Okay, I grant that every NHL general manager is supposed to say his team is great and that they have high expectations and that the Stanley Cup is a realistic goal. PR is PR, right?
But I think Avalanche GM Francois Giguere probably doesn't believe himself when he says Colorado has a shot at the Cup:
Francois Giguere isn't making any promises, but he's convinced the Avalanche can make a run at a Stanley Cup championship in 2008-09.
"There's no doubt in my mind," said Giguere, who is beginning his third season as general manager.
Uh, what? Of course, Giguere immediately qualifies his statement with:
"A lot of things have to happen. We have to stay healthy, we have to jell [sic]. I think, if you look at our team compared to the team a year ago, we're a much stronger team with our defense. I think our offense is at least as good. Our goaltending, we'll see how they do."
Oh, right, that damn goaltending. Considering Giguere's resume includes the We'll Rehab Jose Theodore So Washington Doesn't Have To project and now the We'll Take Andrew Raycroft Because Nobody Else Wants Him project, I'd say he's probably not a great authority on goaltending. But, then again, Peter Budaj probably slept with his wife. Whose wife hasn't Budaj slept with? Does that guy ever sleep?
I bet Budaj is knee pad deep in somebody else's spouse right this second.
Anyway, I got off track. The Avalanche company line is officially, "The Cup Can Be Ours This Year." Of course, nobody honestly believes that. While I'm not nearly as doom-and-gloom as some of the soothsayers in the hockey press predicting a bottom-of-the-heap finish for Colorado, I'm not so deluded to think the Avs will make it deep in the post-season, either. I'd love to see it happen, but I'm not betting my stock in Lehman Brothers on it.
Neither is Adrian Dater, who finally got around to visiting the Avs' rookie training camp:
It’s going to be a brutal, brutal conference, and I think the Avs will be very fortunate to make the playoffs.
If it's brutal like Austrian Death Machine is brutal, then I'm all for it. But I don't think that's what he meant. Regardless, it's going to be tough, especially for a team relying on Darcy Tucker to have a comeback year.
So Francois Giguere is going to wear a happy face. We would expect no less. Though we all know better, let's hope he makes us look stupid for ever doubting him.