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MHH's 2014-15 Avalanche Season Analysis: Part 4 - Possession

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We all know the Avs sucked at possessing the puck last season, yet they still won.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Avalanche's possession numbers improve in 2014-15? Why or why not?

SteveHouse:

I don't really know. Honestly. They're really likely to be about the same. I know the team is keeping track of possession time, which is what Corsi et al are proxies for, and that what Roy has said in the past lines up with the numbers formerly at extra skater (PBUI). So they should be motivated to try things to make it better. But they've also replaced good possession personnel with bad, so overall, that will probably be a wash.

c6hor8:

I think Roy solves the issue in small steps.  When Sacco first coached the Avs played great until teams figured out how to stop the run and gun system.  Roy showed adjustments later in the season where he adjusted his neutral zone break out and trap.  Injuries to Mitchell and Duchene really hurt the center depth, but prior to that I saw some great adjustments.  I think Roy focuses on the same methodical breakouts but brings back his forwards more on defense to prevent shots and break up plays; this falls a lot on Duchene, MacKinnon, and Mitchell.  I don’t think they change the shot differential entirely, but I think the gap lessens as the team learns to focus on possession a bit more.   As well, I think having more balances lines with Iginla and Landy as power forwards, Tanguay and O’Reilly as more finesse players, and Duchene and MacKinnon as all-star centers allows the lines to more fluidly keep possession because they all play different types of roles.

Mike:

Prolly.  I think Iggy will help the team get more possession time and depend less on the rush.  I think the bottom 4 blueliners will be better in breakouts and I think a revamped 3rd and 4th line will be able to do more than tread water in their own end for 10 minutes a night.

Sandie:

I hope so. Oh man, do I ever hope so...

mfured20:

Possession.  Our possession numbers will improve.  I have no concrete reason why I say that, its just a feeling.  With our young kids getting better, and a little bit more reliable D in the back end, I think we can't help but be better.  Even losing the control that Stastny brought to the table, I think we will continue to improve, perhaps slowly, but I'll take improvement any day.

Earl:

Possession: Will it improve? Sure. I think the Avs will always be "PDO Darlings" because of how they play, how Varly plays and their tendency to get leads early. If they get to the point where their zone exits rival their zone entries with possession they will be downright scary. Like 6-0 every night kind of scary.

AJ:

I have no feeling on this either way. They either will or they won't. The removal of guys like Cliche and Guenin from the lineup should be helpeful in that regard, especially if they're replaced by guys like Winchester and Redmond but I'm not sure how it'll go for the Avs in the fancystats column.

Andi:

I mean, they can't get much worse, right?  Hopefully the Avs D has upgraded just enough that they'll have less trouble obtaining the puck AND making a strong outlet pass to the transitioning forwards.  It'd also be awesome if they learned how to keep the puck in at the point on the cycle.  Losing Stastny (previously one of our best possession players) is going to hurt of course, but if the team finds a way to correct those other two areas through system or personnel changes/upgrades, I think the numbers will largely take care of themselves

Cheryl:

I think two things are going to happen. First, the numbers will improve, but not in any massive, 100%-turnaround sort of way. Second, I think the Avs will continue to win like last year despite possession numbers that still aren't stellar. I think people are going to realize that someone coaching from a background in net has a different take on how to best prevent being scored against.