The Colorado Avalanche will try and improve upon last season when they failed to make the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. The Colorado Avalanche will be looking for $5.5 million dollar goalie Jose Theodore to start earning his money. If that doesn’t happen early in the season, look for Colorado to go with Peter Budaj on a regular basis. Colorado Avalanche head coach Joel Quenneville does have his work cut out for him. The Avs play in a tough division but they did make a couple of moves that may help them this season.
The Colorado Avalanche did re-sign franchise player Joe Sakic to a one-year contract but it was unlikely Sakic was going anywhere. The Avs did get winger Ryan Smyth and blueliner Scott Hannan. The Colorado Avalanche should have a couple of good lines with Sakic and Smith on one and Hejduk and Paul Stastny on another. Tyler Arnason had a good season with 49 points from the third line. The blueline will be better with Hannan and the Colorado Avalanche will look for improved play out of Jordan Leopold this season.
A player that might get a look this season for the Colorado Avalanche is Czech forward Jaroslav Hlinka who was playing with Sparta Praha in the Czech Republic. The Avs also hope that defenseman Jeff Finger is the real deal.
Goaltender Theodore is in the final year of his huge contract so the Colorado Avalanche will either let him go or pay him much less next year. One question for the Colorado Avalanche this season is whether or not Marek Svatos can rebound from a bad season. The Colorado Avalanche has a chance at rebounding this season to make the NHL playoffs but they must get better play in goal. They also must have consistent scoring every night. The big name forwards (Sakic, Smyth, Hejduk) have to produce and the young players like Stastny and Wolski need to get better.
The Defense is a huge improvement from last season. Hannan and Leopold are solid and Clark and Skrastins look good. The question as it has been for the last couple of years is in goal. It is the high priced Theodore or the youngster Budaj. One of them needs to step up and play well every night. That is the biggest key to the Colorado Avalanche having a successful season and making the playoffs.