Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy made it very clear on what his New Years Resolution was Tuesday morning, “I only have one: To win a Stanley Cup in Denver”. If you would have told me the Avalanche were 23-11-4 at this point before the season, I wouldn’t have believed you. Roy has this young roster playing at a high level, including players like Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan O’Reilly, and Nathan MacKinnon.
Consistency will be the key thing going forward with this young club. The average age is 27.37, and would be a lot lower without the likes of veterans Jan Hejda (35), Alex Tanguay (34), Cory Sarich (35), and Jean-Sebastien Giguere (36). However, Colorado has struggled to muster a win of late, receiving three overtime losses in their last four games. The benefit of losing in a shootout/overtime is the fact you get a point, but giving two points to division foes hurts.
Meanwhile, Colorado will look to capitalize on their long seven-game home stand at the Pepsi Center. They suffered a 2-1 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets to kick it off Sunday night and will look to get back in the win column against the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday night. Colorado will also face the Philadelphia Flyers (19-16-4), San Jose Sharks (25-8-6), Calgary Flames (14-19-6), Ottawa Senators (17-18-7), and the New York Islanders (12-21-7).
The Avalanche would suffer a key loss in the overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets Sunday night, as P.A. Parenteau collided at mid-ice with Jets Jacob Trouba. Colorado has already been without veteran Alex Tanguay since November 2nd with a knee/hip injury, and the roster is only getting thinner. Brad Malone is expected to replace Parenteau in the line-up, starting Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Colorado has dealt with a number of injuries this year, including Matt Duchene, Jan Hejda, Ryan Wilson, Paul Stastny, and Gabriel Landeskog, most of them weren’t out of the line-up too long.
Colorado has the talent to hoist the Stanley Cup, there is no doubt. The Avs will however need to shape up their defense in time for the playoffs or it could be disappointing ending to the season. There is a lot to look forward to with this club, especially with the young talent they have. Take a look at the ages of the young stars of the Avalanche: Nathan MacKinnon (18), Matt Duchene (22), Ryan O’Reilly (22), Gabriel Landeskog (21), Erik Johnson (25), and Semyon Varlamov (25).