After a few weeks into the season, many great stories have been told already. Maybe the most surprising to everybody is the Colorado Avalanche. Why have they been so good? Only Miss Cleo knows the real answer. Maybe it's because they are young, fast, relentless, and maybe naive enough to not understand pressure yet. They had no expectations from anyone in the hockey world and maybe they were underestimated by their peers and surprised them. That all being said, the Avalanche may start falling soon.
For all the reasons they are doing good are all the same reasons I truly believe they will be fighting for the last playoff spot and just missing out this year. Call me crazy, but right now there are teams currently out of the playoffs like Vancouver, Detroit and Anaheim, that should make the playoffs. That means that 2 or 3 teams currently in the top 8 will need to exit. Those teams should be Phoenix, Colorado and possibly Dallas. The Av's are only 6 points up on 8th and they have yet to face adversity this season, and they will.
A hot goalie in Anderson, has been the main key. The Av's average 26 shots per game (29th in the league) and give up 33 (25th in the league), that is not a good combo and will show as time goes on. With that hot goalie comes a guy who has never been regular starter, a guy who has started over 30 games once (31) and a guy who has put up decent numbers in his appearances, but very limited appearances at that. He started 17 of 18 games played this season. This workload on an unproven number 1 is going to tell the whole story, come the second half of the season. If the Av's want to help Anderson out they need to shore up in front of him and rely a little more on a solid back up in Budai.
As much as the Av's are fun to watch and have been a great story for the first part of the season, I wouldn't keep my hopes up if I were an Av's fan. They will be better in a year or two if Anderson proves he can start a whole season, and when the young guys grow, go through some adversity, and learn what playing in the NHL is all about. I hope they can continue, because the surprising underdog's often write the best story.