There’s something brewing in Colorado these days and it’s not just Coors beer. With an October record of 10-1-2, the Colorado Avalanche set a new franchise record for best start to a season and tied an NHL record finishing the month of October with twenty-two points, which, represents nearly a third of the total achieved by the team in the entire 2008/2009 campaign.
To put this into perspective, last season it took the Avs twenty-three games to hit the twenty-two point mark which occurred on November 29, 2008, a full month of games longer than this season. At the present pace, the club could break the single season NHL record for points held by the 1976/1977 Montreal Canadiens of 132 points. At present, the Avalanche are on pace to finish the season with 138 points. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, with the season barely underway there is a lot of hockey yet to be play and the Avalanche are not without their problems.
As of October 29, 2009, the club had seven players out of the starting lineup with injury, several of whom have had substantive impact on the teams’ success to this point. Among these are left wingers T.J. Galiardi and Cody McLeod, as well as, right winger Darcy Tucker. Additionally, the defensive group is not without their struggles either, having lost John-Michael Liles for seven games and Ruslan Salei who has played but a single game to this point in the season thus far. Most certainly, any extended period of time without several (or all) of these players will have a cumulative effect on team success in the long-haul.
Additional issues that have started to become noticeable are the less-than-stellar goal production from players like Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk, each with four and five goals respectively. While both players are in the top four in total scoring for the squad, they are typically known best for finding the back of the net. Fortunately, while the two are searching for the scoring touch, they are still contributing to total offense through assists and the team has been getting goal scoring production throughout the lineup. This is truly an enviable position to be in for many teams and coaches in the league who are always looking for depth through balanced scoring.
Indeed there is something brewing in Colorado these days and barring further injuries to key players, increased goal production from the front-line elite and continued excellence in net, the Colorado Avalanche look to be sending a strong message to the rest of the league.