Calder Trophy Winner Gabriel Landeskog became the youngest captain in NHL history in September. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Season Preview – Colorado Avalanche


Last Season – Colorado was in the mix for a playoff spot, but tailed off near the end of the season and finished 7 points out.  Their 41-35-6 record put them in 11th place in the Western Conference.

Saying Goodbye – Peter Mueller, Kevin Porter, Jay McClement, Matt Hunwick

Saying Hello – P-A Parenteau, Greg Zanon, John Mitchell

Ready to Step In – Michael Sgarbossa is a former OHL scoring champion and leads the AHL Lake Erie Monsters in scoring.  With an aging Milan Hejduk’s production tailing off rapidly, Sgarbossa could make some noise if given the chance.

Look For A Bounce-back Season From – Matt Duchesne’s sophomore slump came a year later than most.  He was injured for parts of last season, but 28 points in 58 games isn’t the pace you would expect from a player who should be getting better on a young, improving team.

Hardware Hopefuls – none

Upside – Youth is on the side of the Avalanche.  They are assembling one of the top young nucleus’ in the league, with Duchene, Landeskog, Ryan O’Reilly and Erik Johnson.  Paul Stastny is only 26 as well, even though it seems like he has been around forever.

Downside – The defense is largely anonymous and after Johnson will not put up many points or be offensively inclined.  Is Semyon Varlamov the answer in the Avs net?

 

2013 Prognosis – The Avalanche will need standout performances from Duchene and Stastny up the middle, and Landeskog to avoid the Sophomore slump to get back to the playoffs.  They didn’t have many players playing during the lockout, so rust could be a problem, but they have youth on their side.

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