On average, the Avs let in more goals than they scored. With a PED-style injection of offense into the team, will that change? Or is the defense still so sucky the ratio of for:against won't change?
What Cole said then: The Avs were 27th in goals for and against last season, so the bad new is, there is actually room for them to get worse. On paper I’d say the additions of Tanguay, MacKinnon, Downie and a full season of O’Reilly should help the offense but just like last year, the forwards cant score if the puck is trapped in their defensive zone all game. The defense’s inability to clear the puck out of their own zone will be the biggest limiter for the Avalanche offense this season, because once they have possession in the offensive zone, there’s really no excuse for a team with this offensive personnel to not score plenty goals.
What Earl said then: The Avs per game scoring in 2010 was 2.89. Since then it's taken a nosedive, 2.70 - 2.43 - 2.38, not good. Last year, of the 114 goals scored, only 21 were on the powerplay, and only 5 were scored by the defense. We've talked about the PP, but the defense really needs to get busy.
Forget goals for a minute, but for pure scoring on defense last year, Barrie was on pace for more than 30 points, Hejda 18, Wilson about 20 and Johnson around 9. Not bad other than EJ. But remember these guys weren't allowed to play on the powerplay, except for Barrie, who couldn't because he was too busy flying back and forth from Cleveland. These 4 guys have the potential to combine for 100+ points this year, throw in the rest of the D and the Avs should be a respectable mid-pack team in blueline scoring.
What Andi said then: Our D is still a mess, especially if Johnson doesn't take control of it, so a lot of this team's success is on Varlamov. If he channels his inner Quick and finds some consistency, we'll be fine, but he needs to steal us some games. If our forwards and goaltending are performing well, we can make up for our less than outstanding defense. Otherwise, we'll score a lot of goals, but we'll let even more in.
What AJ said then: The Avs should fare better in goal differential with an offense that should be closer to "high octane" than the "average octane" offense of years past. The team's likely up-tempo style of play combined with the still-undersized defense should mean Varly again is facing quite an onslaught, though with actual coaching and a team that doesn't give up every time something bad happens hopefully he gains the "F U" mentality that every great goalie needs. The defense still has problems and Cory Sarich and Andre Benoit aren't the solutions but I do think it will be better than last year.
What AJ says now: We went from -36 to +30. I'd say I got this one right. I even got the added bonus of being right about Varly adopting an FU mentality. Nice. Patting myself on the back for this one. Fuck I'm awesome.
What Cheryl said then: I dunno. Maybe I'm reading too much into things, but I have this gut feeling that Allaire is going to turn the goaltending ship around into something awe inspiring. I also thing the defense is going to be better than people believe. Take those two and add in an offense that even the most "lol, the Avs suck" people admit is scary good, I think the goals will come and be stopped respectively. I like this team. I like its potential. I think they'll surprise the shit out of people.
What Cheryl says now: I am good. (FWIW, I will probably just cut and paste this for the '14-15 season analysis. It's going to apply again.)
What Mike said then: I think we'll see a slight lowering of the GA and a decent increase in GF so the ratio will change. It won't change to the point that Roy wins coach of the year or anything, but it'll be the first step in the right direction.
What Mike says now: NAILED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!