Colorado Avalanche: It Is Time to Get Scared


With a team featuring a good amount of minor league players, the Colorado Avalanche beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-4 in overtime in their first preseason game. It must be noted that Anaheim played with a team primarily made up of AHL guys. In the remaining five contests, Colorado scored exactly one goal. Fans, it’s time to get scared.

On Thursday, the Minnesota Wild will come to Denver for the first game of the 2015-16 season. The Wild won four of their six preseason games and scored a total of 22 goals, including an 8-1 win against Winnipeg. Remember last year, when Minnesota beat the Avalanche in the first two games of the season with a combined score of 8-0? I hate to say it, but that could happen again.

Related: Why the Colorado Avalanche Should Be Confident

We all know, “it was just the preseason”. You can lose six games with a combined score of 0-100 and go on to win the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, that’s usually not how it works. Especially considering the fact that even with the team’s top goalscorers — Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon, Jarome Iginla, Gabriel Landeskog — the team was unable to score more than one (!) little goal over the course of five games.

On the bright side, the Avalanche also didn’t get more than four goals against in the entire preseason. The problem here, however, is that even with only one goal against, you can’t win a game if you are unable to score. It’s simply impossible.

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Now, what has to change until Thursday to allow us to even think about beating the Wild? Well, the answer is: just about everything. It seemed like nothing went right all preseason long.

Coach Patrick Roy will need a little epiphany to find the perfect line combinations or whatever it is that the team needs. In fact, there have been lines, especially that of Landeskog with Carl Soderberg and Mikko Rantanen, that have looked quite good. But, as long as they don’t produce, something will have to change.

The sad part about it all, is that the roster really doesn’t look too bad on paper.




As said above, a lot can still change line combination-wise. But does this team look like one that can’t score a single goal to you?

The Colorado Avalanche has Grigorenko, Duchene, Iginla, Landeskog, Rantanen, Tanguay, MacKinnon — all guys who should technically be able to score. Not many teams in the league can afford storing a MacKinnon or Tanguay on the third line, let alone both. Then again, many teams have more proven talent in their lineup and wouldn’t need to put Grigorenko and Rantanen on their top lines.

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To be fair, especially Rantanen has earned his spot on the roster. He’s been playing professional hockey for three years now, and he looks ready to try his luck in the NHL. However, personally, I wouldn’t say he’s better than guys like Toronto’s William Nylander or Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl, who are both starting the 2015-16 season in the AHL, despite being in their second year of pro hockey. Rantanen looks ready, but getting used to the American game in the AHL hasn’t hurt anyone.

All in all it has to be said that the Colorado Avalanche’s current roster does possess a great amount of talent, but something needs to change in order to beat the Wild come Thursday. Do we need to be scared? Most definitely. Is Minnesota unbeatable for the Avs right now? Most certainly not.

All issues aside, it’s going to be a long season — 82 games to be exact — and even with a terrible start like last year, anything will be possible, even for the Colorado Avalanche.

Next: Avalanche Lessons: Trust Patrick Roy

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