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
Dec 13, 2013, 3:01 PM EST
News and notes from the blue paint…
Dec 13, 2013, 2:37 PM EST
Your choice of bacon, ham or sausage.
Dec 13, 2013, 2:31 PM EST
The Leafs are being forced to play the Blackhawks, the Red Wings can’t win a shootout, Boston’s in Vancouver for the first time since winning the Cup, Lundqvist needs to be better, and we know now that Martin Jones is a goalie for the Kings.
Dec 13, 2013, 2:13 PM EST
Chris Kunitz looks fired up.
Dec 13, 2013, 1:49 PM EST
So, the veteran defenseman could sit again.
Dec 13, 2013, 1:30 PM EST
Physical forward won his first and only Stanley Cup with Chicago last season.
Dec 13, 2013, 12:40 PM EST
You’re up, Jonas Gustavsson.
Dec 13, 2013, 12:27 PM EST
Won six of its last nine.
Dec 13, 2013, 12:24 PM EST
“It’s tough when you have to worry about pucks going in the back of your net.”
Dec 13, 2013, 11:53 AM EST
Incident occurred during Wednesday’s 7-2 ‘Hawks win.
Dec 13, 2013, 11:26 AM EST
Now that Jay Feaster’s gone.
Dec 13, 2013, 10:57 AM EST
Pens host the Devils tonight.
Dec 13, 2013, 10:48 AM EST
Incident occurred during Thursday’s Flyers-Habs game in Philly.
Dec 13, 2013, 10:03 AM EST
‘Tis the season to not be joyful about losing.
Dec 13, 2013, 9:30 AM EST
The Badgers are 5-0-1 at home this season.
Dec 13, 2013, 8:15 AM EST
That and all the links to start your day ahead.
Dec 13, 2013, 2:02 AM EST
All three San Jose goals came on the power play.
Dec 13, 2013, 1:30 AM EST
But they snapped that 10-game losing streak the other day.
Dec 13, 2013, 1:03 AM EST
His inconsistent season continues.
Dec 13, 2013, 12:36 AM EST
Quite the funk they’re in when it comes to this aspect.
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- Wounded Wing: Howard (MCL sprain) out 2-4 weeks 2
- Wild coach accuses Sharks of embellishment 61
- Lundqvist hooked after three first-period goals as Rangers’ woes continue 28
- Burke wants the Flames to be — yep, you guessed it — more ‘truculent’ 46
- Flames fire GM Jay Feaster 36
- Video: Projected rise in salary cap could have some players ‘licking their lips’ 22
- Discuss: Blackhawks score big on Rivalry Night on NBCSN 37
- Crosby: If I had to guess Thornton’s suspension, I’d say 10 games 85
- Cowen gets two-game suspension for hit on Girgensons 12
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (184)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (138)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)