2009 preview: Colorado Avalanche

If recent history is any indication, the Colorado Avalanche will make the second round of the playoffs, only to be swept at that point.

The Avalanche, once one of the heavyweights of the NHL and sold out every game every season, is now relegated to bottom-feeder status. They have to rebuild this team, and it may take a couple of years to do so. Let’s see how supportive the fans are now that the team is struggling.

Story of the season:Where will the leadership come from now that Joe Sakic (retired) and Ryan Smyth (traded) is gone? While Adam Foote can help on the back end, Darcy Tucker is not the one you want leading a dressing room that has young players in it.

Former Habs: Craig Anderson, Darcy Tucker

Blog to follow: Anyone But Detroit

TV commercial:

Pool Picks:Paul Stastny. He missed a lot of time last season, so he may be off the radar for a lot of poolies. If he can stay healthy, he’s good for at least 75 points. Stay away from:Wojtek Wolski. A lot of people were high on him after he collected 50 points as a rookie three seasons ago. But his numbers have decreased slightly since then. Look for him to continue to struggle.

Award nominees:Matt Duchene for rookie of the year.

Expected Finish: Third in the Northwest, 11th in the West

Cheerleader: No ice girls or cheerleaders for the Avalanche (boo), but Jessica Biel is from Colorado (yea).

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