Avalanche impressive to start the season
From 1996 to 2002, the team won two Stanley Cups, went to the Western Conference Finals six times, made the postseason each year and usually finished at or near both the top of their division and the Conference. They were a hockey team made up of all stars and superstars who knew how to win.
After 2004, however, things became inconsistent for the Avalanche. They missed the postseason several times, saw some of their superstars retire, get traded or sign elsewhere and also hit rock bottom.
Fast forward to now and things have changed for the Avalanche. With both Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy back in the fold as Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and team head coach, respectively, the team has experienced a culture shock and through four games, that shock could not be any better for the Avalanche.
The team is 4-0 to start the season and has gotten off to a quick start thanks to strong play in every zone, a physical style of play, an up-tempo system and a head coach that breathes and bleeds the Avalanche logo.
Some may disagree but Roy is the one of the main reasons why the Avalanche are off to a great start. This is a coach who believes in his team, that wants to get the absolute best out of all his players, that will stick up for his players and is someone who preaches a winning attitude and culture on a daily basis.
Roy is someone that the Avalanche desperately needed to lead them and get this franchise in the direction of being what they once were. Roy is someone who won two Cups with the Avalanche back in 1996 and 2001 and is someone who brings a winning presence to the franchise.
Secondly, the Avalanche are playing an offensive style of game because of the youth that is in their lineup. Players such as Jamie McGinn (two goals and two assists), Matt Duchene (two goals and two assists), and rookie Nathan MacKinnon (two goals and two assists) are reaping the benefits of the system and will continue to do so as long as they continue to grow with it.
Another reason why the Avalanche are playing well is because of their veteran leadership. Bringing back Alex Tanguay is looking like a great deal so far as not only is a leader by example, but he is also producing as he has three assists in four games.
Speaking of veteran leadership, goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere is another member of the Avalanche who instills confidence in his teammates and backs up his words with strong play between the pipes. He did just that tonight in a 39-save shutout performance over the Boston Bruins in Boston.
Obviously, the team is young and has a lot of learning to do but with Roy at the helm, a fast-paced offense and solid leadership, the Avalanche are going in the right direction to start the season.