the Avs in 08/09... line projections, expectations... etc
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07-28-2008, 01:30 PM
Gone baby gone
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto | Vancouver
1. What are your projected lines and defense pairings?
Wolski – Sakic – Svatos
Smyth – Stastny - Hejduk
Jones – Arnason – Tucker
Ledin – Guite – Laperriere
Clark – Salei
Hannan – Liles
Foote – Leo
2. where do you expect the Avs to finish in the division and in the conference?
Honestly in this division you never know. A single game can take you from 4th place to 1st place at some parts of the season. But due to the new schedule where we see our rivals even less it doesn’t work in any one’s favor. Last year I liked the fact that when we won against a foe not only did we get the points but we kept them at the bottom of the standings but next year we will have to depend on other teams to do that for us. The Avs have a decent record against our rivals so the schedule could work for or against us.
But all being said and done, I say 2nd – 3rd place. Each team looks like they can be a potential no. 1 but I can really see Oilers and Flames doing a lot better and IF the Nucks get Sundin they will also be a difficult team. I am not scared about the Wild as much. They lost 2 of their top 4 players, yet did improve their D by adding Marek Zidlicky. I do know that they added Andrew Brunette but his playing style complements Joe Sakic's and when Joe was out Brunette was only paced for 50 points. I don't what success he will have with the Wild but I doubt he can fill the offensive void.
If lucky - 3rd
Most likely - 6th - 8th
Worst - 10th
3. what are your thoughts on your group of forwards?
We have quite a talent group on paper.
Our top 6 forwards - Sakic [assuming he returns, which I believe he will], Svatos Smyth, Wolski, Stastny, Duke - are all capable of getting 50 points minimum.
Last year our 3rd line without doubt was our weakest line, but adding Tucker adds grit and offensive talent. He can skate, hit, and trash talk better than Bruno and more suited for the 3rd line role. All being said and done our 3rd line can potentially manage 30 or so points.
So, going forward I would expect us to be one of the high scoring teams, we came 5th in the West and 2nd overall in our division and assuming everything goes smooth with lesser injuries we should be able to be back in the top 5 next year again.
4. what are your thoughts on your defense corps?
Honestly, we have great depth in our D. Though, we lack two very important things: # 1 stud D and a blast from the point. Though this shouldn't be TOO much of a problem it will hurt us down in the long run. Nevertheless, we have nearly four work horses: Clark, Salei, Hannan, and Foote all of whom can play nearly 23 minutes. We also have good offensive upside in Liles and Leopold. If the worst should happen, and someone is injured Daniel Tjarnqvist or a prospect will be able to fill the void.
5. what are your thoughts on your goaltending?
Nothing much, above average at best, average at worst. Budaj is more consistent than Theo was and though Budaj may not be as good as Theo when he’s at his best, he isn’t as bad as Theo when he’s at his worst. Budaj will make some highlight real saves and may steal A game at most. Raycroft wasn’t a bad signing either for 800 K. Though he may not get the no. 1 position he is more experienced than any of our other prospects. Our goaltending isn’t the highlight of our team and hasn’t been since Roy’s retirement so I assume most Avs aren’t expecting anything big.
6. what rookies do you think could make the lineup and what do you expect from them?
Honestly, we don’t have any rookies that will make the lineup. Jones/Hensik aren’t “rookies” anymore and everyone else isn’t ready for the NHL yet.
Though, if anyone does make the team and is still technically a rookie [hasn’t played a whole NHL season] I expect Jones or Hensik to make the team. Can’t say who at this point, it will depend on how camp goes. But for both of them, I expect more consistency [especially from Jones] and the ability to finish.
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