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Avs Off-day Notebook – and why I had to call 911 today



Adrian Dater

LOS ANGELES – I’ve had better starts to days than the one today, Day 5 of a seven-day Avs road trip. Out of a sound sleep at about 8:15 a.m. in my hotel here, an inexpensive hotel where the doors open to the outside, a knock at the door. I wake up quickly over things like that, so pretty fast I said loudly “Hello?” No answer.

I get up to look through the peephole and see three people standing there. They look young, with coats on, masks on. Of course, everybody wears masks now today so…

I say “Hello?” again. No answer. I’m already thinking the worst now. Then, a loud knock on the door with what was some kind of hard, blunt instrument. Was it a baseball bat? A billy club? Some brass knuckles? Guess I’ll never know. By that point, I grabbed my phone and dialed 911. As I’m talking to the 911 operator, I still see the three people outside. Looked like two guys and one female. They seemed young, but that’s about the best I could tell. The guy standing closest to the door started talking on a phone of his own.

A few seconds later – maybe 20-30 – they were gone. About 10 minutes later, cops were at my door, looking around for the people I described. That’s the last I know/knew of anything. I checked out, and went for a drive for a couple hours, to the downtown LA area, and around Sunset Boulevard.

Hey, when I thanked all of you who contributed to the Avs Travel Tip Jar for this trip, I meant it. I promised to stay in low-cost digs, not to waste money needlessly. But, yeah, one pledge moving forward: No more hotels where the door opens to the outside, where anyone at all can stand right outside it and beat on it with hard objects and not answer you when you call out to them. I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous for a few seconds there.

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The drive around LA was fun though. I even checked something off my bucket list in that time, stopping to snap a couple pictures of the Brady Bunch House, which was completely renovated by the HGTV channel last year to exactly match the house from the TV show – of which I was/am a major fan.

OK, on to some Avs off-day notes:

  • I expect Philipp Grubauer to start Sunday’s game against the Ducks, though that isn’t official. The team had the day off from all hockey activities, so not much information from team headquarters about anything. Jared Bednar has now had his hand forced a bit with the injury to Pavel Francouz. He probably would have played Francouz in two of the Avs’ six games by now, but he’s not available tomorrow and going with Hunter Miska probably just isn’t in the cards. Everything is magnified in this shortened season. Every win and loss counts nearly one-third more than it would have in an 82-game season. Coming home 3-3-0 isn’t going to look and feel so good to Bednar, if he loses a game with the inexperienced Miska in net again. I have no doubt that Grubauer doesn’t mind the extra work. I mean, it’s not like he and any other hockey player have been overworked in these last 10 months.
  • We’ll see if Andre Burakovsky can play tomorrow, but it doesn’t sound like it. The Avs almost always want players to have a full practice before they get back into the lineup, and there was no practice Saturday.
  • If Bo Byram keeps playing like he did Friday night, someone who has been used to being in the top six for the past year or so is going to have to sit. Could that be Ryan Graves? I don’t know. But I do know that Graves is off to a slow start, and the Avs have already traded one veteran to help make room for Byram.
  • Anaheim has won its last six games following an overtime game. Something for you bettors to keep in mind.
  • It was reported elsewhere that the Avs kicked the tires with Columbus on what they might have wanted for Pierre Luc-Dubois, who was traded Saturday in a deal that sent Patrik Laine to the Blue Jackets. But if the Avs did at all, I believe it was a very brief conversation. The Avs fully expect Alex Newhook to at least contend for a second-line center spot starting next season.
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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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I’ve had the late night knocks at hotels too. You start questioning the engineering that went into the locks and wondering,.. “who do they think I am?” Glad your health and appreciate your work.

Grubi is looking good and I think an extra game won’t hurt him but I’d love to see another 60 minute domination expiation to make it a light workload for him. I still don’t think the Avs are firing on all cylinders and names, that Kadri cylinder is struggling.

John Mauss

When EJ comes back it is hard to pick anyone except Graves to sit. He is costing goals, e.g. minus 2 last game, and not using that large body to inflict much in the way of hits.

Joshua Canfield

John, I agree that Graves would probably sit but what about using Greg Pateryn as the 7th Defender? Graves seems to have earned his spot, especially after the raise he got this offseason. He’s had a rough couple games but I’d expect him to improve. Pateryn is still learning the Avs system and just feels like the odd man out to me.

That’s such a good problem to have. Including Timmins, we have 8 d-men who could start in an NHL lineup.

John Mauss

Joshua, Good point. I wouldn’t pull the plug yet on Graves, though I believe there is cause now for serious worry. I think an argument can be made that, in most cases, one good season doesn’t establish a good career. Unless, of course you are talking about someone like Makar.

Joshua Canfield

I agree, one season doesn’t constitute a good career. Yet, I feel like after watching Graves first 100 career games, he’s grown each game. He’s also still young on a very talented team. I wouldn’t write Graves off yet. I’ve read a lot of negative comments towards Graves the last few games (Twitter & another msg thread) and I, personally, believe he will turn a corner.

sarasota curt

I’m not at all comfortable with Grubauer and whomever is his backup at the moment. Considering injury histories, that’s not a great long term play. Joe’s biggest worry?

Joshua Canfield

I think Grubauer is a legitimate 1A goalie. His injuries are just the biggest issue with him. Looking back the last two years, including the playoffs, he’s been stellar in between the pipes. I think Francouz is a good backup goalie, yet injuries are holding him back.

I personally like Frankie but could see Sakic making a move around the trade deadline for a more established 1B goalie. That is if the injury bug keeps hitting the two of them.


Any thoughts about what is going on with the second line. They have basically been nonexistent so far this season. Dater, any thoughts on what is going on there and what coaching will do?

Joshua Canfield

Personally, I’m not sure what they can do until Burakovsky is back. When Burky is back, maybe drop Landeskog to the second line and see if that helps Saad and Kadri. Until then, double shifting Mack or Rantanen with them, seems like the best option. I’m curious what Dater thinks.

[…] Are you a Brady Bunch fan? Adrian Dater had a 911 scare and then hit the Brady House in LA. A fun off-day blog (Colorado Hockey Now) […]

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