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Joe Sacco’s bag skate wasn’t the greatest idea (with video!)

Dec 2, 2011, 2:57 PM EDT

Back on Nov. 21, Colorado Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco put his charges through a bag skate. (For a rich, detailed history of the bag skate, read Justin Bourne’s USA Today piece.)

The skate was likely in response to Colorado’s 4-1 home loss to the Sharks…or the fact the Avs had lost seven of their last nine…or the fact they’re 5-9-0 at the Pepsi Center this year.

Whatever the case, Sacco bag skated ‘em. Hard.

The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater was kind enough to provide video footage:

“Sacco yelled at the boys a couple of times pretty loudly too,” Dater wrote. “I don’t believe in reporting what was said in a situation like that, even though I heard a few of his sentences. It feels too much like eavesdropping and reporting private stuff. Let’s just say it was fairly loud and ‘constructively critical.'”

Constructive criticism wasn’t all that came from the bag skate. Turns out defenseman Erik Johnson and forward Peter Mueller both hurt their groins during the workout (again, from Dater) — for Johnson, the injury was severe enough to land him on IR. Johnson’s missed Colorado’s last four games and won’t play tonight when the Avs take on his former team, the St. Louis Blues. Mueller had yet to be cleared from his concussion, so the groin strain was a setback in his recovery.

Avalanche fans seem to be of two minds on this. Some are angry at Sacco for what amounts to injuring his own players. Others put this at the feet (or, groins) of Johnson and Mueller, pointing out the bag skate only lasted eight minutes while arguing professional hockey players should have the fitness to withstand the rigors of an eight-minute powerskating session.

Whatever the case, it remains the latest in an exasperating season for the Avs. Dater has twice taken the team to task (see here and here) for its lackluster play and questionable decision making — now he can add another gripe to his list.

  1. rsl22 - Dec 2, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    Skating blueline-to-blueline, and then taking a 20 second breather shouldn’t be a huge deal for pro athletes. they should be able to skate hard in the neutral zone without getting injured. if that injured them, then how can they say they play a hard 20+ minutes a night? sounds pretty pathetic.

    Keep skatin’ them Sacco! (and I’m not saying that cause I’m a Caps fan and Caps have your 1st round pick…)

  2. t16rich - Dec 2, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    Exactly. Peewee kids get bag skated. This was a good idea, now he knows who is in best condition.

  3. polegojim - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    Bag skate or not… this team is done playing for Sacco. They were done after last fall.

    Now…he’ll be done before the year is out.

    Young team needs a proven coach – and I said that when they hired him.

    Avs front office is a mess with a string of bad decisions and it’s reflected in the team’s play.

    Should’ve NEVER let Coach Q go.

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