Blackhawks News

PART 1: Who’s Who In The Western Conference: Performers and Pretenders

By Skylar Peters
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Colorado Avalanche

Oct 15, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Members of the Colorado Avalanche celebrate after center Nathan MacKinnon (29) scored a goal during the first period against the Dallas Stars at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

 Record: 6-0-0

Season Summary So Far: The Avalanche took advantage of their move to a fairly weak Central Division, and are currently shocking the hockey world with their undefeated record. They took their first two on the road, then handed the Toronto Maple Leafs their only loss so far, shutout the Boston Bruins, then held the high-powered Washington Capitals to one goal, all before scraping out a win against divisional opponent Dallas Stars. The Avalanche have been riding on the wave of 2013 first overall draft pick Nathan MacKinnon, who leads the team in scoring.

Strengths: Young skilled offense, extremely hot goaltender, defense that works very efficiently together. Great management, and a coach that the players love playing under in Patrick Roy. Haven’t allowed a power-play goal to be scored on them yet.

Weaknesses: Weak power-play, not enough leadership, no-name defensive core.

The Real Deal: We have our doubts. It is hard to believe the Avalanche are here right now, and they have never been in this position before. Down the stretch will be an issue for the team, with any long-term injuries resulting in an inexperienced call-up. If Semyon Varlamov goes into a slump/gets hurt, J.S. Giguere will have a tough time dealing with the workload of a starting goaltender, when he is well past his prime. Time will tell if Colorado can hold up to the task, or will come tumbling down like a…… well……