Around The League In 30 Days: FanSided Goes Mile High

So far FanSided’s 30 in 30 has covered Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, and Chicago. Today it is Mile High Sticking’s turn to preview the Colorado Avalanche.

Will Landeskog be a key in helping the Avalanche return to the postseason?

What Happened Last Year:

30-44-8 68 points

4th in Northwest

14th in West

Last season was the worst season in Avalanche franchise history, and that is not figuratively it is 100% literal. The Avalanche in 2010-11 posted the fewest total points in franchise history thanks in large part to a disgraceful second half of the season, which saw them  win rarely during the final four months of the season. The Avs had no business not being the worst team in hockey last year, but they are lucky enough to not only be in the same conference as Edmonton they are in the same division as well. Allowing them to avoid last place in the NW. Yet despite the fact I have completely ripped my team a new one I wouldn’t change a thing about last season. Why? Gabriel Landeskog.

Welcome to the Mile High city (Acquisitions):

  • Shane O’Brien
  • Chuck Kobasew
  • Semyon Varlamov
  • Jean Sebastian Giguere
  • Jan Hejda
  • Joakim Lindstrom
  • Gabriel Landeskog (draft)
Lost in the mountains (Departures):
  • John-Michael Liles
  • Peter Budaj
  • Tomas Fleischmann
  • Brian Elliott
  • Phillipe Dupuis
Why they are going to the playoffs:

1) If half of the Avalanche acquisitions pan out, at least one of them being one of the goalies, the Avalanche may be heading for another surprisingly good season. To start the goalies are a definite upgrade for the Avalanche but will need to show up consistently. The new and improved blueline gives the Avalanche a more western conference look than they have ever had. The West is known for their physical play while the East is known for finesse and as much as JML will be missed the changes make sense.

2) The Avs put together three consistent lines. Here are the Avalanche forwards: Matt Duchene, Milan Hejduk, David Jones, Gabriel Landeskog, Paul Stastny, Peter Mueller, Chuck Kobasew, Ryan O’Reilly, Joakim Lindstrom, TJ Galiardi, Jay McClement, Daniel Winnik, Brandon Yip, Kevin Porter, and Cody McCleod. There are 15 forwards and that does not include some of the young players like Brad Malone and Joey Hishon who may make the team. I know I’m biased but there will be a good deal of talent on the Avs top three lines.

Why they are headed for the lottery:

1) Losses over last 6 months prove to much for the Avalanche. It is possible the losses of Chris Stewart, John Michael Liles, Adam Foote, and Tomas Fleischmann wind up being to much leadership for the Avs to lose in a short amount of time. They still have Paul Stastny, Milan Hejduk, and a core of young potential leaders but has this offseason seen too much change?

2) The Avalanche lead the league in injuries. If the Avalanche have been tops in the NHL in anything over the last few seasons it is definitely injuries. The Avs have seen injuries of all shapes and sizes and it has become a trend, which is not an easy one to overcome.

Potential Lineup:

 

Landeskog-Duchene-Mueller

Jones-Stastny-Hejduk

Lindstrom-O’Reilly-Kobasew

Malone-McClement-Winnik

Johnson-Hejda

O’Byrne-Quincy

O’Brien-Elliott

Semyon Varlamov

Prediction:

45-28-9 99 points

2nd in Northwest

6th in West

Thanks for checking us out make sure to visit Fire That Cannon tomorrow for the Blue Jackets 30 in 30 preview!

Follow on Twitter @SCrociata or @MHSticking

 

Next Avalanche Game Full schedule »
Saturday, Nov 11 Nov7:00at St. Louis BluesBuy Tickets

Tags: 2011-2012 Season 30 In 30 Colorado Avalanche Gabriel Landeskog Matt Duchene

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