At Mile High Sticking, they’ve taken a different approach to their preview for the season. It would be hard to say they’re overly optimistic, but at the same time, they aren’t terribly pessimistic either. They’re straddling the line, with reasons they’ll make the playoffs, and reasons they’ll miss them. I tend to favor the latter in the case of the Avs, but here’s just a taste:
Why they are headed for the lottery:
1) Losses over last 6 months prove to much for the Avalanche. It is possible the losses of Chris Stewart, John Michael Liles, Adam Foote, and Tomas Fleischmann wind up being to much leadership for the Avs to lose in a short amount of time. They still have Paul Stastny, Milan Hejduk, and a core of young potential leaders but has this offseason seen too much change?
2) The Avalanche lead the league in injuries. If the Avalanche have been tops in the NHL in anything over the last few seasons it is definitely injuries. The Avs have seen injuries of all shapes and sizes and it has become a trend, which is not an easy one to overcome.
October 30th – @ Colorado
January 2nd – vs. Colorado
January 21st – vs. Colorado
Feburary 22nd – @ Colorado
The Avs will have to surprise some people in a big way if they’re going to make waves this season. Yea I know, two years ago they were a surprise team that made the playoffs with an impressively strong performance. Last season however, they fell back to Earth. They played back to about the “right” level, and that meant they were one of the worst teams in the West. While they are still going to out perform Edmonton (duh), and likely a few other terrible squads, the future for the Avs is still in the distance. They’ve got some talent in the pipeline, and some of it may even make the big squad this season, but I don’t think any of them will have an immediate game-breaking impact. I see the Avs struggling along the bottom of the Conference, but with a very real chance to play spoiler near the end of the season. It would be wise not to take them too lightly.