2021-22 Team Preview – Colorado Avalanche

2020-21

Record: 39-13-4 82 pts (won Presidents Trophy, lead NHL in standings points)

Playoffs: Qualified for playoffs, lost in 2nd round to Vegas Golden Knights

Key Losses

G- Philipp Grubauer (signed with Seattle Kraken in free agency

D-Ryan Graves (traded to New Jersey Devils)

F-Brandon Saad (signed with St. Louis Blues in free agency)

F-Joonas Donskoi (taken by Seattle Kraken in expansion draft)

Key Additions

G-Darcy Kuemper (acquired from Arizona Coyotes)

D-Ryan Murray (signed in free agency from the New Jersey Devils)

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2021-22 Preview

After having yet another spectacular regular season, the Colorado Avalanche yet again fizzled out earlier than expected in the Stanley Cup playoffs. They would fall to the Vegas Golden Knights in game 6 of the second round suffering a 6-3 loss. The Avalanche with all their young skill and talent have not yet met the high expectations of them to at least make it to the Stanley Cup final. As good as this team is, there is a certain question that needs to be answered. What is it going to take to get this team over the hump? It’s hard to pinpoint a singular reason as they have had a very good and deep lineup all around from the forwards, to the defenseman, & goaltending. You can look back at another highly skilled team in the Washington Capitals who took longer than expected to win a Stanley Cup but eventually did reach that “top of the mountain”. Maybe like the Capitals, it just might take a bit of time for the Colorado Avalanche to raise a cup. This team certainly has the right ingredients to go all the way and win a championship.

Going into the 2021-2022 season, expectations will remain high for the Avalanche as they will remain one of the favorites to reach it to the Stanley Cup final. Offensively the Avs can score with just about anyone as they feature highly skilled weapons like captain Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Andre Burakovsky. Their defense is still strong as it features Norris trophy nominee Cale Makar, Samuel Girard, Devon Toewes, free agent pick up Ryan Murray, & youngster Bowen Byram. In between the pipes, the Avalanche are led by newly acquired and former Vezina Trophy nominee Darcy Kuemper. I expect this team to make the playoffs of course but, I do think they take one little step forward and at least make it to the Western Conference final. Depending on what they add at say around the trade deadline, they certainly could become the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Overall, this will be yet another exciting season for the Colorado Avalanche. Can they win the cup? They certainly can and we’ll just have to wait and see how things play out in the regular season and in the postseason which is an entirely different animal where the games become more intense and the stakes are raised higher than ever. Stay tuned!

Projected Opening Night lineup

Forwards

Alex Newhook — Nathan MacKinnon — Mikko Rantanen

Gabriel Landeskog — J.T. Compher — Nazem Kadri

Andre Burakovsky — Tyson Jost — Valeri Nichushkin

Mikhail Maltsev — Darren Helm — Logan O’Connor

Defense

Devon Toews — Cale Makar

Ryan Murray — Samuel Girard

Bowen Byram — Erik Johnson

Goalies

Darcy Kuemper

Pavel Francouz

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