HOCKEY GM ADVICE
Team Power Rankings: Colorado Avalanche #18
A team that players wanted to leave because they did not see the team as a playoff contender, proved everyone wrong by limping in to the playoffs on the final night of the regular season after defeating the St. Louis Blues.
Getting the draw of playing against Nashville in the first round was not ideal for Colorado, but they made the most of it and battled every game, when most thought it would be an easy sweep. The Avalanche eventually lost in 6 games, but it was the beginning of something for this team. A season where they made a statement “we can do it”.
After the departure of Matt Duchene, Nathan Mackinnon took off. He became a point producing machine falling just short of 100 points, with 97 in 74 games! Who saw this coming? It was definitely something Avalanche fans have been dieing to see since he was drafted.
Now for the bad news, I don’t see the Avalanche making it this season. While they made a few additions, with Grubauer and Calvert, I think the St. Louis Blues will be jumping them in the standings, and Winnipeg and Nashville will be taking up spots 1 & 2 in the division, with I believe St. Louis being #3. And for the wild card spots this season I believe they will be filled with the Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild.
The Avalanche will be in the race for the entire season, but will eventually fall short, which will break the hearts of most, but what fans need to understand is, the team is still young. They are full of talent and this team is going to be very, very exciting for years to come. While for other teams I have said they are 2-3 years off, I do not believe this for the Avalanche. I think after next season, they are a Playoff team every single year. Their rebuild went quickly and Sakic will now look like a genius for his moves.
Not to mention fans, while you may not make the playoffs this season, there is one thing to look forward to. Ottawa missing the playoffs, with Ottawa most likely finishing last, or very near, you have their first round pick. Which, in this draft, has generational talent Jack Hughes. If you win this lottery pick and end up having Mackinnon – Hughes – Jost – Soderberg down the middle, consider your rebuild over and your Stanley Cup competitor era begun.
Goals: Mackinnon (38) Rantanen (31)
Assists: Mackinnon (63) Rantanen (50)
Points Mackinnon (101) Rantanen (81)