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Colorado Rocky Mountain High: Avalanche year in review


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Coming off a postseason that came to a crashing thud when Matt Cooke took out Tyson Barrie on a cheap shot essentially ending the season the year before, the Avalanche entered the season determined to build off the success.$_1.JPG


FINAL RECORD: 39-31-12 90 POINTS, 11TH in the West


STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR: Matt Duchene was second among forwards in power play ice time and managed only a weak 2 power play goals and five assists. Alex Tanguay had a sizzling 21.2 shooting pct. Only one other regular forward had as much as half of that.



 The Avalanche were shut out in their first two games of the year and then went on to lose 11 of their first 14.


HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR: When they defeated the Coyotes on March 19th for their third win in a row they climbed within two points of a playoff spot at 33-26-12. from there however, they then lost three in a row and quickly made golf plans.


WHAT WENT WRONG: In spite of serious firepower, the Avalanche never really got the offense going, they were shut out a remarkable eight times. Erik Johnson was off to a fine start and then was injured right before the all star break and his season ended. Spark plug Jamie McGinn was lost early in the year. Jan Hejda went from plus eight the year before to a minus twelve. Nathan MacKinnon suffered the sophomore slump with an anemic 38 points. Duchene (21-34-55) was very inconsistent. Varlamov was injured several times and was either very good or often very bad.


WHAT WENT RIGHT: Tyson Barrie (12-41-53) stepped in for Johnson and exceeded expectations. Iginla was solid with 29 goals and led the team in scoring. Pickard came out of nowhere to push himself into the conversation as a possible NHL goalie. Landeskog, O'Reilly mjiQpnvFXC1zrU-IqLj80yg.jpg and Tanguay were more than solid. Cody Mcleod had 191 PIMs and a bit of offense.


MVP: I am gonna tab Iginla, he was everything they could have hoped for, the team faltered but he worked his tail off and showed the kids how it is done.



Danny Briere

Jan Hejda

Ryan Wilson

Bruno Gervais



The hope is that center Connor Bleackley and defenseman Chris Bigras will start the year in the AHL but will be early call ups if there are injuries. Both are considered comers within the organization. Winger Dennis Everberg will likely stick as a third liner next year. Beyond that not much is ready at the NHL level other than cannon fodder.



The hope is that the kids, MacKinnon, Duchene Landeskog get it together and have solid years at the same time and Johnson gets healthy and teams with Barrie for a tough one-two punch on the back end and Varly rediscovers his consistency. O'Reilly is rumored to be on the block, he has been unhappy with his role on the team and the Avalanche might move him to fill another need such as a shut down minute eating blueliner. If they add a solid guy on the back end to pair with the two they have the back end could be something. The hope is that Coach Patrick Roy gets the team to bounce back from the hangover and play like the team they were two years ago. No reason that they cannot.

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Some change over would be good this year for the Avalanche starting with some extra support on defense via FA.  Let Jejda walk and try to sign Wilson.   Bigras will be a welcomed addition to the lineup on a regular basis.  


This team took a major hit down the middle when they lost Stasney in a tough Central division I really don't expect the Aves to be a contender next year either unless Varlamov is a Veniza candidate.


I have to assume also that this is the final year of Danny Briere's career.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I mean you do not expect a team that lost a average of SIX starting roster players PER game to make the playoffs. When they got healthier near the end of the season they played MUCH better. The loss of Nathan MacKinnon when he was just catching fire was the ultimate dagger to the season. Varlamov, a goalie with a well known history of injuries is taking the summer 100% off to recover, strengthen and heal. He found A LOT of the Vezina runner up form at the end of the season, but his injuries did not stop. 


Sakic has stated he wants Hejda back, hands down it is Jan's choice to stay or go, but I do not see him leaving the Avalanche. Ryan Wilson is gone, he will not be an Av again unless Patrick Roy see's something the NO ONE else sees, he is awful and would play best with a team that like a Dman that has HUGE potential but is ALWAYS hurt. 


I think Danny B is done with the NHL. He was talking with Peter McNab about how it is nice to watch his kids grow and play hockey, and to be honest they only team that would sign him would only want him for his playoff magic... Which makes him a cap hit for almost no real reason other than hope that your team makes the playoffs. Bruno is just a depth D for the Avs, with Siemens, Redmond, Bigras, Geertsen I doubt we keep him.... 







A big blow was losing Stastny, but it was also HEALTH, the team could not for the life of them stay health this season. I think it was hockey gods pay back for the amazing run they had last season. Iggy and Tangs stepped up huge and were the leaders they were expected to be. We all knew Iggy would find it, he is always a slow started through his entire career. I agree, he deserves MVP of the season for the Avalanche. 


I think the expectations for this team are still very high. I do not think Duchene has ever played up to the #3 pick, he needs to find himself and break that 90 point season we all know he can have. Landeskog started off this past season like a rookie, he played very poorly until after December. He will start the season with something to prove and so will MacKinnon. None of them were happy with their start to the season and they all want to prove a lot. Barrie is coming off a 41 assist season, 41!! You can only imagine if he comes out of the cannon on fire, i bet this kid could push 60 Apples and 20 goals and be a runner up for next seasons Norris. 


I do not think the Avs will win the cup next season, but if we stay healthy, add a few solid off season players to step into a leader role and sit our 3/4 lines. Add a solid back up to Varly and dump Berra (the biggest mistake so far in Sakic's career at the helm)... I think the Avs could pull a Western Conf. Final appearance. Their inexperience overall could lead them out in the 2nd round, but I have a strong feeling this team is going to be tough next season, they have a point to prove. With the addition of a better D or two for the 2nd and 3rd pairing to help mentor our D would be vital. 


Upcoming UFA:

Francois Beauchemin

Antti Niemi

Christian Ehrhoff

Paul Martin

Cody Franson

Mike Green

Devan Dubnyk

Marek Zidlicky

Andrej Sekera

Johnny Oduya

Lubomir Visnovsky

Barret Jackman

Zbynek Michalek

Jhonas Enroth

Karri Ramo

Michal Neuvirth


Any 2-3 of these guys could be bombshells for this team and make them winners on a most consistent basis. In goal, Varly could use any of these guys to help since Berra isnt very much of a promise. He had some flashes of change, but he is older than Varly and worse than a rookie. Neuvirth and Varly have been around and know how one another work, but I do not see it being a good match. The main aspect though is the depth of D that can be on the market and pick up able. We could add a Mike Green to skate with Jan Hejda, have Barrie and Johnson and the maybe have one of these other guys with Nick Holden or one of our current kids, Redmond, Guenin (whoever works the hardest) 


Its all hopes and dreammmmmmmsssss!!!! lol Now you got me wanting to hook up my NHL 15 GM mode hahahaa

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...



Avalanche sort of tribute Rockies in possible Stadium Series jersey design







....not bad but a little on the boring side maybe...




Epic Fail in my eyes, I think if this is what they pull together... they need a new designer. It tries to resemble the old Colorado Rockies, who were the New Jersey Devils. WHY would you tribute toward another teams old franchise? Why not pull in some vintage Nordique, vintage Avs combination. It needs fire, and that my friend is not fire...that is ice... and it is horrible. I buy tickets on Monday and if this is their crap... I will sell my tickets lol!

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