Seriously. I'm just gonna come right out and say it; I have no idea where this season is headed. I know, you're all shocked. How can Mike not know? What is wrong with the world? Why are they banning dictionaries in a California school? Dogs and cats living with each other!! Mass Hysteria!!
But I digress. I'm a tad befuddled. Last season I was firmly in the "Oh No We Suck Again!!!" camp, but the hot start got me, well, hot. For the Avalanche. In a totally platonic, hetero way. I was sure Matt Duchene and/or Ryan O'Reilly would be gracing junior rosters as a second line featuring such Avalanche legends as Marek Svatos and Darcy Tucker successfully steered the stumbling sons of Sakic into a brick wall of Maple Leaves proportions. I mean, we had the Panthers' old backup netminder penciled in as a tandem with Peter "These Boots are Made for SUXXORS" Budaj. We had a second choice coach manning the helm of a last choice team. Lottery days were here again.
But this year?
I just can't get a read on the boys in Burgundy and Frostbite Blue. Can the lighting bolt of youth strike for a second year in a row? When some role players like Brandon Yip and "Good" T.J. Galiardi just come back to earth a little bit, or will it be a Lucifer's Hammer that shatters the world's economy forcing engineers to be the top of the food chain during the rebuild? Will the newly married Craig Anderson play like it's a contract year or just play out his contract? Will the real Chris Stewart stand up? Which of the 3,485 offensive defensemen will set the hearts aflutter? Will Kyle Cumiskey shatter the space-time continuum or just a groin? Who will earn the last couple of roster spots with just the one preseason game left in Sin City (now the home of North America's newest death ray!! HaHa architects!!!)? But regardless of my own misgivings and gut-feelings (could be the result of a less-than-stellar burrito), I pledge to keep a healthy optimism for the season. Ohh, I'll still make some gloomy predictions, but I'll do it with a smile!
Sadly, I won't be attending opening night with my entourage this year, but I'll be watching on the talky box (that reminds me...if Julie is a fixture of opening night with the Altiboobs, there won't be enough Arby's to stem my rage). I hope everybody else is either rocking the Can with their new walkin' around money (congrats Beachie!!), watching on the telly, or on top of their house listening to the radio feed. No matter what happens this upcoming season, please remember that we're all in this together (for Bibby and Dan). We're all fans of the Avalanche (except Dave). We all want them to succeed. We all want them to set the league on fire with exciting hockey and absolutely no advertising. But regardless of the start, let's all try to keep a positive outlook till at least November. I don't want to turn into Red Wing fans.