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yave1964

Colorado Avalanche year in review

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Matt Duchene helps buy signed B's jersey for bullied girl's birthday ...

PRESEASON OUTLOOK: The Avalanche were on the outside looking in as far as the postseason in 2014-15 so they retooled, adding rugged Blake Comeau scorer Carl Soderberg and defenseman Francois Beauchemin to the mix with the hopes that they could compete.

 

FINAL RECORD: 39-39-4 82 points 9th in the West. Missed playoffs.

 

STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR: Matt Duchene was a stud on the road with 19 goals and a plus 3 but at home he only managed 11 goals and was an anemic minus 11.

 

HIGH POINT OF THE SEASON:  After acquiring Mikael Boedker, Shawn Matthias and Eric Gelinas at the deadline the 'Lanche caught fire in March, when they defeated the Oilers on March 20th they had won 5 of 6 and were ahead of the Wild for the final playoff spot in the West.

 

LOW POINT OF THE YEAR: Then the wheels fell off. They lost 8 of the final 9 games including the final 6 games of the year. During the final 9 games they were outscored by a ridiculous 36-18. They finished well behind the Wild for the final playoff spot.

 

MVP: Matt duchene, strange split and all had a solid season (30-29-59) and established himself as a top tier force.

 

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Duchene had a great year. Gabe Landeskog (20-33-53) was solid, as was Nate NHL: Projecting The Next 5 Superstars MacKinnon (21-31-52) giving the Avalanche a trio of solid young forwards. Soderberg (12-39-51) proved the teams faith in him was well founded. Tyson Barrie (13-36-49 and 21 PPP) was a monster on the back end. Jerome Iginla aged gracefully, contributing 22 goals. Blake Comeau (12-24-36) and Francois Beauchemin (8-26-34) proved to be good signings.

 

WHAT WENT WRONG: Mikhael Grigorenko came over from Buffalo in the Ryan O'Reilly deal and bombed. Eric Johnson took a big step back from the previous season. Nikita Zadorov the other part of the O'Reilly deal had a lost season split between the NHL and AHL.

  But the worst of the worst was the netminding. Semyon Semyon Varlamov Varlamov is on the short list of the worst regular goalies in the NHL for the season with an awful 2.81 goals against and a .914 save pct. Pickard and Berra, the two backups were both average at best but both put up better numbers than Varlamov. Down the stretch Varlamov went 8-13 essentially killing the teams hopes. During that time Pickard went 4-3. It is not a stretch to say that with average netminding the Avalanche may have made the playoffs.

 

FREE AGENTS:

Mikael Boedker heads the list.

Shawn Matthias

Jack Skille

Nate Guenin

Zach Redmond

All played important roles last year.

 

TOP PROSPECTS: Young Mikko Rantanen is an elite prospect and will crack the top six next season. Chris Bigras will claim a top 4 role on the back end next year and is a real deal prospect. The rest of the prospects are at least a year away, a few guys like Rendulic and Joey Hishon are not really prospects but may get some ice time as injury fillers.

 

QUESTION MARKS: What the Hell do you do with Varly? Goalies have good years followed by bad and he is still young enough but he plain stunk last year. Can they resign Boedker? the rest of the free agents are meh, but Boedker seemed like a perfect fit with the team. The defense has to be blamed for how bad the goaltending was as well, Can Johnson bounce back, can the aging Beauchemin continue to play big minutes, can top prospect Bigras step in and put up good numbers as a rookie? Can they add a few veteran shut down players?

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