Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Colorado Avalanche 2018-19 season preview



           After a historically bad season, the Colorado Avalanche surprised everyone, finishing 4th in the tight Central division, and made the playoffs, led by Nathan MacKinnon's insane season, nearly winning him the Hart. They didn't change too much, but that's for the better. Let's look at some fast facts for the Colorado Avalanche.

Head Coach: Jared Bednar
General Manager: Joe Sakic
Arena: Pepsi Center
AHL Affiliate: Colorado Eagles
2017-18 record: 43-30-9 (95 points)
2017-18 placement: 4th
Division: Central
2017-18 goals leader: Nathan MacKinnon (39)
2017-18 assists leader: Nathan MacKinnon (58)
2017-18 points leader: Nathan MacKinnon (97)
2017-18 points leader (defenseman): Tyson Barrie (57)
Captain: Gabriel Landeskog
Assistant Captains: Nathan MacKinnon, Erik Johnson
2018 first round pick: Martin Kaut

Offseason additions: Phillip Grubauer, Matt Calvert, Ian Cole.

Offseason subtractions: Blake Comeau, Jonathan Bernier, Duncan Siemens, Nail Yakupov, Andrew Hammond.

Forwards: MacKinnon might not have a season like 2017-18, but he should put up at least 80 points, Mikko Rantanen could eclipse 30 goals. Alex Kerfoot, Tyson Jost and JT Compher are looking for good sophomore years. Vladislav Kamenev is entering his rookie season. Sven Andrigetto is an underrated winger.

Forward lines:

Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Tyson Jost - Alex Kerfoot - Sven Andrighetto
Vladislav Kamenev - JT Compher - Colin Wilson
Matt Nieto - Carl Soderberg - Matt Calvert


Defenseman: Tyson Barrie had a great 2017-18, with 57 points in 68 games. Erik Johnson is still a decent top-4 defenseman. Sam Girard is young, but leads a shaky left side on defense, which Ian Cole was brought in fix. It's still a work in progress here.

Defensive pairs:

Sam Girard - Tyson Barrie
Ian Cole - Erik Johnson
Nikita Zadorov - Patrik Nemeth
Other: Mark Barberio

Goalies: Semyon Varlamov is an underrated goalie when healthy, but that's the issue. They brought in Phillip Grubauer, knowing that Varlamov might go down. It was a smart move.

Goalie alignment:

Semyon Varlamov
Phillip Grubauer

Predictions:

Top five scorers:

Nathan MacKinnon
Mikko Rantanen
Gabriel Landeskog
Sven Andrighetto
Tyson Barrie

Playoffs: No
Division spot: 5th

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