With golf season winding down and training camps on the horizon, the Colorado Avalanche set to begin the 2014 season rejuvenated. The additions to the front office have already broken with tradition, extending both Matt Duchene and Gabriel "Call me Gabe" Landeskog. With both Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy at the helm, fans can expect a bit more transparency, or at the very least more insight into how the front office feels about the club during the season.
Never one to shy away from the media, rookie hall of fame coach (how many teams can brag about that?) Patrick Roy is sure to be candid with journalists as he often was as a player. Gone are the days of hearing the company line about "good hustle" and "playing hard" after lopsided embarrassing loses. Players will be held accountable. Patrick has never been one to think before speaking, which in his position may not bode well, however Patrick has always been a student of the game. As a goaltender he would always be seen talking to his defencemen, being involved in starting the rush behind his net as well as deking past Wayne Gretzky before being called for a penalty (he would've scored.. i wouldnt bet against him). No matter how his interactions fare on camera, behind the scenes fans should expect an intelligent coach.
This is a young Avs team which was very evident numerous times over the past few seasons. Die hard fans that have been faithful during these times know just how mind-numbingly ducking terrible it has been, watching a 2 or 3 goal lead slip away or missing the first 4 minutes after puck drop and seeing we're already down a goal?! This is a team that will know how to play with a lead, when to take a timeout, and I'm sure we'll see some clever coaching tactics (subbing in the backup goalie to give the lines a break instead of wasting a timeout- guaranteed to see that)
I'm not going to drone on about line combinations or stats projections.. go read bleacher-report or google "crap nobody cares about". What we know is the following:
Matt Duchene; will make life miserable for opponents. Will be breaking opponents ankles as they try and keep up with his skating ability. Will lead the team offensively and defensively.
Gabe Landeskog; will rebound from last year and start banging bodies. HARD. Will score a lot and will rise to his Captaincy.
Paul Stastny; Will have a career year. Seriously. He'll be used as a scoring threat and not just thrown out there with garbage on his wings. He's been a wasted talent for too long (see team USA stats.. not a fluke)
Nathan Mackinnon; Rookie of the Year. He's going to see time with anyone that can keep up with him.. PP mins will be tops among rookies.
PAPsmear-entau; will be awesome as per usual. Increase in pts to correlate with the Radar and Duchene
Ryan O'Really?; I like him at winger. Its smart. He can still center your 2nd PP and PK units.. and you cash in on his skills offensively? uhh why WOULDNT you like this??? (dont think he gets traded.. but if he does, youre only increasing his value)
Defense: Erik Johnson will do better atleast offensively. The PP in past years was awful.. you need the puck to cycle to the blue line so your defense can take a shot. Expect better things..also expect to be disappointed ( he wont be an allstar...yet)
Stefan Elliott and Tyson Barrie will make us happy. Duncan Siemens will need a spot cleared for him and the rest will fight it out.. but nobody cares who really takes up the rest of the spots. Our defence will scare us but a good system will hide their shortcomings
Varlamov will struggle and then start to shine post allstar. Giggy will be picking him up so it wont matter.rnrnSeason Forecast: PLAYOFFS!