Welcome everyone to day three of the Avalanche Blogger Roundtable, hosted by our good friends over at Mile High Hockey. Visit their site to view the other questions answered by my fabulous fellow Avs bloggers and get up to date on all you'll need to know for the upcoming season. Today's questions have to do with the new (Super?) Joe with the very similar last name to our dear Mr. Sakic, and what should be expected from him this upcoming season.
Also, please head over to Avaholics Anonymous to check out more discussion on Coach Sacco.
If you could make one suggestion to Joe Sacco for his first season behind the bench in the Show, what would it be?
If I could make one suggestion to Coach Sacco for his first season coaching the Avalanche, it would be to continue the youth movement that he so very successfully began last season in Lake Erie. There is an abundance of young talent who he has already started the development process on and many more new-comers who he can groom to fit the style of play he envisions the team using. He also now has two young, top-notch centers in Stastny and Duchene who can serve as building blocks for the next 10+ years of success for this franchise, similar to the days in Quebec with young Sakic and Forsberg. Also, although many "experts" are completely writing off our Avs as the worst in the West, at the very least, Sacco needs to make sure our team is competitive in each and every game. There were far too many instances last year where you could just tell the team didn't care once they had a 1-0 lead, and quickly squandered it away, resulting in the franchise's worst season since moving to Colorado. Make this team tough to play against every game, and success will find it's way in.
-Me (An Avalanche Of Thoughts)
Don't let up. Sacco has a young team without an identity that he will have to mold in the way he wants. However, he cannot let up from what he wants to do. He's a guy that always preaches hard work and 100% effort and if or when the guys like Wolski, Tucker, Svatos, etc stop working, can he crack the whip to them? Can he get them to work in a way neither Quenneville nor Granato could? If he does that, regardless of the record, he'll be a winner.
-Aaron (Hockey Buzz)
Have a fucking game plan. We never really knew what sort of team Tony Granato was aiming for. I think it was supposed to be uptempo, but I'm not sure anyone got that memo (including the former GM, who loaded up on slow-footed grinders). This team needs an identity - a readily apparent style.
-DDC (Mile High Hockey)
What he said. Find an identity and actually build a team to fit that mold. Or go the other way and find a system that works for the pieces that you have and THEN LET THEM PLAY THAT STYLE. Why have a Ryan Smith on the team if he's gonna camp out behind the net? Why field an uptempo defense when you have nobody on the wing who can win puck battles and support the rush?
-Mike (Mile High Hockey)
Please, please, for the love of God Joe, let the forwards develop chemistry and give them a system to play in. Both Granato and Quenneville were schizophrenic about their lines and I firmly believe it really hampered our offensive chemistry. Quenneville refused to play any sort of offense expect what started behind the goal, and Granato didn't even HAVE a system. What this young team needs is stable lines and clear roles within an adaptable system. Wolski is begging you with these eyes:
And don't play Svatos on a checking line, seriously. Can we at least give him a chance to succeed?
-Matt (Mile High Mayhem)
My suggestion for Sacco - Don't let the soft style of Granato linger and don't let your green status allow players to walk all over you. This team has a lot of challenges up ahead and only a tough as nails coach that commands respect is going to get them there.
The thing that I felt has been missing with this team for a few seasons now is an identity for giving an honest effort every single night. Sure the Captain's gone, and the team is young, and insert more excuses here if you'd like, but I'm hoping Joe Sacco can create an identity for this team so they're known for that. I'm just hoping that the opposition and the fan base of the Avs will know what they're getting every night. It's just been tough to watch on television and show up and never know what you'll get each night. A hard-nosed honest effort night in and night out is always a pleasure to watch, win or lose. I hope Sacco can get this out of his new team so it's always worth the time we take to watch the games. My suggestion: create that identity.
-Jay (The Avs Hockey Podcast)
And there you have it, folks. Many honest answers on what we think Coach Sacco will need to do to succeed in his first year behind the bench. Thanks again to the guys at Mile High Hockey for putting this whole thing together. Enjoy the season!