Avalanche Warning!!

Posted: 03/05/2014 by everythingishistory1066 in Hockey, Uncategorized

The NHL should take note of what the Avs are doing out West.  It has been a long time coming for the Avalanche to return to prominence. The fourth best team in the Western Conference is flying under the radar. These Avs are young and dangerous. With tonight’s huge road victory over the Chicago Blackhawks the Avalanche pull within one point of their Central Division foes. Only 3 points separate Colorado, Chicago and St. Louis. This division has become the most hotly contested division in the NHL. Several factors have contributed to the Avalanche rebirth.

1.Goalie Semyon Varlamov- Varly has been magnificent all season. Winning 31 out 40 games, he has been the strong presence in net Colorado has been searching for since Patrick Roy retired. Best of all he is still young and just signed a long-term contract extension so don’t expect to see a drop off anytime soon.

2.Head Coach Patrick Roy and VP of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic- If Roy does not get serious consideration for Coach of the Year there is something seriously wrong with the awards process. This team was dead in the water before Roy took over. They languished in 29th place in the entire NHL under Joe Sacco. Owner Josh Kroenke had enough and brought in former Captain Joe Sakic to right the ship.That is precisely what he has done. He fired Sacco, who had frankly lost the locker room and was not utilizing the wealth of talent this team has. Sakic then brought in Patrick Roy who gained instant respect from the team and has them headed in the right direction. I compare the Avs to the Kansas City Chiefs. While they had essentially the same team in 2012 they were terrible,a new regime utilized that talent and turned them into a respectable team.

3. Defensive Scoring- The Avalanche the last few seasons have been unable to produce offense from their defensive core. Relying heavily on Ryan O’Reilly, Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny for offense put a lot of pressure on the three best offensive weapons for the Avs. One of the keys for the season was for them to get more offensive production from the back-end. So far they have delivered. Former first round draft pick Eric Johnson is finally playing up to his potential, as he has put up 26 points on the season to this point. The emergence of Tyson Berrie has been a huge addition for the Avalanche, he young defenseman has scored 25 points in 41 games. s a unit the Avalanche defenders have netted 34 goals.

Having gone 17-6-1 since New Years Eve it would appear the Avalanche are back on track to reclaiming the glory they enjoyed from 96-01 seasons.  A young team, fresh leadership and a new coaching perspective have catapulted Colorado back into relevancy. It’s going to be a great stretch run and I can not wait to see how far this squad can go.

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