Breckenridge/Devon O’Neil: Colorado heating up right on schedule
April 21, 2008
By upsetting third-seeded Minnesota in the first round of the NHL playoffs last week, the Avs proved what the rest of the league expected going into the postseason.
They’re a dangerous hockey team.
Colorado rode the play of goalie Jose Theodore, who allowed only 12 goals in six games ” including just four in the last three, all of which the Avs won ” and controlled the series much more than the 4-2 tally of games would suggest.
To wit: The Wild led for only four minutes out of a possible 384 during the series, and Colorado scored first in each of the six contests, a huge mental advantage that you can bet wore down the Wild as the series went on.
If the Avs are going to make it two straight upsets, they’ll need more of the balanced scoring that drove the first-round win, and more important, they’ll need Theodore to keep standing on his head.
Luckily, that is not a longshot. Theodore may be a below-.500 goalie in his 11-year career (183 wins, 196 losses), but there are only a few other netminders in the league who can get hot as quickly as he can. …
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Now that freshmen Michael Beasley and Derrick Rose have both entered the NBA draft, the debate over who should be the No. 1 pick shall run rampant.
What makes it an interesting conundrum is the contrasting skill sets each brings to the argument. Beasley is one of those coveted “athletic big men,” which basically means he’s really tall (6-foot-10) but blessed with a smaller man’s coordination. He led all of college basketball in rebounds this season, despite playing in a banger’s league (the Big 12), and made nearly 40 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Rose, meanwhile, combines a muscular, 6-foot-3 frame with an astonishing blend of power, speed and pogo-stick leaping ability. He can hit shots from anywhere on the floor, can create a lot like Jordan used to, and he’ll probably end up averaging six or seven rebounds in the NBA.
Though it sounds like Beasley is the early favorite, you can expect Rose’s candidacy to rise as more scouts see him work out in person. If I were picking first, I’d take Rose. …
I know Pacman Jones has been paying for his share of public relations advice over the past year, but lately the attempts have begun to reek of contrived. Point in case: I saw a photo of him wearing a FEED THE CHILDREN shirt the other day. …
Stat of the Week: Tom Glavine was placed on the disabled list with a strained hamstring Friday ” the first time in his 22-year big league career he’s gone on the DL. Guess such remarkable longevity is what happens when you nibble on the outside corner with 81 mph fastballs your entire baseball life. …
Gotta give it to the marketing folks at ESPN. The Pat Summitt SportsCenter commercial is one of the funniest I’ve seen in awhile. …
Lance Armstrong dropped his 26.2-mile time to 2:50:58 in the Boston Marathon on Monday, finishing 488th in a field of more than 25,000. Like the guy or think he’s the world’s biggest fraud, you have to admire him for putting himself out there in a sport that is not his specialty, and then dominating once more. …
In parting, what a terrific invention free concerts at the end of ski season are. Sincere thanks to those who deliver them.
Breckenridge resident Devon O’Neil’s $0.02 column runs Tuesdays. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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