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Colorado Avalanche - Are they for real?


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So it's nearly a month into the season and the Av's sit at 9-1 atop the NHL. Not their division. Not their conference. The whole damn NHL.


And they haven't done it in the way most people would have thought, by winning high scoring shootouts. Oh no, not this team. Sure they are averaging 3.2 goals which is a pretty decent rate of production, but the most impressive thing has been the goal tending and the D. 


2 shutouts 10 games into the season. 14 goals against. I 'll say that again: 14 goals against. The only team with better goals against is Boston with 13, having played one game less. 


Think about that for a second. Last year they averaged 3.17 goals. Not goals for, goals against. Granted it is only 10 games into the season but they have reduced GAA by 1.77 per game. 


A big part of that is their commitment to team D. The whole team is playing for one another and there doesn't seem to be any ego problems from "Star Players"


Another huge part has been the stellar play of their goaltenders. Semyon Varlamov is sitting at .948 save % having played 7 games, with a GAA of 1.73. JS Giguere has played only 3 games but has pitched two shutouts. He has a .981 save % and a ridiculous GAA of 0.67.


Bear in mind that both shutouts came on the road against arguably the Eastern Conferences top two teams in Boston and Pittsburgh, neither of whom usually have a shortage of offence.


(By the way, for the Flyers fans reading this, JS Giguere has more shutouts in 3 games than the Flyers managed in 48 last season. And judging by the way this season is going there is a fair chance that those 2 shutouts will be more than the Flyers manage collectively this year but I digress...)


Incidentally don't think I am making light of the contribution that Patrick Roy has made to this team, while he may not have assembled it he has certainly been instrumental in getting them to play well together.


Two weeks ago I said this:



Well, here we are four games into the season and the Aves sit at 4-0, joint top of the West with San Jose. Moreover, whilst they have been more or less as billed on the offensive front, the real surprise so far has come on the blue line. 


Thus far they have conceded three goals in those four games, three of which have come against pretty good offensive teams (Toronto, Boston and Anaheim). Indeed they pitched a shutout against Boston last night with Giguere stoning all attempts by Boston. 


While I don't think they will remain atop the standings for the rest of the season I think they could well make the play offs if they continue to buy into Patrick Roy's game plan.


Any way you cut it they are a very entertaining team to watch and I will certainly be making the effort to watch a fair few of their games.




Well, six games further on they are still on top of the league, still playing great D and have added a shutout.


I stand by what I said in terms of them remaining in top of the rankings. This is still a young team and I think they will hit a wall at some point. However having barring major injuries I definitely see them as a playoff team, and potentially a threat out of the West. 


I hope they continue to play with the same enjoyment they are showing and I certainly am continuing to watch this fun team.


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Nice write-up EDI! Yes, I agree, I can't see a team keeping up this kind of pace through an entire season, & then there is always the injury factor, but yah, what a surprise this team has been so far, & even more surprising, that it's due to the new coach Roy. He has done some amazing things for this team. Some have said that the big brouhaha he got into with Bruce Boudreau was the catalyst that really inspired his young team to play hard for him, because of the lengths that he showed them that he would go to, to fight for his team. That could very well be. And then you throw Nate McKinnon into the mix, & you've got one solid, powerful team all around. The only unfortunate thing is that the Nucks have to contend with them in the West...haha.

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Patrick roy sure has done a hell of a job instilling confidence into that young team.


I hate the guy, but so far, his team has impressed.


Imagine if years from now, Roy is regarded as one of the great coaches!


I always used to hear these words: hate the sin, not the sinner ;)


Seriously though, I don't have a lot of time for the guy on a personal level but he has done a great job so far. I think his time with the Rempart has given him the tools to understand and motivate a young squad. 


I would love to be able to fast forward a couple of years and see just how this all turns out.

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