Colorado Avalanche Season Preview
(Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

In honor of the fact that I saw Joe Sakic at the grocery store yesterday and didn’t say anything, let’s have a chat about his team. The Colorado Avalanche has had a fantastic last few seasons. Since they finished 30th out of 30 teams in 2016, they really couldn’t go anywhere but up. And…um…they did. 

Key additions: Devon Toews (New York Islanders), Brandon Saad (Chicago Blackhawks)

The New York Islanders lost in game 6 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final but having that experience on the Avs will be a key factor this season. He was an excellent defender and puck passer in New York and will match the style and energy in Colorado very well. Colorado is really deep on the backend and Toews is just the finishing touch. Thank you, Joe. 

The Blackhawks have had a rough couple of years but have previously been a powerhouse team. Brandon Saad doesn’t have an issue breaking up the first line of any team. He’ll be able to keep up with Nathan MacKinnon and the top lines very well. Saad will be a good fit for any line of this team and he’ll step up and make it work. He produces. 

Losses: Nikkita Zadorov 

Nikkita Zadorov was a very powerful player for the Colorado defense next to Cale Makar and Ryan Graves. It will be interesting to see how they utilize Dennis Gilbert and Brandon Saad from this trade. 

Forward Line Predictions:
Gabe Landeskog Nathan MackinnonAndre Burakovsky
Brandon SaadNazem KadriMikko Rantanen 
Tyson Jost JT CompherJoonas Donski 
Matt Calvert P. Edouard-Bellemare Valeri Nichushkin
Defensive Pairing Predictions: 
Ryan Graves Cale Makar 
Samuel Girard Erik Johnson 
Devon Toews Ian Cole 
In the net: 

Philip Grubauer can definitely be a number one goalie. Homie’s just a little prone to injury is all. If he can give a full season, they’re set. I think they’ll co-start Grubaur and Pavel Francouz as to not overwork Grubauer. Goaltending, more than likely, won’t be an issue for the Colorado Avalanche this season. 

Overall, this will be a very successful season for the Colorado Avalanche, if not a cup season. There’s really a lot of potential on this team and lots of contracts expire in 2021. Last season, they decimated Arizona and then lost to Dallas in seven in OT. That Avalanche team in the playoffs was held together with duct tape and zip ties. They had injuries coming out of the wazoo. Was I raised as an Avs fan? Yes. Would I be uninvited from Christmas in my own home if I didn’t say good things about this team? Also yes. But I genuinely think that, after having some time to recuperate and recover, these are going to be The. Guys. Teams should be scared of them. Nathan MacKinnon just does not stop. In my humble opinion, they’re the best team in the west. 

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