Finally a game I think we should definitely win.
— The Wheelhouse (@Det_Wheelhouse) March 16, 2017
Athanasiou is such a good player that it’s not even funny.
He’s fast, he’s got hands, he’s strong on the puck, he hustles and plays defensively. I’m not saying he’s perfect, but it’s basically a given that once a game he’s at least going to make you say “WOW”. If only he was utilized more in line with his great 5v5 numbers instead of, I don’t know, a black hole who rhymes with Piley Meahan.
Zetterberg, Tatar, and Nyquist are all playing some very strong hockey right now that is typically being reflected on the scoresheet. It wasn’t tonight, but it’s very good to see. Anyone who tells you that they are why we are losing and than we should immediately firesale them this offseason is full of shit.
Howard had some great saves and for the most part looked very good. He made a penalty shot on Landeskog look routine, and we all know his past troubles with 1v1. I think the third goal was his fault. But the defense did not help him on the first two goals. Howie looks nearly as good as he did earlier this season, and tonight was just an off night. I wouldn’t worry about it in terms of goal tending.
This is the part where I get pissed at Kronwall.
If I have to watch him lose/almost lose a race to the puck while he has a headstart again, I’m going to lose it. If I have to watch him get blown by again because he’s out of position, I’m going to lose it. And if I have to watch him bobble a puck at the blue line and force an offsides tag up, I’m going to fucking lose it.
We gotta start figuring out what to do with him. First on the broadcast, we heard that they are not managing his pain anymore, but instead waiting on Kronwall to say when he can’t do it. I will say, from my limited experiences with sports, if you are waiting from someone to bench themselves it’s simply not going to happen. It’s not. Players have always played through injuries and they will continue to do so. Then later, when he lost a puck at the blue line, Darren Eliot actually came out and said that Kronwall’s lack of foot mobility due to his injured knee is what is causing this stuff. Not that this is new news, but when it’s being put out on broadcast…..it’s time for a fucking change.
I love Kronwall. But this team will struggle to improve their D-Corp while he is taking up a spot in the Top 2. He was second in TOI behind Mike Green tonight. And as much as I have chosen DDK as my whipping boy this season (another -2 tonight, I believe that’s -17 on the season), at least he would be physically healthy with some of those minutes. Please at least start to cut the time back.
Now that that’s out of the way, some miscellaneous other bad things:
- J.T. Compher, how dare you score your first goal against us. You’re giving me conflicting emotions. I’m used to supporting you for Michigan hockey.
- 4 penalties and a penalty shot is way too many to give up, even if you killed all of them. Those are momentum killers/givers and you cannot win games like that.
- That octopus was tiny. Maybe they shrink in the high altitude. They are generally below sea level creatures in my experience.
In a couple weeks we will have the 20th anniversary of Fight Night at the Joe. This is one of the most clear memories I have as a child, even though I was 5 at the time I still remember how excited my dad got and the way it got everyone talking about hockey. Kris Draper wrote an amazing piece for the Players’ Tribune about it. And sure enough here we are playing the Avalanche almost 20 years later, during arguably the worst season any salary cap team has put together ever, and we cannot get the win here tonight. I can’t think of any three words to cap that off with other than…
What the Fuck happened?
Tomorrow versus Arizona and then we get to play Colorado again on Saturday. TankBowl ladies and gentlemen.