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Avalanche True or False #7: 100 Points

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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

While we were all sad to say goodbye to the Canary Islands, the well-appointed Boeing Business Jet charter SBN thoughtfully provided us with made for a more than comfortable departure. We met in the plane's cozy salon after takeoff for baked peppers stuffed with brie and diced chantrelles along with some delicious Kölsch that the crew had picked up for us in Cologne. The final topic at hand was the Avalanche's record for the 2015-16 season.

Statement #7:

True or False: The Avalanche will end up with 100+ points this year.

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ProfessorOak:

False: Poor possession team which may improve, but I haven't a clue by how much.  Equally so, they are in the toughest division in the league (by far).  There are no gimme games.  I think they may come very close though, as I do believe that they will make the playoffs as an 8 seed.  My guess is 95-98 points.

Ryan Murphy:

False.

But hear me out. I think this team, despite some young players having to play some big roles, is good for about 98 points -- and could be good for a wild card spot. Of course they're still going to have to rely on some very flawed defensemen, but there's enough Top-6 talent and goaltending to compete this year against a really tough Central Division. 2016-17, after the young defensive corps gets its feet wet this season, will be the next year the Avalanche eclipse 100 points.

Mike@MHH:

False.  I've been a proponent of setting low expectations and then being surprised for the years now.  No reason to change just yet.

misterfish1:

Here's the way I go about this. There are certain teams that have our number, and we have the number of some teams. Then there's a group who we just go back and forth on with wins and losses. This is all purely my opinion, but here are the teams that have seemed to conquer the Avs in the last couple years: Oilers, Kings, Wild (@#$%), Canadiens, Sharks, Blues. Teams that the Avs have had good luck playing against: Sabres, Blackhawks, Stars, Devils. Everyone else we seem to split with: Ducks, Coyotes, Bruins, Flames, Hurricanes, Blue Jackets, Red Wings, Panthers, Predators, Islanders, Rangers, Senators, Flyers, Penguins, Lightning, Leafs, Canucks, Capitals, Jets.

Of the teams that have our number, we play that group a total of 20 times. I'm just gonna say those all come to be regulation losses (please God don't let that happen), so we're sitting at 0-20-0 right now. The teams the Avs play well against we get 12 times. Cool if all of those are regulation wins? Cool. Now we're 12-20-0 with 50 games against everyone else. I'll just say we win as many as we lose, 25 apiece, and end up with 37-45-0. If we ended it there, we'd be at 74 points. That isn't going to happen. The team as a whole has gotten better and last year Carolina got 71 points, and New Jersey had 78, and damn it we are a lot better than those two teams right now. So let's just say of the 25 losses, 13 are overtime losses. And I go with 13 instead of 12 because Colorado has the best fans in hockey and BY GOD we deserve 1 extra point. That brings the final count to 37-32-13, and points come out to 87. I wish it could be more, but those are just the facts. The answer is false.

Steven Page:

False.

Last year there were 12 teams that earned 100 or more points, the most ever in NHL history. That's three quarters of the teams that made the playoffs. If this trend continues, 100 points may become the new threshold for teams to shoot for if they want to make the playoffs. That being said, the question becomes are the Avs a playoff team this year? With the new structure of the NHL playoffs and the fact that the Avs sit in the toughest division in professional hockey, I'm not sure if the Avs are a playoff team this year. It's a little too close to call right now. I'd say the Avs are a bubble team this year. In or out? It's tough to say, but nonetheless, that puts them in the 90-99 point range, just short of 100.

SteveHouse:

That depends on whether Duchene plays with offside turned on or off this season. On, no; but off.... I'm tellin you there's a chance.

earl06:

True. The Avs have averaged 101 points per season under Coach Roy.

In all likelihood they won't but there isn't much of a difference between where they probably should end up, somewhere in the mid-90's, and hitting the jackpot again in the 100's somewhere.


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Obviously we have a bunch of Negative Nellys here, no faith whatsoever. To offset this I enlisted the help of your good friend and mine, burgundyRainbow, to put a little sanity back in this discussion and tell it like it really is. Ladies and gentlemen, this is how it's all going down...

burgundyRainbow:

With all due respect Earl, I almost wanted to say "False" because the question is so, pardon my strong language, preposterous.  100 points is not a bar that the Avalanche will measure themselves against in the foreseeable future.  130?  Getting closer.  140?  That's really more like it.  But I'll humor you with a realistic analysis below.

Yes, of course the Avalanche will easily top 100 points.  Their embarrassment of riches at every position on the ice, both in terms of quality talent and depth, will finally gel under Roy's expert tutelage.  Varlamov will continue to be the top goaltender in the NHL, even though he will no longer need to be.  Pickard, as I've mentioned, would be the number one goaltender on any other team in the league by now and a Vezina candidate if he were not waiting in the wings behind Varlamov.  Berra has also proven to be a more than capable backup, and may eventually be traded to a playoff contender near the deadline for a few first round draft picks.

On defense, the new big 3 of Johnson, Barrie, and Beauchemin will make long-time NHL fans reminisce about the great Canadien big 3 of Savard, Robinson, and Lapointe or, more recently of course, the Avalanche big 3 of Bourque, Blake and Foote. Throw in an emerging superstar like Zadorov, and high quality depth like Stuart, Redmond, Holden, and Guenin, and the Avalanche will be scratching guys on a nightly basis that would be playing major roles on any other NHL team.

Finally, on offense the Avalanche will ice enough talented forwards to rival, and probably surpass, their first Cup winning team.  Their top three lines, some combination of Duchene, MacKinnon, Landeskog, Iginla, Tanguay, Hishon, Grigorenko, Soderberg, and Comeau, will quickly accentuate how great all of the off-season moves the Avalanche made were.  With all due respect to Ryan O'Reilly, he is a very good player, he'd be at best a 4th line center on this year's Avalanche squad.  Round out their depth with high quality forwards like Mitchell, Everberg, Winchester, McLeod, Cliche, and Bordeleau, and you have 15 forwards who would be playing high minutes on any other NHL team.

The schedule at first glance does look challenging.  18 out of 25 games on the road in one stretch.  Being a realist, I would expect the Avalanche to drop 4, maybe 5 of those games. Given that reality, I am predicting a final record of 72-10.  I almost predicted a few OTLs, but there is no way possible this team does not dominate in the new 3-on-3 format.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity.  I have noticed that MHH can use a good injection of reality at times.

-burgundyRainbow


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What say you, dear reader? True or False?