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yave1964

'Lanche solid season review

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PRESEASON OUTLOOK The worry was that they were a one line team and the thought was the Avalanche coming off a surprising playoff appearance might slip back or fight for a lower tier spot.

 

FINAL RECORD 38-30-14 90 points. Snuck into the final spot in the West, shocked the Flames in the first round then bowed out to the Sharks in a very tough second round matchup in seven hard fought games.

 

HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR From March 17th til the end of the year they went 8-0-1 to secure the Wests final spot ahead of Arizona, during that run they beat Winnipeg, Dallas, Vegas and St. Louis, playoff teams all and also bested the Coyotes in a crucial match. Then of course they shocked number one seed Calgary and damn near beat the Sharks. Overall a great stretch drive.

 

LOW POINT OF THE YEAR For nearly three months, from mid November until February 16th they were awful, nothing worked. They went 8-16-6 looking anything but a playoff team.The fact that they made it in speaks more to the parity at the bottom/middle of the West than to their actual season. They weren't just mediocre for nearly half the season, they were plain BAD.

 

WHAT WENT RIGHT The top trio of Mackinnon askandeskog and Rantanen were men among boys, Mac is on the short list of best players in Hockey, the other two are pure snipers. Barrie was a beast on the back end,. Soderberg had his best year ever. Kids Kerfoot, Compher and Jost showed promise as middle six players, young defender Cale Makar was fantastic in the postseason. in net Grubauer and Varlamov did just enough in net to keep the team in the running. While the middle six was anemic, Nieto and Calvert were fantastic on the fourth line all year.

 

WHAT WENT WRONG Brassard came over from Florida and was just short of dreadful. Erik Johnson looks to have lost a step and hence lost his offense. Really the defense other than Barrie was pretty awful thus the need for Makar. Varly got the  majority of starts in net and really was just average at best.

 

FREE AGENTS Longtime goalie Varly is gone for certain. Brassard came, he saw, he did nothing and will try to find another team ready to take a shot on him. Servicable Colin Wilson and Patrik Nemeth are both free agents but may be back on cheap deals.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTIONS Can they find secondary scoring? The young trio of Compher, Kerfoot and Jost all showed a spark, Makar could help as a second breakout guy from the back end.  

 Can Grubauer handle the net? So far he has backed up Varly and Holtby, next season will be his first without a safety net. Should the big three stay together? IMHO yes a thousand times over, the team is so much better with them as a unit, they need the kids to step up and maybe add a veteran middle six forward who can produce and leave the trio on the ice together.

 

Really good shape overall, a true superstar center, two snipers on the wing, a couple of brilliant offensive d-men and help on the way. If Grubauer doesn't implode they will contend for a long time under an under rated under the radar top coach in Bednar.

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Rantanen and MacKinnon are both pretty impressive.  If they had some secondary scoring they could be really scary.  Their bottom lines have good speed and energy, but they don't chip in enough offensively.  Defensively, its still a work in progress but they're getting better.  Cale Makar looks like a steal and will terrorize teams for years.  I think Sakic lucked into the 4th Overall pick in the Duchene deal, but the truth is Colorado is going to get another blue chip youngster.  Things are looking pretty bright in Colorado.  

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