Well the season is almost over for the Colorado Avalanche, and its safe to say that my 5th place prediction in the west is far from close.
After this blog I will only be giving updates on the goings on with trades, signings or whatever the Avs do that i think deserves some of my thoughts.
But for today I will give you my opinion on what the strength’s and weaknesses were for the Avs in this shortened season.
First of all the Weaknesses so that i can end this blog telling you the good things.
Injuries- Injuries seemed to plague the Avs again this season, starting with a guy that is hard to play against and can put up points in Steve Downie. Also players who are important pieces to the team like, Erik Johnson, Paul Stastny,Ryan Wilson, Gabe Landeskog and Milan Hejduk. These are players that need to do their best to stay healthy next season.
David Jones- He signed a nice new 4 year 16 million dollar contract last summer and probably has next season to prove that he is worth it. With 3 goals and 9 points in 32 games played so far, this is a huge underachievement for him. He’s always been a streaky player but they streak was not a good one for him this season. He needs to come out very strong next season or else a trade or buyout might be the only option for him. And personally, i was never a huge fan of him, i would of traded him instead of Chris Stewart when that deal went down a few years ago.
Defense- With Injuries to both Erik Johnson and Ryan Wilson, the leftovers of Matt Hunwick, Ryan O’Byrne (traded to Toronto), Shane O’Brien, Jan Hejda and Greg Zanon proved they were incapable of the workload. I believe a Complete overhaul of the Defense is in order this summer, but there is promise in young Rookies Tyson Barrie and Stefan Elliot.
Im not going to bring Goaltending into this considering the players that Varly and Giggy had in front of them, but i would love to see Giggy never in net for a Shootout again, he is that bad one on one, but a great vet for Varly to learn from.
Coaching- Joe Sacco does nothing to Motivate this team, when they are playing poorly, he is busy getting caught on camera picking his nose. But when your backup goalie can spark the team to not lay down and die at the end of the season and they start winning games or getting at least a point, it reflects very poorly on the coaching..
Newcomers- John Mitchell, P.A. Parenteau, Patrick Bordeleau and Aaron Palushaj have all been awesome additions to this team. John started the season scoring like a mad man and sits 5th in team scoring with 18 points, which is awesome considering he was brought here as a 3rd/4th line guy. P.A. is leading the team in points, just one point ahead of Matt Duchene with 40 points on the season, he was definitely worth his nice new contract with the Avs. Not only can Bordy fight, this guy can actually play hockey. He is not a scorer by no means but he understands his job and does it well and was rewarded last week with his first ever NHL goal. Aaron Palushaj was picked up off of waivers from the Canadiens, and I was iffy at first but i really love the energy he brings to the team, he is sitting with 8 points in 23 games played with the Avs, i expect big things from him next season if he makes the team out of camp.
Matt Duchene- This kid changed everything about his summers to come into this season and prove he wants to help this team win. He was 39 points in 42 games played, and has really ungraded his game training with Sidney Crosby and his trainer last summer. If our team is going to have a superstar caliber player, it will be Dutchy. P.A and Matt sit 22 and 23 respectively in the whole League in points. I don’t believe an Avs player has been that high in a while.
That’s pretty much it for that i think. Its been a season where nothing has gone right. It will be interesting to see how the draft goes and the free agent market, which will probably be my next blog’s unless Sacco gets the boot at the end of the season.
I had real high hopes for this team this season, thinking that the 48 game schedule would work to their advantage a little bit. But this team needs to learn to accept a loss and then come out hungry and play a full 60 every game, not just dwell on losses and all the bad things.
They play the Oilers tonight and can play a perfect spoiler game.
So enjoy the rest of the season and the playoffs, and lets hope they get it together next year for a playoff spot.