Nashville Predators Foes 2015: Colorado Avalanche


The Nashville Predators need to take advantage of every game in the Central Division this season and we travel to Mile High City to see what’s in store against the Avalanche:

 Today we look at: Colorado Avalanche

Fansided Blog: Mile High Sticking 

2014-15 record: 39-31-12, 7th in the Central, Didn’t make the playoffs

How the Preds did: 5 games, 3-2-0

Schedule this year against the Preds: Sat 12/12 Home,  Fri 1/8 at Colorado, Sat 3/5 at Colorado, Mon 3/28 Home, Tue 4/5 Home

Notable additions: C Carl Soderberg, D Nikita Zadorov, C Mikhail Grigorenko, D Francois Beauchemin, LW Blake Comeau

Notable subtractions: C Ryan O’Reilly, LW Jamie McGinn, C Daniel Briere

Coached by: Patrick Roy (3rd season)

Who’s in Net: Starter Semyon Varlamov is a little hard to predict as he can be inconsistent. He was terrific short-handed with a .942 Save Pct. but only .916 even strength. He dipped a bit last year from his excellent previous year the club is hoping for a bounce back. Reto Berra played under 20 games last year and will be the backup.

Quick thoughts about the Avalanche:

  1. Their big splash was blue liner Francois Beauchemin which may help their toughness but at a big price at $13.5 million over three years for a 35-year old?  That was the going price on opening day of the Free Agent frenzy, but they may have overpaid.
  2. Blake Comeau and Mikhail Grigorenko were brought in to help all of the young talents on this team and the offense should be on the upswing.
  3. Their defense ranked 21st last year and may not change much.  They added defense help but lost center Ryan O’Reilly  who was excellent not only on the penalty kill but cleaned up his own zone at even strength too.
  4. If all of their youngsters can make a nice jump, they will be on the edge of the playoffs.  They have a lot of young talent.

Why the Avalanche will win the Stanley Cup: They have a solid core of youngsters in Matt DucheneNathan MacKinnonMikhail Grigorenko and Gabriel Landeskog  who will carry this team…but it might be a little too much to hope for this season.

Why the Avalanche won’t win the Stanley Cup: They are counting too much on Varlamov to carry them and the youngsters to take over the void they will miss from O’Reilly.

Three Things We Like About You:

  1. If anyone in the West hates the Detroit Red Wings more than we do it might be Colorado. They had some, shall we say….interesting playoff matchups.
  2. We’ve shared a couple of pretty interesting players, Karlis Skrastins and Peter Forsberg.  Skrastins started here and went to Colorado in a trade where he set Iron Man awards.  He perished in Russia in a plane Crash.  Forsberg was one of the biggest names to don a Predators sweater although is was short-lived and at the end of his career.
  3. We love the Avalanche logo and even the Big Foot logo. That “A” with the swooping snow is really cool.  Just maybe now what they are sewn on. ( more about that soon)

Three Things We Don’t Like About You:

  1. Those “Blueberry” uniforms rank right up there with the absolute worst in the league.  I don’t know what you were thinking. You have had some really bad “uni’s” over the years.
  2. We really don’t like the way you looked your heritage right in the face and reissued the retired numbers of Peter Stastny, Michel Goulet, Marc Tardif and J.C. Tremblay when the Nordiques became the Avalanche. Just…not…right.
  3. There is always going to be this Nathan MacKinnon and Seth Jones thing.  They were both drafted in 2013 and it remains to be seen who is going to be the better player although we certainly have our opinions.  MacKinnon started hot with the Calder but fell back while Jones keeps getting better and better. Yeah, not really much doubt in our minds.

Prediction: If the Avalanche were playing in the East they might have a chance but there is too much strength right now in the Western Conference.  The youth on this team would have to grow up overnight and I don’t think the defense is good enough to carry them to the playoffs.  Another year at home.

Click on the team below to see more team previews:

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