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Pierre McGuire: Avs “Just ran out of bodies”

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Pierre McGuire

SAN FRANCISCO – Hello from the airport in San Francisco. First day in 50 days I don’t have an “Edmonton, Alberta” dateline. Feels weird, but also feels good to be on the way home. My third flight of the day is in about 70 minutes, so I wanted to get this in quick. I talked to my friend and longtime hockey analyst, former coach and GM Pierre McGuire for his take on the Avalanche’s just-concluded series.

I think Pierre is brilliant at what he does, and will brook no dissent on that.

“The Avs gave everything they had. They just ran out of bodies,” McGuire told me. “No Johnson, no Grubauer, Donskoi, Calvert and then Landeskog and Timmins. You are out of enough bodies.”

I agree that injuries played a major factor in the crushing, seven-game loss to Dallas. The loss of Erik Johnson was huge, I thought, and contributed to the Avs being hemmed in their own zone a lot more than they might have. That isn’t taking anything away from the Stars. They seemed able to impose their will physically on the Avs when they wanted, at least in tight games. That was especially the case in the final 10 minutes of the third period of Game 7, I thought.

Losing Landeskog for Game 7 was another big blow. You don’t just lose your team captain for a winner-take-all game and suffer no consequence. With or without the injuries, McGuire also had this to say:

“They learned a big lesson about the importance of puck management, especially in Game 7. They are an explosive offensive team that is still learning what it takes,” McGuire said. “They remind me a bit of the old Red Wings team that had to lose a couple of times before they really started to pile-drive teams, and win with consistency. They are set down the middle with MacKinnon, Kadri and Compher. When Alex Newhook joins them, it might move Compher to the wing.

“The defense is solid and will get better when (Bo) Byram joins the team. The only spot that really needs an upgrade is in goal. This would be a great time to do it, as the goalie market will be swamped.”

Indeed, there have been murmurs that the Avs may be looking at a deal for Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray at some point. The Avs would have to move either Philipp Grubauer or Pavel Francouz if that were to happen, as both are signed through next season. But I’ve definitely heard that the Avs have had interest in Murray – a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Pens – for a little while.

More on this and other off-season stuff – that still hurts to say – another time soon. Gotta head to the gate soon.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies. Previously Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report to name just a few.

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Joel Stefaniak

I will gladly take the Red Wings comparison but feel like we need a proven #1 goaltender first and foremost and the Avs have the resources to court whomever they really want.

Brandon Eccles

AD glad you are back in the ol’ USofA! Safe travels man on the last leg and again job well done!!! It seems like everyone who knows anything about hockey has the same take on the Avs… immensely talented but not mature enough yet. They need to work on mental and physical toughness and be ready for the grind of 16W in the playoffs. I think that comes from a new strength and conditioning coach and program. New mindset as well. Lastly a marquee goalie is a must. Better to do it now and not 2021 when there are no… Read more »

Rich

Curious what it would take to acquire Murray from the Pens?

Rich

Great trade. Thx for the great coverage throughout the playoffs…

takuma

Did you tell that imbecile that Mikko doesn’t spell his name Raantanen therefore it’s not pronounced Rontanen?

This is the best article ever on that mega-douche. I lived in CT at the time that egomaniac was the coach, what a disaster.

https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-xpm-1994-05-21-9405210429-story.html

“In 15 years of covering the NHL, we had never seen a coach so universally disrespected and disliked within his own organization.”

“When a young man is so headstrong, so emotional, so calculating, such a control freak, so full of ambition and so full of himself, he will either rocket to the top or crash.”

Last edited 2 months ago by takuma
JCP

now that the Avs are out, can we get any details on what the injuries were? Landy is obvious but the others are less so. Any insight would be appreciated.

JCP

Agreed in the short-term. Unfortunately this has become a pattern for the Avs, and most of the guys missing out on the Stars series also have missed significant time in the past couple of seasons (for one reason or another). Just wondering what happened in Edmonton and speculating how that influences the approach to next year. At some point, they have to accept there is a concerning pattern with some guys. Thanks for all the coverage.

chippy play

Interesting to hear some say we are set with Compher as the 3rd C. That seems like one of our weakest spots.

Catatafish

I’ve been thinking the Avs and Habs would continue their talks that they had at the deadline but didn’t finish. There hasn’t been to much rumors about what that would have been about but I assume Joe was after Price and maybe Drouin (?). But if the package would have included Grubauer I think his value went down a lot now after another injury. Who’s going to gamble on him going forward? When that Montreal thing was going on I was afraid the Habs would want Girard. Because they’re going to want some big player from the Avs as well.

mfnavs

Agreed. They won’t bring Grubi in to back up Jarry at that price either

dp10

It’s hard to disagree when you have 7 injuries, including 3 key pieces in Landeskog, EJ and Grubauer. Grubauer perhaps more than the others because I don’t think we have that lousy second period in game 2 with Grubi in net. Nonetheless, we actually played our best hockey in games 5 and 6 after injuries started piling up. It’s hard to pinpoint galvanizing moments when they occur, but I think this game 7 loss could prove to be that moment for the Avs. Unlike in 2013/14 or even last year, this game 7 loss can be a big turning moment… Read more »

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