32 Teams In 32 Days: Colorado Avalanche
In Today’s 32 Team look around the NHL we examine the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche and the impact their roster could have on their new goalie, Alexandar Georgiev.
Thank you again to everybody that has subscribed ($5 per month, $30 for the year) and enable me to continue writing for now. It is greatly appreciated. Also thank you to those of you that have given it a trial run to see if you like it. I hope you do!
They may not have finished the regular season with the best overall record, but when you watched the 2021-22 Colorado Avalanche you could just tell they were playing the game at an entirely different level than everybody else.
The way they skate. The way they attack. The way they defend. The pace was just different. They have been playing close to that level for a few years now after assembling a powerhouse core of star players, only to keep falling just a little bit short in the Second Round of the playoffs. This season, though, there just seemed to be an inevitability about the way they played that it was going to be their year.
That turned out to be the case.
After steamrolling their way through the Western Conference Playoffs, they put an end to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s three-peat quest with a six-game win in the Stanley Cup Final, giving the Avalanche their first championship in two decades. It was well earned.
On paper, the roster is as good as you will find in the NHL from top to bottom. They have superstar forwards (Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog), a smart front office that has done a great job adding impact complementary players around the superstars, and a defense that is one of the strongest units we have seen in the NHL in quite some time. Not only is it the best defensive unit in the league in terms of overall ability, they are all mostly young and still very much in the prime of their careers.
It is an absurd roster.
The one position that has been a bit of an outlier in terms of talent and star power has been, oddly enough, one of the most important positions in the sport — goalie.
Do not take that the wrong way, they have had very good goalies in recent years. Philipp Grubauer played very well in Colorado before signing a big-money deal in Seattle. He was replaced last year by Darcy Kuemper, who had another strong regular season before struggling quite a bit in the playoffs.
That was the thing that made Colorado’s championship run so impressive: They did it with what could probably be described as below average goaltending at the most important time of the year. That is not usually a winning recipe. The fact that it was for Colorado is a testament to how dominant the rest of the team is.
That brings us to their new goalie, Alexandar Georgiev, and what all of that could mean for him this season.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial