It's that time of the year!

Hockey is in the Air!
Well it has been a good break for me this summer and I look forward to the season ahead and being able to write here about one of my biggest passions.  Oh how I have missed Avalanche hockey.
It was especially hard, considering how many playoffs the Avs had made in recent years, to have no team to truly watch during the playoffs.  It makes for a longer off season.  The only consolation was that the Avs were able to pick number two in the draft.  Colorado now goes into training camp with quite a lot of buzz surrounding the team, and if the attendance at day one and two at training camp is any indication, then we could see quite the crowds at games this season.  
Of course, a lot of the buzz surrounds new goaltenders Semyon Varlamov and J.S. Giguere, and number two overall pick Gabriel Landeskog.  So far in camp, all three have shown the fans exactly what they are going to bring.  
Landeskog has a jump in his step that reminds me of Duchene's rookie year, where he was flying every chance he got.  He is also taking and dishing out a lot of hits that people thought he wouldn't be able to do in the NHL, compared to what he did in juniors.  The only thing that I thought was weird was that Landeskog is playing on the potential third line at camp with Ryan O'Reilly.  The top left wing as of now on Stastny and Jones' line is new comer Joakim Lindstrom.  I really hope Sacco uses Landeskog on this line come the preseason.  
As far as the goaltenders, both have had their ups and downs so far in their careers, each for their own reasons.  Giguere seemed to be in shock at how fast the team actually played, making comments after day one that he hadn't played with a team that fast in quite a while.  It took him some time to get use to it, but so far on day two he is finally catching up to the pace of the game.  
Varlamov has other issues with what looks like over flexing on simple plays.  He really gets low in his stance, and as a goaltender it makes me wonder if this is why he has had so many lower body injuries in his career.  He definitely is extremely athletic and flexible, but you have to wonder if that might be his downfall.  Varlamov has worked all summer on his glove hand and it shows.  Each and every save he has a much more active glove and even better positioning each and every play.  This goaltending tandem is definitely leaps and bounds better than the Budaj-Elliott tandem from last season.
I will be heading to camp on Monday morning and trying to take lots of pictures to post here.  I will also try and give an extensive report on the best and worst players so stay tuned!!


George Prax's picture

Welcome back Russ. Looking forward to seeing the Avs play this year, especially Landeskog. I really like their youth and I think they're going to surprise a lot of people in the west.