Aug 19, 2013, 8:33 PM EST
Still, there are some interesting reasons why the new look/old look Avs might surprise a few people next season.
First time charm
For several seasons, coaches have made the jump from lower levels of hockey to have immediate success behind NHL benches. Some have carried that strong work over beyond their first season in the league (examples: Dan Bylsma and Bruce Boudreau) while others flamed out (Guy Boucher), but a fresh voice has often helped teams make sudden gains in the wins column.
Of course, those guys have usually been coming from the AHL, not the QMJHL like Patrick Roy.
If nothing else, Colorado seems to have nowhere to go but up.
For one thing, 2013’s disaster allowed the Avs to select first overall, nabbing a potential blue chip in Nathan MacKinnon.
Their offense might be closer to full strength due to better circumstances, too. Ryan O’Reilly won’t be mired in contract squabbles. Gabriel Landeskog (hopefully) won’t deal with troubling concussion issues. The team also landed a potential coup by trading David Jones for Alex Tanguay, who still might have some gas in the tank at 33.
That previous section represented a potential boon for the Avalanche offense, but if that’s not enough, elements of human nature could spur success.
For one thing, with new management in place, few jobs are truly safe. Even if it’s merely a short-term boost, one can assume that players want to get in the good graces of Roy and Joe Sakic.
Beyond that, some significant players are entering contract years. O’Reilly, Semyon Varlamov, Paul Stastny, Steve Downie and Jamie McGinn are among the noteworthy guys who have a lot of money to gain or lose this season.
Naturally, plenty can go wrong. That’s especially true for a team that hasn’t been a contender for many years.
Still, there are some appealing reasons for fans to hope that the Avalanche could become a dark horse candidate in 2013-14.
More Avs day fun
Nov 25, 2014, 5:04 PM EST
“Let’s get real. Finding top-four defensemen, they’re not available,” says GM Dean Lombardi.
Nov 25, 2014, 4:35 PM EST
And rightly so.
Nov 25, 2014, 4:27 PM EST
Alex Mallet for Andrey Pedan, specifically.
Nov 25, 2014, 4:15 PM EST
Bojangles. That’s a funny name.
Nov 25, 2014, 3:31 PM EST
News and notes from around the crease…
Nov 25, 2014, 3:31 PM EST
“I would rather fight than turtle or anything like that.”
Nov 25, 2014, 2:36 PM EST
This is… surprising.
Nov 25, 2014, 2:25 PM EST
Cory Schneider to “see what kind of player he is” tonight.
Nov 25, 2014, 2:01 PM EST
The Blue Jackets, Flyers, Avalanche, Stars, and Sharks all made the playoffs last season. But they’re not in position now.
Nov 25, 2014, 1:47 PM EST
GM Dale Tallon reportedly wants to make room for some youngsters.
Nov 25, 2014, 1:25 PM EST
For the first time since Nov. 1.
Nov 25, 2014, 12:38 PM EST
That’s a picture of former first-rounder Alex Plante.
Nov 25, 2014, 12:28 PM EST
Pointless in 17 games this season.
Nov 25, 2014, 12:01 PM EST
So says Patrick Roy.
Nov 25, 2014, 11:34 AM EST
Isles were the biggest risers.
Nov 25, 2014, 10:43 AM EST
“Of course, I’m not too happy.”
Nov 25, 2014, 9:55 AM EST
“So I won’t be playing that much next game, I don’t think.”
Nov 25, 2014, 8:59 AM EST
They’re drawing just 12,404 fans per game.
Nov 25, 2014, 8:00 AM EST
Tuesday’s collection of links.
Nov 24, 2014, 11:54 PM EST
“I understand the business.”
- On the odds of fighting back after Thanksgiving 4
- Why are the Oilers still bad? Look at their drafting 12
- The Leafs are worth almost seven times the Panthers, says Forbes 14
- Isles make some history; Are the Flyers headed for trouble? 41
- Crosby, Malkin power Penguins, help Fleury grab 300th win 5
- Sooner than later? Bruins GM hopes Chara can return in 10-14 days 1
- With worst save percentage in NHL, Oilers fire goalie coach 22
- Pat Quinn, ‘one of hockey’s most respected individuals,’ has died 14
- NHL on NBCSN: Bruins seek perfect game vs. Penguins 8
- Legendary hockey coach Viktor Tikhonov has died 15
- Video: Milan Lucic calls Dalton Prout one-punch ‘gutless’ (99)
- Prout drops Lucic: ‘As far as I was concerned we were engaged in a fight’ (88)
- The Leafs didn’t salute their fans last night, so that’s a thing now (79)
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him (58)
- After Voynov suspension, Lombardi wonders if teams need a ‘cushion’ in case a player is a ‘bank robber, kleptomaniac’ (51)