Colorado Avalanche Face Aging Rival Vancouver Canucks 3 Times


The ever-young Colorado Avalanche face the aging Vancouver Canucks for three games this season. How will they fare?

Colorado Avalanche vs. Vancouver Cancucks games are always unusual. Not unusual like the aggressive contests against the Anaheim Ducks. Rather, you never know what’s going to happen.

Could be the Avalanche embarrass themselves and get booed off the ice. Could be it’s the Canucks who are embarrassed. Could be the most boring 2-1 game you can watch and still call hockey.

Colorado faces its Western Conference rivals three times this season, as is usual — twice at home and once in Vancouver.

Changes Vancouver Made in the Off Season

For this post I asked The Canuck Way site expert — and my former co-editor — to contribute his knowledge of the Vancouver Canucks:

By far the biggest change is that they brought in Loui Eriksson in free agency. Signing a 30-year-old for six years and $36 million is always risky, but it might be worth it for the Canucks (at least for now). Eriksson has great chemistry with the Sedin twins on Team Sweden, so Canucks Nation is hoping they can transfer that to the NHL as well. We are certainly excited to see how that shakes out.

Other than that, the Canucks let go of defenseman Dan Hamhuis and winger Radim Vrbata and traded rookie center Jared McCann to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Erik Gudbranson. We’ll see how that shakes out.

The Canucks also added several other players that are total wild cards at this point — like winger Anton Rodin and defenseman Philip Larsen.

> How do you think the Avs will fare this season vs the Canucks?
They will lose. Each and every time. Realistically, though, it will probably be close games. Many NHL previews predict the Canucks and Avalanche to finish in the last two spots in the Western Conference. I expect the Canucks to improve compared to last season and maybe even compete for a playoff spot, but I don’t think seeing both the Avs and the ‘Nucks at the bottom of the standings would be unrealistic.

How the Colorado Avalanche Stack Up

More from Mile High Sticking

The Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks are polar opposites in one way. Vancouver is an aging team, while the Avalanche seem to be perennially young.

Despite the addition of 33-year-old Columbus Blue Jackets buy-out Fedor Tyutin, the Colorado defense actually got younger. Defensemen Chris Bigras and Nikita Zadorov are sure to have bigger roles this season, and Eric Gelinas could make a strong showing. All three are 25 or younger.

Up front, the Avalanche are more of a mixed bag, but the team’s best players are still 25 or younger.

On the flip side, you have Vancouver and the aging Sedin twins — Henrik and Daniel are 35. Their best-paid defenseman is 30.

Will the age disparity work in the Colorado Avalanche’s favor? It can. Colorado is a fast and mobile team. Experience can win games, too, though. It might come down to who each team has in net. Let’s hope it’s not Ryan Miller for Vancouver — he does befuddle the Avalanche on a regular basis.

In this case, I’d like to see the youthful Calvin Pickard in net for Colorado.

More From Pacific Division Previews:

Predictions for Avalanche vs Cancuks

The Colorado Avalanche face the Pacific Division rival Vancouver Canucks three times:

  • November 26: Home
  • January 2: Away
  • January 25: Home

As with their first game, also in mid-November, against the Edmonton Oilers, I think the first game against the Canucks can be a tone-setter for the season. By then we’ll have a really good idea of what this team can do under the current management and coaching.

For some reason, I’m feeling a win in that first game. I think they could drop the next two to Vancouver, though.

Next: Will JT Compher Make the Team?

I can’t say I’m hoping for blowout games, unless it’s in the Colorado Avalanche’s favor, but that might be preferable to a snooze fest. At least we can hope for a Matt Duchene breakaway — those are always things of beauty.