NHL Power Rankings Week One: Capitals, Lightning, Predators, And Ducks Are Favorites

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Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Power Rankings: #26 – Colorado Avalanche

I had the Colorado Avalanche as a fringe playoff team during my previous power rankings. After seeing them struggle mightily on offense in the preseason, I’m growing much less confident in them. This could be a telling year for head coach Patrick Roy. If he can’t put this team in the playoffs, he might be on the hot seat.

STRENGTHS: They have a strong core of forwards that can move up the ice very quickly. Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon, Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay, and Gabriel Landeskog give them five very solid forwards. Semyon Varlamov is an elite goaltender capable of carrying his team when he’s healthy. Keeping Erik Johnson is HUGE for Colorado.

WEAKNESSES: I’m not a fan of their blue line outside of Johnson and Tyson Barrie. Francois Beauchemin is on the wrong side of 30 years old. He’s already declining. His future does not look bright. I think they overpaid a bit for Blake Comeau. He did well with the Penguins. Keep in mind though that a majority of his success came with Evgeni Malkin. Malkin isn’t coming with him to Colorado.

OUTLOOK: I can’t deny that Varlamov is capable of single-handedly carrying his team in the playoffs. He basically did that in 2013-2014. However, their lack of scoring and awful possession stats are really concerning. Those two things absolutely have to change.

Next: #25