Three Keys To Success for the Colorado Avalanche in 2013-14
The Colorado Avalanche has dipped back into its past and put a
former hero behind the bench. When the Montreal Canadiens hired
former player Toe Blake as its coach, it turned out to be one of
the most brilliant moves in NHL history. But after only one game
behind the bench, the Colorado Avalanche are starting to realize
that maybe giving former goaltender Patrick Roy the reigns to
the team was not the best decision. It is still early in his NHL
coaching career, but Patrick Roy has shown that he still brings
that fire of his to the ice. The only question is whether the
fire will translate to wins.
2014 Stanley Cup Odds:
Key #1: Patrick Roy must be the team's leader.
In his first game as an NHL head coach, Patrick Roy nearly
pushed a pane of protective glass onto Anaheim head coach Bruce
Boudreau. After the game, Roy was very matter-of-fact about the
incident and explained why he was so angry. Ever since John
Tortorella and the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup,
there has been an undercurrent of emotional coaches making their
way to the NHL. Patrick Roy was a great goaltender, but if he is
going to lead this young Colorado team to a Stanley Cup victory,
then he needs to get his emotions under control and focus on
coaching his young team.
Key #2: Nathan MacKinnon needs to play smarter.
Colorado had the first pick in the 2013 draft and chose center
Nathan MacKinnon. In his first real game as a pro, MacKinnon had
two assists and took a penalty. But it was the way he played
that should concern Avalanche fans. MacKinnon is a six-foot tall
kid that weights around 180 pounds. He is not a bruiser, but he
plays like one. MacKinnon should be admired for his
determination, but he also needs to learn how to play in the
NHL. A critical key to the success of the Avalanche is making
sure that Nathan MacKinnon does not injure himself while still
trying to figure out his boundaries in the NHL.
Key #3: Semyon Varlamov needs a break-out year.
When the Avalanche lost goaltender Craig Anderson, they wanted
to bring in a young goalie that had some experience. They also
wanted that goalie to have an upside to him. The Avalanche
brought in former Washington Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov and
have been patiently waiting for him to have a break-out year. In
his three seasons with Colorado, Varlamov has a combined record
of 38-45. If the Avalanche is going to make waves in the NHL
this season, then it needs this to be Varlamov's break-out
season. The presence of Patrick Roy should help Varlamov, but
Varlamov also has to know that his leash is very short this
season and his window of opportunity is closing.
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