In exactly one month from today (assuming the front office makes no further budget cuts) the Avalanche will open training camp! Praise and hallelujah! I can't take much more of this schizophrenic off-season. It seems like one week I'm riding high because the future is so bright and sunny, then the next week I want to cut myself. Bless Mile High Hockey for the community of brothers, sisters and red-headed step siblings (you know who you are), because it's through you, my fellow fans, that I know I'm not the only one suffering through summer's emotional roller coaster of epic boredom. Now, on to the Avalanche.
This week, I'm back to feeling optimistic. And here's why: People say the Avs will fall off and can't repeat their "over-performance" from last season, but I say why not? This is a jumping off point for today's half-open thread.
The Haters cry: Those upstart young guns (specifically Yip & Jones) will not keep up their high shooting percentages.
Mr. Optimism retorts: Who cares. I'd rather have a healthy Jones & Yip shooting at human numbers for full season, than guys who put up Deity-like shooting percentages for a handful of games before being injured. So what if they don't hit at the same clip? In a full season, they both will easily eclipse the 20 goal mark - something only 4 players in uniprons/bleuberries did last season.
The Naysayers nag: But the Avs were simply over-performing, and the rookies will inevitably hit a wall with the sophomore slump.
Those with eyes reply: Have you seen Matt Duchene? The kid simply can not have a sophomore slump. It's just not possible. Science. And who is it that over performed so grotesquely? Was it Galiardi? O'Reilly? No and no. Maybe Stewart, but this past season was supposed to be HIS sophomore slump, so there goes that theory. What about Craig Anderson? Okay, maybe Anderson was more than anyone anticipated, but it's not like he posted Jimmy Howard numbers (snicker). He'll start less games this go-round, and should be able to post a better GAA and save percentage if more rested. His only stats I see taking a hit are starts and maybe shut outs - nothing to cause concern. Andy is not David Aebischer.
The unbelievers bellow: The Avs front office doesn't care about the team, all they care about is money. They made no significant free agent signings. They suck.
The wise kindly counter: Pretty much. Yes, it is blatantly obvious that the front office and ownership are tight wads, but they are also business men with a mind towards the future. The Avalanche have the most cap room in the NHL. That is a good thing, and it will eventually pay off. Yes, the 2010-2011 edition of the Avalanche will barely clear the cap floor, but that thrifty monetary attitude will enable them to re-sign some of the 12 free agents and restricted free agents they are scheduled to have about 10 months from now (and that doesn't include all the free agent minor leaguers). Currently only 8 full-time Avs are signed past next season. Money will be spent next summer when we'll all have a better idea of what these youngsters are all about.
The whiners whimper : Corsi!
Everyone else yawns.
So is your glass half-full or half-empty? Today Mr. Coffey's mug is half full. But tomorrow.....