So, on the paper, it seems that we had improved almost all aspects: goaltending, forwards, defense and including depth.
However, we know that paper teams rarely translates into real team. I just wonder with all these turnovers during off season and losing some of our long term Avs ( i.e liles, Boods) will chemistry and leadership be a factor?
I am rather disappointed that the issue of locker room leadership has not been addressed, and I am worried that chemistry will set up behind ( especially the first 20 games or so). I know I will be panicking if they start off 0-6 like the Leafs did two years ago. They never really recovers from the falls.
I think this is where Giguere's presence will be a big plus. Veteran guy with championship experience who can be not only a mentor to the Avs young starting goaltender, but to the rest of the team as well.
This is also a chance for the younger guys to grow into leadership roles (Stastny, Duchene, Johnson, etc).
We still have Hejduk, Stastny, Johnson, and O'Byrne. Those guys were given an 'A' for a reason. Avs management/coaches obviously see them as leaders. Giguere is also a veteran who has accomplished more than anyone else on this team. His leadership and experience should help Varlamov and the team.
Chemistry shouldn't be a problem because there really aren't that many new guys. The only new forwards will be Landeskog, Kobasew, and Lindstrom. On defense we lost two leaders and veterans(Foote and Liles) but Hejda and maybe Elliott will be the only new guys on defense. I think it's normal for teams to bring in 3 or 4 new guys. Building chemistry is what training camp is for.
We clearly have better goaltenders this year and IMO that should help quite a bit. Not only because the goalies will help us win more games but also because the forwards and defense will have confidence in them. Anderson, Budaj, and Elliott would take all the energy out of the players and the crowd with the softies they let in every game. Especially when they did it in the 3rd period of a close game.
Oh, I dunno, we've got wide-eyed enthusiasm (Duchene), swagger (Johnson), finishes shift with face cut open (O'Byrne), remembers the glory (Hejduk), Jesus camp (Mueller), the adversity guy from the prairies (McLeod), the 'been there, fought through that, and prevailed' guy (Giguere), the 'I know my role and I'm sticking to it' guy (McClement), BC boys (Kobasew, Jones, Yip, O'Byrne, Cumiskey, Barrie)...
...kind of a motley crew, actually. hopefully somebody brought the glue - Lando?