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Colorado - in tough this season

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1Colorado - in tough this season Empty Colorado - in tough this season on Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:02 am


Here comes one of the hardest teams to analyze.

Let's take a look at the current Avalanche team:


Avalance's special teams were horrendous last year, which is odd
because Ryan Smyth should be able to shift the momentum of any
powerplay - not to mention Joe Sakic, Milan Hejduk et. all. Penalty
killing was bad as well. If the Avs are to make the final playoff spot,
that'll have to improve immediately.

Colorado was quiet in the
off-season, acquiring two Leaf cast offs in Darcy Tucker and Andrew
Raycroft. Tucker is an effective pest who can turn the tides on a
powerplay as well, while Raycroft completely lost his way, but should
do significantly better in Colorado. When the dust settles, the top 9
should look something like this:

Smyth - Sakic - Hejduk
Wolski - Stastny - Svatos
Ledin - Arnason - Tucker

teams asked about Ledin who is a slick, explosive winger from Sweden,
so if all goes well he could find himself a permament home in the top
9, maybe even inching his way up top the top 6. In Sakic, Smyth,
Hejduk, Wolski, Stastny and Svatos, you have no shortage of firepower,
vets mixed with young, talented guys. Until the injuries set in and
guys like Laperriere and Willsie are forced into roles they can't

The Avs D is similarily interesting:

Foote - Liles
Hannan - Leopold
Clark - Salei

most likely be the starting 6. Not too bad mix of mobile D-men with
hard hitting warriors like Adam Foote and Scott Hannan. If they can
quickly buy into what new coach Tony Granato is preaching, they might
have a legitimate shot at shutting down powerful Western opponents.

goal is where the Avs fail. They put faith in Jose Theodore, slowly
nuturing him back to a shadow of his Hart Trophy winning self.
But...alas, this is the new NHL and Theodore chose the greener pastures
of Washington leaving Colorado with a gaping hope in nets.

Budaj and Andrew Raycroft will compete for starts, but neither had good
numbers last year (Budaj at least had a save % over .900 though). This
is where the Colorado Avalance just simply cannot compete with teams
going for the 8th and final spot. They should've been after Huet like
it was the last thing they were ever going to do - or failing that,
they should move some pieces around to get Khabby on board.

Either way, as it stands right now, the Avs will be in the 13th place area - despite having a better than average team.

Team Grade: C
Prediction: 13th in the West.

2Colorado - in tough this season Empty Re: Colorado - in tough this season on Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:36 pm


Don't forget that they are perennially in the running for Forsberg.
And thus, they are automatically a Cup-contender - or so says Ek. Razz

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