Nobody expected it. The team who just had the number one pick is now undefeated, and is knocking over strong teams on its journey. First overall pick Nathan MacKinnon looks unbelievable, for goalie Semyon Varlamov, ditto.
The defense has performed much better than last year, highlighted by the play of Cody Sarich and Andre Benoit. The team looks rejuvenated with new coaching, new scoring, and new defense. The question is, not to be too pessimistic, can the Avs keep up their freakish play for much longer? After all, no team has won their first 11 games of the season. Colorado is almost halfway there.
The last team to go 10-0 to start the season, Buffalo, wound up going 6-4 in the next ten, with only two of those wins coming in regulation. The only other team to match that start is the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1993-94. Their next ten games featured three wins, three losses, and four ties.
Of course, one could just as easily point out the statistical trend that new coaches who start out strong tend to tire out as the season moves on.
A team with a well-rounded offense but little defensive prowess cannot outlast common sense forever. At some point, the Avs will have to enter a slump. Similarly, Varlamov cannot keep up his unnatural .970 save percentage.
At some point in the season, the Avalanche will cave in. As of now, over five players average a point per game. If that pace were kept up, it would be the first time that a team features five players with over 82 points. Simply put, this offense is not capable of that. The defense, at some point, will start getting complacent, and consequently, will allow even more shots on Varly. And after all that takes place, Varlamov will not be able to stop 39 of 40 shots every game. The team will start losing, of course, the question is when?
In a true test of potency, Patrick Roy will have to hold together a team whose gel will slowly wear off from this hot start. How many games do you think it will take before the Avalanche start slumping? 5? 10? more? Leave me a comment with your opinions.