2014 Colorado Avalanche Season Preview
There may not have been a bigger surprise in 2013 than the Colorado Avalanche. Under the guidance of head coach and Avalanche goaltending legend Patrick Roy, the Avs came from nowhere to win the Central Division and grab the number 2 seed in a strong Western Conference. Colorado then took the Minnesota Wild to 7 games in the quarterfinals, before falling in the series 4-3. After a meteoric rise in 2013, the Colorado Avalanche have their sights set on more in 2014. To bolster their young squad in the playoffs, the Avalanche signed veterans Daniel Briere, Jarome Iginla, and Brad Stuart. Last year’s Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon will likely take an even larger leadership role in his 2nd season, and will be complimented by Matt Duchene. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy last season and looks to continue to be one of the best goalies in the Central Division. The Colorado Avalanche have all the pieces to have a solid season in 2014 and don’t be surprised if they provide a stiff challenge to the Western Conference favorite LA Kings and Chicago Blackhawks.
2013 Colorado Avalanche Season Preview
Patrick Roy has taken the helm in Colorado after leading the club for so many years on the ice, and he’ll have a lot of work to do after a disappointing 2012-13 Season. Joe Sakic has also been moved up the Avs hierarchy, as he was named Vice President of Hockey Operations. Colorado fans feel like they are in good hands coming into the season, and they were able to land Alex Tanguay and Cory Sarich in a trade with the Flames in the offseason. Milan Hejduk is gone from the team, but they are hoping that first round draft pick Nathan MacKinnon helps Avs fans forget all about the loss. The Avs have a big home stand at the Pepsi Center that begins with a game against the Winnipeg Jets on December 29th. After that comes in the Blue Jackets, Flyers, Sharks, Flames, Senators and Islanders all within an 11-day span. It’s a great month of hockey in Denver and could determine whether the Avs are contenders.
2011 Colorado Avalanche Season Preview
The Colorado Avalanche are looking to rekindle the flame that saw them bring fans two Stanley Cups and six Western Conference finals in the first ten years in Denver. Recent history has seen them in the back of the Western Conference standings, but an active off-season and burgeoning youth movement shows that the Avalanche are ready to rumble in 2011. This may be only the third year in the league for Matt Duchene, but the team will look to him for offensive guidance. His positive point trajectory has gone from 55 to 67 in 2010-11, so an 80-point outlook isn’t out of the question. Duchene will look to Paul Stastny, David Jones and Milan Hejduk to help him score thanks to their productive, 20-plus goal 2010-11 seasons. Where the offense shouldn’t look for scoring is from their blue line compatriots. The main defensive point-scorer from last year, John-Michael Liles, in now in Toronto. The revamped line-up, including Jan Hedja, Erik Johnson (in Columbus and St. Louis last year, respectively) and a healthy Kyle Quincey are a wild card in all of this. If they can produce, then the Avalanche are looking to get back into the playoffs, and their winning ways.
2010 Colorado Avalanche Season Preview
The Colorado Avalanche managed to sneak into the playoffs last season, proving a lot of doubters wrong. Despite the success, a repeat performance may be hard to achieve, as the Avalanche come into the start of the regular season with a lot of questions that could make a trip to the post season difficult. While the Colorado offense certainly has a great deal of potential, it is largely made up of unproven talent. The scoring attack will be anchored by veteran Milan Hejduk, and he is joined by a trio of youngsters in Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny and Ryan O'Reilly. Stastny led the team in points last season, with 20 goals and 59 assists. The Avalanche's leader in goals last year, Chris Stewart, is also back. The defense has some holes, as the Avalanche do not have a solid go-to defensemen. Thirty-nine-year-old Adam Foote is a talented veteran, but he is aging. Colorado will likely turn instead to John-Michael Lile, and while he is talented, he remains unproven and sometimes inconsistent. There is a weakness in goal as well, as Craig Anderson is only a middle-of-the-road goalie at best.
2009 Colorado Avalanche Season Preview
The Colorado Avalanche look to rebound in the 2009-2010 NHL season. The Avs want to bounce back from what turned out to be the worst season since the team moved to Colorado. Colorado will have to do so with a new coaching staff and without their legendary captain, Joe Sakic, who retired before the start of the new season. The Avalanche will be led by new captain, Adam Foote and their newest player from the draft, Matt Duchene. Expect Colorado to turn some heads this season.