Barrie Omission Makes Little Sense

Avs fans were left scratching their heads on Friday when young D man Tyson Barrie was scratched ahead of the teams game against Chicago.

Whilst Erik Johnson’s return to fitness meant someone had to make way, many were surprised to see Barrie make way, especially given the indifferent play of some of his team mates. He sits out again tonight when the Avalanche take on San Jose and the confusion over his omission continues to spread amongst the fan base.

The 21-year old is having something of a break out season. Whilst his points totals will not threaten any records his on ice play has impressed many and banished the spectre of Kevin Shattenkirk’s departure for a number of supporters.

Avalanche Head Coach Joe Sacco clearly see’s things differently, telling the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater:

“He’s had a drop off in play the last two games.He needs to be more responsible in his own zone. Hopefully, it won’t be long and it’ll give him a breather and a good chance to see the game from a different angle tonight.”

Now, a drop off in play is something many would deem to be an acceptable reason for sitting a guy for a few days. Especially a young D man still learning his trade. Barrie has the potential to be a key cog for the franchise for years to come.

What has really got people’s goat as the idea that Barrie sits after two ‘off nights’ – whilst others maintain their place despite wallowing in mediocrity.

Greg Zanon has been the target of much ire recently, whilst Matt Hunwick has had a fractured relationship with the fan base after gaffs last season led to a loss of faith in the former Bruins’ ability.

Shane O’Brien and Ryan O’Byrne have hardly covered themselves in glory either; again raising the question as to why one of the teams brightest stars during a stuttering start to this shortened season would sit rather than one of them.

Whilst there has been much speculation that one of Zanon, O’Brien, O’Byrne or even Hunwick might be moved before the deadline, the real issue here is another wedge between Sacco and the fan base.

Whilst it is not a coaches job to please all of the people all of the time, the former Washington forward is under pressure in a market which seems to be becoming rather indifferent to the former powerhouse Avalanche these days.

Sadly all this achieves is further dark clouds on a horizon which should have promised brighter days off the back of a promising core of young stars like Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog.

It speaks volumes that it was Colorado who ended Chicago’s remarkable streak, but the Barrie story dominated many people’s thoughts.

Losing the fan base is nothing like the same as losing the dressing room, from a bottom line stand point you do wonder how much longer the Avs can stand by Sacco if he continues to frustrate the fan base whilst failing to deliver on the ice to justify it all.

I sincerely hope the win over the Blackhawks kicks starts the clubs season; after an injury ravaged opening few weeks exposed the clubs paper thin roster. But missing the post season again this year, on top of this latest unpopular decision by someone involved in the teams management, will leas to serious questions over the summer.


About Rob

Software engineer by day, Elite League Media man by night, Rob also blogs about cricket for One Stump Short, hockey for In Goal Magazine and video games for Outpost Delta as well as hosting the One Stump Short Podcast.

Posted on March 10, 2013, in Colorado Avalanche, Hockey, NHL and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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