Colorado Avalanche 10 Reasons to Attend Games: Improved Systems

CALGARY, AB - MARCH 27: Deryk Engelland
CALGARY, AB - MARCH 27: Deryk Engelland /

Reason number 6 for attending Colorado Avalanche games hits right in the hockey — improved systems.

The 2016-17 season was a tire fire for the Colorado Avalanche. By now you probably have the stats memorized — 48 points from a 22-56-4 record. They had a 13-26-2 home record and 9-30-2 away record. It was ugly — I think most Avs fans would call it downright fugly.

Well, we all have our opinions on why the season went so badly for the Avalanche. They are disparate. In fact, there have been battles akin to a civil war in Avs Nation over why the 2016-17 season was so bad.

We’re not going to hash it out here. Instead, let’s observe that there have been some coaching changes. Assistants Tim Army, Dave Farrish and goalie coach Francois Allaire are all gone. Veteran coach Ray Bennett joins the returning Nolan Pratt as assistant, while Jussi Parkkila is the new goaltending coach.

Bennett was an assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues for 10 seasons. During that time, he coordinated the power play, managed team preparation, evaluated offensive play, and offered in-game analysis.

Previously he was an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings for seven years. His specialties there were video analysis and statistical support — he was involved in all areas of tactical and technical play.

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I didn’t know much about Farrish and Army — certainly a lot of Avs fans had strong opinions about them. It’s certainly true that the last couple seasons didn’t see great success — last season was a disaster for regular play, power play, and penalty kill. (Read about it here.)

I like how much experience Bennett has at the NHL level, though. That has to be a boon to a sophomore coach, Jared Bednar, coming off the worst season of any team in the salary cap era. Ray Bennett should definitely find ways to improve the systems for the Colorado Avalanche.

I do know a lot about Francois Allaire. He’s largely credited with helping Patrick Roy develop his butterfly style, which helped lead to his Hall of Fame career. I’m certainly not going to say Parkkila is an improvement over Allaire.

That said, he’s not necessarily going to be a detriment. Parkkila specializes in the Finnish style of goal tending, and goalie Semyon Varlamov has been trained in the Finnish style. (I’m not sure about goalie Jonathan Bernier — he looks pretty classic butterfly to me, which isn’t unusual for Canadian goalies.)

I’m tempted to say play can’t be any worse than last year when we saw players passing on a breakaway and literally running into teammates. However, if I say that, the Colorado Avalanche will find some new way to prove me wrong.

Here are the five reasons we’ve already talked about for attending Colorado Avalanche games:

In any case, we’ll be seeing something different on the ice, and that’s a good thing. It is, in fact, reason number six to attend Colorado Avalanche games.