalanche since
12/5/95 to San Jose against former Colorado goaltender Stephane Fiset.

+ Center Joe Sakic was named NHL Player of the Week for the period of 10/14 -
10/22.  Sakic, who leads the league with 15 points, had 3-6-9 in three games
during that span; including a 1G 5A performance at home against Vancouver.

* There have been rumors going on that team owner Ascent Sports was going to
sell part of Ascent to Nike Corp. chairman Phil Nike.  The local paper reported
this to be a false rumor at this stage; I didn't hear the reaction to it on the
local newscast.  I figure this is just that--a rumor at this point, although
the local paper did mention this week that parent Comsat Corp. might eventually
sell off Ascent (which includes the Avalanche, NBA Nuggets, and interest in a
local movie and mobile TV production company) to another buyer, or possibly
have Ascent operate as its own company.  Ascent recently sold its interest in
Denver's Elitch Gardens amu***t park over the summer.

* Defeated Vancouver 4-1 on the road 10/23.  Colorado came out with a much
better effort than the night before at Calgary in all phases; especially
defensively.  It was a very entertaining game to watch on TV; as the passes
were crisper and the team skated much better.  After a scoreless first period
and an early Canuck goal in the second; the Avs proceeded to tie it up shortly
thereafter, and scored three unanswered goals in the third to put the game
away.  Colorado's record rises to 5-4-1, 2-3-0 on the road, and they lead the
season series 2-0-0.

+ Multi-point scorers--Sakic 3A, Forsberg 1G 1A.  Goals--Deadmarsh (2),
Forsberg (5), Keane (2), Corbet (2).  G Patrick Roy--20 saves (5-3-1).
+ Shots:  COL 10-12-9-31, VAN 6-5-10-21.
+ Power play:  1-7, penalty killing:  5-5 (COL has now killed 39 straight
penalties, the Avalanche radio crew reported that the NHL record book does
not list this particular statistic, so it may/may not be a record).
+ Injuries:  RW Claude Lemieux (groin), D Curtis Leschyshyn (bruised tailbone)
missed the game.  Healthy scratches--LW Landon Wilson, LW Yves Sarault.

+ The radio crew reported that there was a players-only meeting before the
Canucks game.  It must have worked, considering the effort given and the fact
that the Canucks were playing their first game since the 9-2 blowout in Denver
last Saturday; and were obviously looking for revenge.

* No progress to report in negotiations with holdout wing Chris Simon, except
that both the team and his agent have talked recently.  The two sides are still
a bit apart; Simon wants $1M/yr, GM Pierre Lacroix's best (and I thought final)
offer was $625,000/yr.

* I saw a commercial the other night (and confirmed it in the TV book) on free
TV home KMGH-7 that they are airing a weekly highlight show Sunday afternoons
at 5:30pm.  KMGH is available on satellite (according to them), so it will be
interesting to see if anyone outside the region can pick up the show.

* Team owner Ascent Sports made news today (including the big headline on at
least one of the Denver dailies and was mentioned on the morning local
newscasts as well as on the morning show I listen to) of an offer being made to
individuals on the Avalanche season ticket waiting list (estimated at around
1000).  Their offer was if any of these people will buy NBA Nuggets season
tickets, they would be guaranteed an equal number of Avalanche season tickets
for next season, 14-game "fan plans" would not count; but if the offer was not
accepted, the person would stay in the same place on the waiting list.  The
paper I get mentioned both positive and negative reaction, including fans who
plan to come down to purchase basketball tickets so they can get hockey seats;
but also negative due to the fact that the Nuggets had a lousy season last
year, probably will have another one this season; and lost around 2000 season
ticket holders, which has to worry Ascent.  The sports guy on the morning show
compared it to "blackmail" and pretty much laughed during the whole story.

* Upcoming schedule (times Mountain):
  Sat 10/26 at Edmonton    7:00pm (no TV/KKFN-AM 950)
  Mon 10/28 vs Washington  7:00pm (Prime/KKFN-AM)
  Wed 10/30 vs St. Louis   7:00pm (Prime/KKFN-AM)
  Mon 11/02 vs Buffalo     7:00pm (no TV/KKFN-AM)
  Tue 11/03 at Anaheim     7:00pm (no TV/KKFN-AM)

|Mark Chelap               |        "FACE DOWN" Softball Team Mismanager     |

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