Today, the Avalanche captain celebrates his 20th birthday. He’s still the baby on the team, but at least he’s in his third decade now. Among other things, this lockout has robbed us of seeing our captain play as a captain and a teenager.
I’ve been MIA for the last couple days, so there’s a lot of other news to cover.
First, the boys in Europe:
-Varlamov is awesome, and he earned another shutout. (There was a familiar face in the other crease, Ilya Bryzgalov of the Philadelphia Flyers. Bryz let in four goals.) Varls was not in net for Lokomotiv’s 7-3 loss today, and thus his .951 save percentage remains tops in the league. (He’s second in GAA.)
-Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist in his third game with EHC Red Bull Munchen. His dad was there to watch the game, which caused quite a bit of excitement (Peter Stastny is in the Hockey Hall of Fame for his many achievements).
-Matt Duchene hasn’t added to his point total, and his team lost to Modo on Wednesday. Upset with the loss, Duchene made several comments, including:
Joel Lundqvist is a perfect example. He always works his ass off. Everyone should do that. But I’m not so sure everyone gets that. We just can´t play this bad. It is so poor. We were getting booed by our own fans, it’s unacceptable. They pay a lot of money to watch us and it’s not fair of us to play so bad.”
“If this was in the NHL, five players would be sent down to the minors after a game like this. But here, players are too comfortable. There are 33 million Canadians that would sacrifice an arm to play hockey at this level.”
“We play good against the top teams, like HV71. This Monday we had a good practice. But on the morning skate before the game it wasn’t good. The guys weren’t ready. The intensity was missing. But this is your job. You have to work your ass off every day. You have to empty the tank. This is not a “Social hour”. You can’t just put your skates on and skate around. Everyone could have a bad game, but when you don’t prepare yourself for a game, when you don’t give it your very best…. If we play like this against a top team like Skelleftea we would be down 5-0 after the first period.”
(These quotes come as reported by Adrian Dater.) Oh Matthew. I’m not surprised by his passion or his fervor, but I am surprised by his lack of tact. These things would have been better said t0 the boys in the lockerroom, not the media. After the report though, Adrian Dater contacted Duchene, and apparently Dutchy said that he “criticized himself first and foremost” and that things were “blown out of proportion.” I believe him, primarily because I’ve watched his interviews for the past three years, and he’s always criticized his own play first. At the end of the day, I’m proud that he is showing such commitment to his team. That’s just one of the many reasons we love him here in Colorado.
-Gabriel Landeskog literally just finished playing in Djugarden’s game. He didn’t earn any points, he was sent to the box for roughing, and Djugarden won 2-0.
The NHL announced today that all games through December 14 have been canceled, as well as the All Star Game in Columbus. Color me surprised. Let’s watch a few videos of Landeskog being awesome to celebrate his birthday and forget this miserable lockout.