With the 2013/14 season rapidly approaching – 19 days!!!! – it’s time to look towards the upcoming season with an eye on expectations.
Every year, every team has its breakout players; the guys who rise to prominence either as a rookie, totally out of nowhere, or as an established player making a big jump. Each team also has its share of disappointments (some more than others). Over the next several days, we’ll look at three of each for the Avalanche for 2013/14 and just why their name is mentioned.
Unfortunately, where there is good there is bad and it’s time for the disappointments for the 2013/14 season.
Our final disappointment is someone the team can’t afford to have a letdown season. With all of the issues the defensive corps had last year, the Avalanche didn’t look outside the organization for improvements, instead hoping that a few of their own can make the leap.
Many expect Tyson Barrie to be a breakout star this year. He’s an offensively gifted defenseman with great skating ability which helps neutralize the fact that he’s not very big and he’s not going to overpower people.
He managed to finally stick with the Avalanche last year, playing 32 games during the lockout-shortened season. His 13 points don’t look that great but you could see flashes of his game and see his potential.
But there are factors working against him in terms of a breakout season this year. First, he BARELY had a rookie season. I’m sorry, but 32 games isn’t a big enough sample size to make a decision about a guy. He was intriguing and I think he’ll eventually be a key component of the defense, but we really don’t know enough about him at the NHL level to make a decision either way.
We don’t know how he’ll hold up through the rigors of an 82-game season. For someone of his size, it will be interesting to see if he can hold up to the pounding all year without missing any time.
Even if you take last year as a true rookie season, there’s also the dreaded sophomore slump. I don’t know that I truly believe it to be a real thing but some people do and, sometimes, players struggle in year two.
Expectations are high for Tyson Barrie this year and I get it: he’s a slick offensive defenseman with tons of potential. He can only help the abysmal Avalanche defense. He’s part of the wave of the future.
I just don’t think he’s ready for the big time just yet.
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