Avalanche Defense: 5 Questions for the 2015-16 Season

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Nov 28, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman

Nikita Zadorov

(51) during the game against the Montreal Canadiens at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

2. What will the dynamic be with Tyson Barrie and Nikita Zadorov?

Fun fact — Tyson Barrie is the smallest regular on the team at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds. Nikita Zadorov is the biggest projected regular at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds. Talk about Mutt and Jeff.

The two players also have radically different playing styles. Barrie likes to rove around and pinch into the play. Zadorov likes to rove around and hit people. They’re also very young, 24 and 20 respectively.

This is going to be a very interesting dynamic to watch if the two stay paired together as is projected. Both have a tendency to get out of position. However, both are able to speed into position, Barrie with his fast skating and Zadorov by virtue of his long legs.

I kind of foresee Zadorov as taking on a protector role, especially for Barrie. Tyson Barrie is a speedy little scorer, but he gets victimized by some of the grittier players in the NHL. I could see Zadorov using his proclivity for hitting to open up some space for Barrie.

Or it could be a complete disaster with both players roving around and leaving the Avalanche zone open to yet more attack. Like I said — it’s a big question going into next season.

Next: Career Season?