This 31-part series chronicles why each team is going to be trash in the 2018-19 NHL season. Progressing alphabetically, three teams will be featured weekly during the off-season. A compendium 31-part series will be published by Hockey Doc (@RealHockeyDoc) on www.BeerLeagueTalk.com on why your team is good in the 2018-2019 NHL season.
Before I get into tearing up the Avs… I just want to say Patrick Roy was my favorite player as a kid. The Statue of Liberty saves, the swag, the grit, the winning… All of it, I loved it.
This badboy’s still hangin in my office
That’s the most positive it’s getting for you Avs fans.
The Colorado Avalanche have made the playoffs 3 times in the past 8 years and been eliminated in the first round each time. Since the 04-05 lockout they’ve only made it to the second round twice and were swept both times. We’re looking at a team that can’t get back to the magic they had during the Roy era, though they are definitely trying. Hell, even with Roy as bench boss they only made the playoffs 1 of the 3 years he’s coached…not that having him between the pipes would have mattered.
OK, OK, Roy may have had some anger problems…
Phillip Grubauer could be a Roy caliber tender… Hahahah nah… But he’ll be good(?). An improvement over Varlamov? Maybe? As you can see by all of my question marks, there’s a lot of known unknowns for the Avs in this position and that a shit situation for a team to be in. Right now it’s looking like Grubauer may be the starter at the beginning of the season. Either way, it looks to me like there’s going to be some goal tending death matches thrown in the locker room to see who’s gonna be number 1. Just like in Carolina, this is a great situation for a team developing… But for a team that wants to win now it’s sub par at best. For the record, Varlamov and Grub are both Washington Capital products… Weird how shit pans out.
Moving out from the net and into the skaters, the Avs have a pretty good young core. Nathan MacKinnon basically threw the team on his back last year scoring 39 goals and 97 points and getting them into the playoffs, where they put up a bit of a fight in the first round with Nashville but ultimately lost the series in 6. We finally got to see the hype come through 22 year old MacKinnon, and man did he put up some great highlights. Let’s not forget Landeskog the dirty Swede who’s captaining the team with his consistent play. We also got to see Matt Douchene get shipped off to Ottawa and the Avalanche improve almost immediately. Duchene seems to be a locker room cancer and it’s only fitting that he end up in Ottawa (read: “dumpster fire”). The Avs got a great return for the future in this trade, acquiring 7 different pieces including a goaltender, prospects and a first round pick from Ottawa. Even if Duchene wasn’t a cancer, he had enough time to test the fit with the team and it wasn’t a good one. The Avs also brought in Nieto and Calvert for some help up front and Ian Cole to solidify the defence. Ian Cole is an underrated D man that will likely be a considerable part of the top 4 in this upcoming season and will help anchor the blue line with Tyson Barrie, Patrik Nemeth, and Sam Girard. The Avs must have seen something in Ian Cole as they locked him in for 3 years at $4.25 mill per. They also locked Calvert for 3 years at $2.85 mill per year which is a good move as I think Calvert will make a difference physically and still be able to pitch in some scoring. It seems like the Avalanche are still going for it and unfortunately for them, they’re going to end up finishing the middle of the pack. They may make the playoffs again, but I see a first round exit for them inevitable. Joe Sakic just can’t stand to finish last, so he’d rather finish mediocre and not partake in some number 1 draft picks.
Damn your grit and determination, Joe.
The Colorado Avalanche should probably tank for another couple years and then go for it but instead they’re trying to remain competitive. I respect the hell out of that strategy but I’m not convinced it will net them a Cup any time soon. Sakic didn’t get the center piece defenseman the Avs desperately need in the Duchene trade but at the same time they have a considerable amount of Cap space so Karlsson is not out of the question… Except I think the Avalanche are on his no trade list. Poor Avs, that may actually be a decent fit (legal weed, Karly!). That doesn’t mean the Avs don’t go for something big during the deadline, though…for it to ultimately blow up in their face (sup, Mikkel Boedker?).
With a young team that is lacking some crucial pieces (a star defenseman and starting goalie), the Colorado Avalanche are going to have to claw their way into a playoff position for the next few years and may even fall short of that. At this point the Avalanche should delve deeper into their rebuild but from their recent moves, it looks like they’re going to keep toiling on and hope their post ’05 lockout moves have been enough to buoy them into the dance every year and within a few years make a legit all in run. As for next season, look for them to scrape into the playoffs book ended by an early exit, or miss the show entirely. As far as long term: time will tell if their young core is going to mature and catapult them to the top of the mountain or bury them in a ton of snow and disappointment… But hey, at least the fans in Denver can take a big hit of “fuck it” when their team ultimately shits the bed this season. Dirty drug users.
That’s why the Colorado Avalanche are trash in 2018-2019.