With Rob Blake already speaking out against the team’s signing of Brad May there may be dicent among the Avs inside the locker room that we are not fully seeing (due to the Steve Moore incident where May put a bounty out on Steve Moore for checking Marcus Naslund; the bounty was fulfilled not in the next game in Denver, but in a cowardace act in the safety of the Canucks arena by Todd Bertuzzi). Where there is smoke, there is usually fire.
All of the above most likely won’t happen all at once. Hejduk and Tanguay will have streaks, Sakic will be consistant and will be helped by the others. However this team is going to have to find a totally new way of winning without two of their longtime leaders in Foote and Forsberg. This is going to be a tough task and if you throw in issues in the locker room, you’re going to have issues that will be much greater than they need to be. The slump may last a little longer, fingers may get pointed, etc. Look for the Avs to start slow, get hot mid-season and slow down dramatically towards the end.]]>
Look for Quenville to get axed if the Avs aren’t putting numbers up late in the regular season, and they won’t be.
Hejduk and Tanguay’s numbers have never been great without Forsberg between them. The word is that Tanguay is going back to his natural position at center. Look for a learning curve considering he has never played there successfully in the NHL. Hejduk’s numbers were sad last year, when compared to the season before when he and Forsberg were paired for 70+ games.
Rob Blake has been unhealthy late in each of the past two seasons, carrying injuries that the team never discloses. Both seasons his stats have fallen off late in the year and in the playoffs. He does still play which is honorable, but his stats do fall off.
Sakic has been consistant but he can’t do it alone. Two seasons ago, when Sakic and Forsberg were in every game the Avs continued their late season dominance and took home the record setting 9th division title. Last season with Forsberg in only 39 games, Sakic couldn’t get it done by himself. Sakic is incredible for team Canada, great for the Avs. He now needs to be incredible for the Avs.
The loss of Foote is going to be to much for the Avs blue line. To actually think that Briesbois can replace him is not to intelligent. Vaananen and Sauer will help pick up the slack but basically you’ve got Blake, the kid Liles and a bunch of Bob Boughner’s on the Avs blue line. Remember that Bob Boughner didn’t make it on the Penguins roster several years ago. That’s pretty bad.
The Avs will win, but not the dominating way we have become familiar with. Look for a 2nd or even 3rd place finish in the division. Also look for them to finish 4th or 5th, maybe 6th in the Western Conference.
Look for Quenville to be under the gun if this happens.]]>