Avalanche season preview: Georgiev trying to repeat the trophy cup title

The 2022-23 NHL season begins October 7. With training camps opening soon, NHL.com takes a look at the three keys, the inside scoop on roster questions, and the predicted lineup for each of the 32 teams. Today, the Colorado Avalanche.

Fitness Trainer: Jared Bednar (season seven)

Last season: 56-19-7; First place in the Central Division, won the Stanley Cup

3 keys

1. Georgiev as the new No. 1

Avalanche won the Stanley Cup last season with Darcy Comber As goalkeeper No. 1 and they will try to repeat their role as champions Alexander Georgiev in this role. They acquired Georgiev in a business deal with the New York Rangers on July 7 because they were unwilling to give Kuemper a five-year, $26.25 million contract that he got from Washington Capitals on July 13. It’s a gamble because Georgiev has never been a no-no. 1 goalkeeper in the NHL. The replacement was in New York first by Henrik Lundqvist and then behind him Igor Shesterkin. However, Georgiev excelled at the heavy workload when Lundqvist and Shesterkin had to waste time due to injuries. He is 58-48-11 with 2.94 goals-to-average, 908 savings and eight lockouts in 129 NHL games and will be paid by French Pavela backup for Kuemper last season, but Colorado acquired Georgiev as their new number one.

2. Kadri’s replacement

Nazim Qadri He earned 87 points (28 goals, 59 assists) in 71 games as Colorado’s runner-up last season, but left to sign a seven-year, $49 million contract with the Calgary Flames, leaving the biggest gap in the squad that must fill. The avalanche did not replace my destiny with another high-point center playing in the back Nathan McKinnonwho’s #1. They’ll probably try to fill the hole with one of the JT ComfierAnd the Alex NewhawkAnd the Ben Myers And the Evan Rodriguez, who signed a one-year contract on Monday. But the allowance is Miko Rantanen, which might be the best option to give the avalanche a high-scoring second place. He got some experience filling that role in last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

3. View from the top

Avalanche crossed the hump last season after losing the second round of the playoffs for three consecutive seasons. But returning as a Stanley Cup champion also means becoming a stalker, and how they handle the pressure that comes with success will be clear. Colorado won the Cup on June 26; The Offseason was short and full of celebrations all over the world. Now it’s over, and the avalanche needs to get back in action and get off to a strong start in their quest for recurrence.

Roster Rondon

making the cut

Myers, a junior position, will have the opportunity to fill one of the squad positions open before the departure of the attackers Andrei Burakovsky (Seattle Kraken), Nico Sturm (San Jose Sharks) My destiny is in free agency. The 23-year-old signed a two-year contract on April 13 after completing the junior season at the University of Minnesota. He had one goal in five matches but was ineligible for the playoffs. The avalanche also occurred Lucas Sedlac With a one-year contract on June 13, the striker will get the chance to be a regular member of the squad. The 29-year-old, who has spent the past three seasons playing in the Russian Hockey League, last played in North America with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2018-19 and has 27 points (15 goals, 12 assists) in 162 NHL games. . Martin Coyote Another player to watch in training camp; The 22-year-old striker was the 16th pick in the 2018 NHL Draft but was limited to 20 NHL games, including six games without points last season.

The most interesting addition

Georgiev has always wanted to be the number one goalkeeper, but was unable to advance in the depth chart in New York due to the emergency facing Shesterkin, who won the Vezina award last season. The 26-year-old will get his shot in Colorado. Avalanche isn’t a team that requires elite goalkeepers to win due to their ability to score and defend, but Kuemper was one of the best goalkeepers in the NHL last season with 37 wins, 2.54 GAA, 0.921 saves percentage and five closings. Colorado needs Georgiev to get close to these numbers.

The biggest possible surprise

Coach Jared Bednar will likely look at the position depth chart behind McKinnon and decide Rantanen is the best player for the job. Rantanen has been a right-wing winger throughout his career and put the NHL top with 36 goals and 92 points last season. He takes confrontations and can lead a class. The avalanche could put Rantanen in the center and Compher on the right wing and facing each other on their strong side (left for Rantanen, right for Compher). It’s an interesting option that could give Colorado two high-scoring spots, as they did last season with McKinnon (88 points; 32 goals, 56 assists) and Kadri.

ready to hack

The argument can be made defensive Bowen Byram He broke through in the playoffs last season, when he played in all 20 games, collecting nine assists, a 15-plus rating and an average of 19:22 from ice time. But the 21-year-old hasn’t had an impactful regular season since being picked with the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. He was limited to 30 games last season due to concussion symptoms after playing 19 as a starter in 2020-21. Byram has a chance to break into Colorado’s top four in defense and if he’s healthy he can play more than 20 minutes a game and contribute 40-50 points. He had 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 30 games he played last season.

sleeping fantasy

Newhook, C/LW (unpolished average in fiction) – He could be raised in the Avalanche squad and likely to play in the second line with valuable wings Valery Nesushkin And the Arturi Laconin With Qadri’s departure for the Flames, he should be considered a fictional candidate for a quick break after picking up 33 points and 11-plus in 71 games last season in the mostly lower six. – Pete Jensen

Expected line

Gabriel Landskog – Nathan McKinnon – Valerie Neshushkin

Artturi Lehkonen – JT Compher – Mikko Rantanen

Alex Newhawk – Ben Myers – Logan O’Connor

Andrew CoglianoDarren Helm – Evan Rodriguez

Devon TozeCal Makar

Bowen Byram – Josh Manson

Samuel GerrardEric Johnson

Alexander Georgiev

French Pavel

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