Two years ago, the Colorado Avalanche were imploding under the purview of Patrick Roy. Last year, Roy was gone, and the Avs were better. Perhaps it was in part the departure of Roy, but more likely, it’s the fact that the Avs are suddenly strong on the first line again. Young, too.
Their top line of forwards, Nathan McKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen are all under 25, even though I think this is Landeskog’s 17th year in the league. McKinnon had a break out year, and some of the best minds in the game think that Rantanen is next, all while Landeskog skates around and knocks people over.
If anyone is excited, it’s NBCSN. Finally, they have a team west of the Mississippi that will draw in viewers after 9pm! The Avalanche have been an old stalwart of American national media broadcasts, thanks to the old days of Sakic, Forsberg, Blake and company. Maybe we are at the dawning of a new era?
The best thing about the Avs, at least for those with interest in TV viewership was that Colorado’s top rivalry was with one of the Original Six, and one of the regulars in the post season. It’s made for a national TV audience. So, uh… how are the Red Wings doing, then?