An 'Avalanche' of Questions...

So, we are now 15 games into the grind known as the NHL season.  Your Colorado Avalanche are sitting at 8-6-1 and are currently in 2nd place in the Northwest Division (3 pts. behind the Cunucks).  But, what can we truly expect out of this young, inexperienced, injury riddled team?

Currently, 16 of the players on the active roster are age 25 or younger.  Will this inexperience hurt them, or will the lack of pressure on the kids allow them to have fun and play loose?  Do they remind you of the Chicago Blackhawks of 3 years ago?  One can only hope…

Will Peter Budaj continue to stand in admirably for the injured Craig Anderson?  This worries me a bit.  Although Budaj’s career numbers are not atrocious (2.74/gaa, .903/sv%, 9/so), you would have to agree that he has been streaky at best.  In 201 career games, he has 91 wins – this sub .500 mark scares me…

With tough guys like Adam Foote and David Koci on IR, who will the Avalanche look to for their ‘enforcement’ needs?  Chris Stewart is turning into a force to be reckoned with, but do you seriously want your #1 offensive threat fighting and risking injury on a nightly basis?  Prior to acquiring Ryan O’Byrne from Montreal earlier this week, the toughest guys on the roster were Cody McLeod and David Liffiton who are both listed at 6’2″, 210lbs. (hardly heavyweights).  Is O’Byrne the type of defense-man that will stand up for his new teammates?

They are definitely a talented bunch – in offensive terms.  Currently, the team is scoring at a pace of 3.40 goals per game (3rd in the league) and their power play is running at 19.6% (12th in the league).  But, here is where the wheels begin to come off the bus.  They are currently 29th out of 30 teams in penalty killing (73.3%) and 24th in goals against per game (3.13).  Also, the defense is allowing a whopping 31.5 shots against their netminder per game.  I fear that unless Coach Sacco and Asst. Coach Lefebvre (a great defenseman in his own right) are able to shore up these defensive faults, the Avalanche will be mired in the muddled middle for the entire season.

Their next test of will comes tonight against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.  Detroit is always up for a good fight with the Avalanche, and tonight will be no different.  Both teams are coming off superb wins – the Av’s beat Columbus last night 5-1 and the Wings took out Edmonton 6-2 on Thursday night.  Hopefully, the Av’s will be able to score in bunches, limit the Wing’s chances, and stay out of the sin bin…

Next Avalanche Game Full schedule »
Sunday, Oct 2626 Oct2:00at Winnipeg JetsBuy Tickets

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