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Shane O’Brien among Avs’ healthy scratches

Jan 19, 2013, 3:28 PM EDT

Vancouver Canucks v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche handed Shane O’Brien a three-year, $6 million contract in June, but he’ll begin this season in street clothes.

Head coach Joe Sacco named O’Brien as one of the team’s healthy scratches on Saturday, according to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post. Dater expected Greg Zanon and Tyson Barrie to be the blueline scratches, but instead he thinks Matt Hunwick will be benched alongside O’Brien.

Sacco’s explanation for the move was sharp and simple: he’s going with the lineup that gives Colorado the “best chance to win.”

The hard-hitting defenseman scored 20 points with Colorado in 2010-11, the second-best output of his NHL career. His average of 19:13 minutes per game was also the second most he’s managed in a season.

Those numbers – and that whole $2 million per year thing – make it surprising that O’Brien is on the bench. We’ll see if this becomes a regular thing or just a bit of opening night message-sending for the Avs.

  1. misterchainbluelightning - Jan 19, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Something something Jeff Finger

  2. dolphincult - Jan 19, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Sacco is an idiot. He will be fired by christmas.

    • rainmaker97 - Jan 19, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      We can only hope

    • polegojim - Jan 20, 2013 at 12:37 AM

      Sacco Avs are just sick…

      The poor coaching decisions have become laughable… Granato??? Sacco??? Oh NO!!!
      And they let Coach Q go for THAT??? Pierre and CO have lost their edge… or even the minds.

      I don’t even recall hearing Hejduk or Duchene’s names being called. Stastny skates like he’s lost his grit and hunger. Even their hits were half-hearted. Other than McLeod, no one on the Avs D gives opponents much of a reason to skate with their heads up.

      Bright side: Varlamov kept them in it.. and at least McLeod still has his balls…. but who else does?

      • jessmichael76 - Jan 20, 2013 at 7:46 PM

        well you are correct righ up till 2 minutes into the game when hejduk had an assist…did you hear anything from the first line other than they were on the ice? I agree that sacco should be limited to coaching tennis because he has only proven one thing, he can’t coach hockey.

      • polegojim - Jan 20, 2013 at 11:09 PM

        Jess – you’re right… I was being somewhat sarcastic… but in all seriousness, that was just about the ONLY time.

        Milan hasn’t had a major impact since Sakic. Last year 153rd among Forwards and -12.

        My sarcasm is a result of disdain and disgust for Avs ownership and coaching. Just watching the game, other than McLeod, I’m seeing zero confidence. Even Stastny was more concerned with avoiding hits and getting rid of the puck fast – than making anything happen.

        Just hard to swallow after all we’ve seen from this Org 10 years ago. The Club feels hollow, shallow, and abandoned.

  3. jrmehle - Jan 20, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    I was wondering why no one mentioned Zanon making his first return to MN. Guess no one expected him to play. Same ole Z though. Getting in front of shots like a boss.

  4. polegojim - Jan 20, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Even more sadly… the Avs have become SOOO irrelevant, most sports media only reports on them with a ‘final score”.

    There’s simply NOTHING else worth reporting with the Avs roster… or even potential.

  5. jernster21 - Jan 20, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    If Tyson Barrie gives us the best chance to win, it’s going to be a long season.

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