COLORADO AVALANCHE 2012-13 SEASON PREVIEW:
Although the Colorado Avalanche experienced an up and down 2011-12 season, the team did make a late playoff push in March and showed signs of life to their fan base that could bode well for them next season. The Avalanche finished with a 41-35-6 record, which ranked 11th in the Western Conference, so head coach Joe Sacco knows that his team needs to improve on both sides of the ice to have a chance of returning to the Stanley Cup playoffs. With teams all over the Western Conference improving their level of play last year and one of them eventually winning the Stanley Cup, the Avalanche will have to overcome some pretty stacked odds to improve their record this season.
The Avalanche boasts one of the youngest rosters in the Western Conference, and the sky's the limit for the team's offensive attack. Calder Trophy winner Gabriel Landeskog gave the blue line a major boost during the 2011-12 campaign thanks to his 22 goals and 30 assists, while center Ryan O'Reilly and new arrival P.A. Parenteau should provide steady play throughout the season. The team also has an abundance of quality depth throughout their offensive attack, with young guns like Paul Stastny, Matt Duchene and Steve Downie who could make a significant impact this year.
Defensively, the Avalanche will be looking for more consistency from starting defensemen Erik Johnson and Jan Hejda, both of whom couldn't break the 30 point plateau during the 2011-12 campaign. Younger players like Ryan Wilson and Ryan O'Byrne could also see significant playing time throughout the season and will be needed to help the Avalanche's penalty kill and power play opportunities. At goaltender, the Avalanche have an assortment of riches at the position, with talented young goalie Semyon Varlamov handling the starting duties, while experienced veteran Jean-Sebastien Giguere will back him up.
Looking ahead to the 2012-13 season, the Avalanche will host their home opener against the St. Louis Blues at the Pepsi Center on Thursday, October 11th. This should prove to be an immediate test for the team against one of last year's best teams before the team heads off on a three-game road trip against Minnesota, Nashville and Chicago. The Avalanche's toughest stretch will come at the beginning of December with a three-game stretch against Los Angeles, Detroit and the New York Rangers. With a little luck and a fast start, the Avalanche could be poised for a return to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
COLORADO AVALANCHE EXPERIENCE:
Location: Denver, Colorado
Stadium: Pepsi Center
Conference: Western Conference
Division: Northwest Division
Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup Titles: 2: 1995-1996, 2000-2001
Colorado Avalanche Conference Championships: 2
Notable Players: Ray Bourque, Patrick Roy
Colorado Avalanche plays hockey in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey league (NHL). The Colorado Avalanche were founded in 1972 in San Francisco, though they moved to Quebec City, Quebec before their first game was ever played. The Quebec Nordiques would make the finals once in the ‘70s and lose. They made the playoffs nearly every year in the 1980's but then sank to the bottom of the league. Drafting Peter Lindros, who refused to play for Quebec, and then trading him for a slew of players from Philadelphia formed the foundation for the team's later success in the 1990's. In 1995, the Colorado Avalanche was moved to Denver, taking its current moniker, the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche would win the Stanley Cup in 1996 and 2001 with the leadership of Peter Forsberg, Joe Sakic, and Patrick Roy. Sakic still remains with the Colorado Avalanche, and with the help of some fresh talent, the Avalanche are still a Cup contender.
The Colorado Avalanche plays their home games at Pepsi Center, or “the Can”, in Denver, Colorado. The Pepsi Center holds over 18,000 spectators for Colorado Avalanche games. The arena is located in downtown Denver and is designed for easy access in the center of the city. Buy Colorado Avalanche tickets and watch one of the leagues most talented and exciting teams fight to reach the Stanley Cup Finals!
Colorado Avalanche Season Preview History