This Colorado Avalanche season makes no sense, and yet is extremely easy to predict. On the road, they are an unstoppable offensive juggernaut. At home, they are a struggling team that can barely muster a goal per game.
With that in mind, here's a preview of the upcoming Avalanche schedule.*
*Just remember that they will go 1-2 for the week and have trouble scoring in their two home games.
Tuesday, November 8 at Detroit Red Wings -- Remember the season opener against Detroit? Peter Forsberg watched his jersey raised to the rafters next to other former Avalanche greats, only to see Detroit throw two perfect shots past Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov en route to a 3-0 shutout victory? Yeah, that was probably the highlight of the season so far for Detroit. In a season with normally high expectations, the normally sturdy Red Wings have been scuffling lately. Their offense has only scored 29 goals this season, good for 13th in the Western Conference. They have an even goal differential and a mediocre (for Detroit) 6-5-1 record. For a team filled with so much talent, this slow start is very surprising.
Thursday, November 10 vs New York Islanders -- Much like the Avalanche, the Islanders have been undergoing their own franchise rebuild the past few seasons. Their young talent is led by center John Tavares, the first overall selection of the 2009 draft (picked two spots before Matt Duchene). Tavares has been an effective player for his first two seasons, but is finally displaying the extraordinary talent that made him the top pick in the draft with a breakout year. His eight goals leads the team, including an NHL-best four power play goals. The Islanders aren't good yet, but they are fun to watch. This is their only visit to Colorado this season.
Saturday, November 12 vs Calgary Flames -- For the third time in three weeks, the Avalanche will face off against their division rivals from Alberta. The Flames have won both games of the series so far this season and have resurrected their season because of those performances against Colorado. The Avalanche are still looking for their first Northwest Division victory of the season after starting out the year 0-3 against divisional opponents. Last season, Colorado was 7-16-1 against divisional opponents -- a key cause for their second half collapse in the standings. A win against Calgary would be huge for this early stretch of the season.