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Looking at the Colorado Avalanche

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Colorado Avalanche: 5-1-1

Key Wins: 4-3 over Boston, 5-2 over San Jose, 3-0 over Vancouver

Yesterday I called the LA Kings a surprise in the young season. If the Kings are a surprise, then the Avalanche are a shock. After finishing dead last in the Western Conference last year, the Avalanche are tied with Chicago heading into Friday night's games. The secret? I think it's the youth. Colorado is loaded with young talent that's backed up by great goaltending from Craig Anderson, something missing since Patrick Roy retired.

Category Stat NHL Rank Leading… Stat Player
Goals per game 3.43 8th Scorer (Points) 7 points Wolski/Hejduk
Goals Against per game 2.00 3rd +/- +5 David Jones
Power-play 33.3% 3rd Hits 23 Cody Mcleod
Penalty kill 86.7% 5th PIM 15 Darcy Tucker
Shots per game 23.3 30th Shots 16 Wojtek Wolski
Shots against per game 33.1 25th Blocked Shots 17 Kyle Quincey
Faceoff percentage 45.0% 29th Faceoffs 54.4% Ryan O'Reilly
PIM per game 13 16th Wins 5 Craig Anderson
PP drawn 30 9th GAA 1.99 Craig Anderson

*All stats and rankings based on games played before 10/16/2009

Colorado has a strong special teams that boost the team's chances of winning. The best penalty killer on the team is Craig Anderson, who has allowed only 5 goals on 51 shots against. When on the power play, Milan Hejduk is a big threat with 4 (2 G, 2 A) of his 7 points coming on the man advantage. The way Detroit wins this one is very similar to the way it won against LA. Although they didn't dominate in the faceoff circle against LA, they have the chance to do so against the Avs. If they control the puck and keep it off the sticks of the Avs youngsters, they can take a win from another very good team. Oh, and don't let Wojtek Wolski get anywhere near the net or have a chance at a penalty shot.

Players to watch on offense: Wojtek Wolski, Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny, Milan Hejduk

Players to watch on defense: Kyle Quincey (former Red Wing), Adam Foote

Mile High Hockey