Sep 29, 2015; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan Mackinnon (29) skates up the ice against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Flames won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
It’s finally time — the Colorado Avalanche will face the Minnesota Wild Thursday night. After how the preseason went, I’m a little bit, well, nervous about that. Five games with a goal total of one (1!). If somebody thinks the Avalanche can beat the Wild playing like that, they are practicing blind optimism. Something needs to change, there’s no way around it.
According to Patrick Roy, the opening night lines will be the same as in last practice, with the only exception being that it isn’t 100 percent certain what the third D-pairing will look like. Nikita Zadorov could play with Nick Holden, Brandon Gormley or Brad Stuart. The rest of the lineup seems set:
Blake Comeau—Matt Duchene—Jarome Iginla
Gabriel Landeskog—Nathan MacKinnon—Alex Tanguay
Mikko Rantanen—Carl Soderberg—Borna Rendulic
Cody McLeod—John Mitchell—Jack Skille
Francois Beauchemin—Erik Johnson
Nate Guenin—Tyson Barrie
Nikita Zadorov—Nick Holden
Brad Stuart—Brandon Gormley
Fan reactions were interesting after this got public to say the least. Some have blind faith in Roy, others — myself included — do not. Not because I claim to know more about hockey than he does — obviously I don’t — but because being a legendary player doesn’t automatically make you a great coach. On the other hand, a guy like Jon Cooper can lead his team to the Stanley Cup Finals as someone who quit hockey after high school. Roy may be on his way to becoming a great coach, but please don’t treat him like he’s a god.
We will see how well the above lineup works, we will see if Roy is the right coach for this team. But no matter what the answer to those questions is, there are a few things that will have to change to even make a successful season possible.
Next: Will to Win