The Conn Smythe Contenders
With the NHL down to its final four playoff teams, there are a handful of players who have emerged as front-runners for the Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP. After having scored 25 points in 15 games, Nathan MacKinnon looked like he was going to run away with the award until his Colorado Avalanche lost […]
Avs’ Lack of Roster Depth Leads to Deep 2-0 Series Hole
The Colorado Avalanche’s Game 2 loss to the Dallas Stars was a prime example of how a few undisciplined mistakes can totally swing momentum in the opposite direction. The Avs were cruising up 2-0 halfway through the contest when they took two costly penalties and gave up two goals in 43 seconds. Eight minutes later, […]
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Avalanche Lose Johnson, Grubauer in Game 1 Loss to Stars
The Colorado Avalanche’s 5-3 loss in Game 1 of their Round 2 series may be best remembered for how they lost it rather than how the Dallas Stars won it. The lack of effort by the Avalanche was noticeable throughout the contest, and it caused the team to have to play behind within the first […]
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Alex Beaucage: Avs Prospect Has Power Forward Potential
Within the next two seasons, there are expectations that the Colorado Avalanche’s top two forward prospects, left-winger Shane Bowers and center Alex Newhook, will earn full-time roles with the club. At least initially, they’ll fill holes left empty by the departure of some of the Avs’ bottom-six free agents. Long-term, though, Alex Beaucage is the […]
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Avalanche Prospect Profile: Shane Bowers
A couple of months ago, when I wrote that the Colorado Avalanche farm system is weak down the middle, I didn’t mean it as a slight on Shane Bowers. He successfully made the switch to left-wing last fall in the AHL at the encouragement of Colorado Eagles’ head coach Greg Cronin. Bowers’ development on the […]
Avalanche Have a Long History of NHL Award Winners
Within the past couple weeks, the NHL has trickled out its nominees for several of its prestigious regular season awards, most of which are voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA). Colorado Avalanche players are finalists for three awards this season: Nathan MacKinnon for the Hart Trophy (NHL MVP, as voted on by […]
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Avalanche Need to Take Advantage of the Flat Salary Cap
The NHL salary cap is expected to remain flat at $81.5 million in 2020-2021. Several teams could have used a higher cap limit to re-sign their free agents. Eight teams have 20 or more standard player contracts, or SPC, to fill (teams are allowed 50 max per season) and 12 teams have under 14 players on […]
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Best NHL Players Not in the Hockey Hall of Fame
The recent 2020 Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF) Class induction announcement caused a stir because of who was and was not included. I thought it would be interesting to dive into who are the best eligible players by position not in the Hall. There are several straight forward selections, like Pierre Turgeon (center), and some that […]
Avalanche Projected Playoff Roster Looks Really Good
The Colorado Avalanche have an embarrassment of riches heading into the playoffs. The internal competition should be fierce as they prove to be the deepest club in the postseason. If everyone plays to their full potential, the Avs will have four legitimate scoring lines with quality two-way players. Related: Two of the Cheapest NHL Trades Ever On […]
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5 Keys to Avalanche 2020 Playoff Success
The Colorado Avalanche experienced several high-profile injuries during the 2019-20 season. A fully healthy squad should make a deep run in the playoffs, and expectations couldn’t be higher. All eyes will be on Nate MacKinnon to lead the club back to the Stanley Cup Final, but there are several nuances to the Avalanche system that are also incredibly important. There […]
Flames Have Many Options to Retool Their Defense at 2020 Draft
The Calgary Flames have made the postseason in four of the past six seasons, including 2019-20. However, they’ve had limited success in their recent quest for the Stanley Cup, with only one playoff series win against the Vancouver Canucks in 2015. The team’s outlook is mixed; promising forward prospects like Jakob Pelletier and Mathias Petterson […]
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Avalanche’s 2022 Olympics Roster Projections
If the NHL permits its players to play in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, then we can expect to watch several members of the Colorado Avalanche compete. The current Avalanche roster is loaded with the best players from the top Olympic teams, and there’s a good chance we’ll see at least one of them in the gold-medal game. Related: […]
Avalanche 2020 Mock NHL Draft Picks
The 2020 NHL Draft will have multiple rounds of 1st-round caliber players. That’s what made the THW Writers’ Mock Draft such a challenge; there’s no one “correct” fit for any draft slot. I should have chosen a center for the Colorado Avalanche’s 1st-round selection instead of a blueliner, but I compensated by drafting three middle-six forwards in the 3rd through 5th rounds. […]
Avalanche 7 Round Mock Draft
The Colorado Avalanche’s NHL roster is one of the best in the league, and the team has salary cap space to acquire talent over the next few seasons. Top prospects who have seen little to no NHL action are expected to challenge for serious NHL playing time next season (Bowen Byram, Connor Timmins, Shane Bowers, Martin Kaut). The club […]
4 Lightning NHL Draft Targets
The Tampa Bay Lightning are a perfect example of how the current NHL promotes high-speed and high-scoring teams. The team features three legitimate scoring lines that it stocks with short but compact, speedy but balanced players who have powerful shots. If the 2019-20 regular season restarts, then the Lightning have a good chance of having four 30-goal scorers, a feat that has happened once in the NHL since 2008-09 (San Jose Sharks, 2018-19). Related: […]
5 Hurricanes First-round Targets
The Carolina Hurricanes have a rosy outlook for the next several seasons. They have one of the best defensive teams in the league, they have a young nucleus of cost-controlled stars (Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, and Jaccob Slavin), and their farm system is loaded with top prospects, like Ryan Suzuki, Jake Bean, and Dominik Bokk. General manager Don Waddell has spent responsibly and isn’t afraid of pulling the trigger on trades. Related: […]
5 Capitals First-Round Draft Targets
It’s common to hear analysts use the phrase “win-now mode” when discussing the Washington Capitals. While it’s true that they have traded away many draft picks for NHL talent over the past half-decade, they still have quality minor leaguers knocking on the door to the majors. Their stars are signed through 2025, and there’s no chance they’ll […]
5 Panthers First-Round Draft Targets
The Florida Panthers have a young, solid nucleus around which to build a good on-ice product that includes centre (C) Jonathan Huberdeau, C Aleksander Barkov, and defenseman (D) Aaron Ekblad. These three are not UFAs until 2023, 2022, and 2025, respectively. The organization also has the cap space to keep one of their two impending unrestricted free agents (UFA) Mike Hoffman or Evgenii Dadonov. I expect Hoffman to receive […]
Avalanche Paths to Signing a Top Free Agent
The 2020 free agent pool lacks much scoring depth outside of a few players: LW Taylor Hall (Arizona Coyotes), RW Mike Hoffman (Florida Panthers), RW Evgenii Dadonov (Panthers), and RW Tyler Toffoli (Vancouver Canucks). The Colorado Avalanche have solid top-six forwards, but many of them missed significant time this season with injuries. The organization has many personnel decisions to make over the next several years, […]
Projecting the Avalanche’s Lines in 2021-22
The Colorado Avalanche have several choices to make across the next two seasons as general manager (GM) Joe Sakic constructs the team. For our purposes in this article, “the team” consists of 18 players: four lines of three forwards plus three lines of two defensemen. Table 1 is the Avalanche team depth chart. Injuries wreaked havoc on the Avalanche roster this season so some readers may have […]
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