Coach Joel Quenneville has a tough task ahead of him. Granted, his team still has a few pre-season games to play before he makes his final lineup decisions, but he's no doubt already starting to sweat over it. Every player expected to make a big impact at training camp did so. Every young player with a decent shot at a lineup spot excelled throughout the drills and scrimmages.
Case in point, TJ Hensick scored two goals and two assists to help his Team Burgundy take the win over Team White at the annual Avalanche Burgundy vs. White team scrimmage held this year at the Air Force Academy. Hensick's linemate Ian Laperriere scored a goal and two assists.
Hensick wasn't as dominant during the rest of training camp, but he picked the right time to shine. Along with him, prospects Tyler Weimann, Chris Stewart (who was surprisingly quiet during the B/W game), Cody McLeod, Brent Kelly and Kyle Cumisky all had exceptional performances over the weekend. How Coach Q will decide who has to go to Lake Erie and who gets to stay in the big league is beyond me. That's why he's coach and I'm not, I suppose.
Now, to the important stuff: uniforms. Lucky for us, some kind Avalanche message board users attended the game and took pictures, giving us some insight into how the new RBK Edge uniforms actually look on the ice. They were worn for the very first time by Avalanche players during the Burgundy vs. White game.
The verdict: I still hate them. For example, if you'll notice the guys in white at the top left of this photo by Avalanche message board user Archer, you can clearly see that the apron illusion is in full effect. Also note the difficulty of discerning the blue on the sleeves of the dark jerseys (foreground) from the burgundy. So my initial impressions have been affirmed. These new jerseys are lousy, no debate necessary.
As for lettering, the Avalanche have stuck with the old font and number style. In this photo of the Team Burgundy starting lineup (great catch, Archer), you can see that the names and numbers look the same as they always have. That's a good thing. At least they got that right.
A final note about letters: there was much concern about where the "C" and "A" of the team captain and alternate captains would be located on the front of the new jerseys. The new, ugly front piping of the new jerseys crosses directly through the normal area for those letters. The answer: the letters go OVER the piping. In this photo, notice Joe Sakic (third in line) and how his "C" is oriented. Not sure how I feel about that, but my initial impression, like the rest of the jersey, is that it sucks.
Enough about all that. Tonight is the Avs' first pre-season game, played against the Coyotes in Phoenix at 8:00 PM local time. I won't be posting an open thread for it, since it won't be widely televised, but I encourage anyone with the opportunity to watch it to post a diary entry or comment here.
Official game threads will commence with the first Avalanche regular season game on October 3 against the Stars. That game will be on Versus.