Colorado Avalanche Roundtable
Colorado Avalanche Blogger Roundtable, Day 8.
Once again, here’s the cast list:
Mike and DDC: MHH
Shane Giroux: Avs Talk
Jibblescribbits and thedoctor: Jibblescribbits
Angelique: Colorado Avalanche Prospects
GEO: Avslova Factor
Jay: The Avs Hockey Podcast
Justin and Zach: Avalanche Guild
Adam Hersh: Avalanche of Thoughts
Nic Zamora: Avaholics Anonymous
Matt Jordan: Mile High Mayhem
Sean Payton: Anyone But Detroit
Magnum: Disgruntled Avalanche Blogger
Brian Thompson: Colorado Examiner
Tapeleg: Jerseys and Hockey Love
and special guest from Korea Aaron D'Albey from The Dog and Pony Show
Today is my day to host one of two questions. The question we debated was:
- Which young 'star' (non-rookie) will finally have the breakout year we've been hoping for? (Wolski, Hensick, Jones, etc.)?
Mike : I'm gonna embrace some long-brewing hype and hitch my wagon to David Jones. I think he'll get an extended shot at the top 6 while playing with linemates who compliment his skills. No more 2 or 3 game (or 2 or 3 shift for that matter) stints with skilled guys only to be stuck with an Arny or Tucker. It's time for him to translate what he's done at other levels to the NHL or he won't have a future with this franchise. I think he knows this is his best shot for sticking. He'll have a coach that should have more patience and familiarity with him and not just use him as a warm body. I think he'll get a look in all situations and will finally have a chance to thrive.
David Driscoll-Carignan: I think it will be Chris Stewart. He appears to have all the skills to be a dangerous and effective power forward. Two things that were missing at times last year were effort and opportunity (late in the season, he was buried on the depth chart). I think he's going to have a big, big year. I usually get these questions wrong, though.
Aaron Musick: David Jones is a good pick and Stewart is one being tossed around but look no further than T.J. Galiardi. The guy bulked up in the offseason, adding 20 or so pounds to his frame. He's faster, has good hands and can shift from Center to Left Wing with ease. It's not outside the realm of possibility for him to reach 60 points this year. He needs to improve his decision making process as he still holds onto the puck too long but give him someone like Jones to work with and he will produce.
MattThere's a lot of young guys facing big years, but none more so than Wojtek Wolski. With Ryan Smyth gone and no other experienced, skilled guys to play LW, there's no place for Wolski to hide now. The issue he's faced in past years isn't skill, size, defense, or even hustle -- it's simply his playstyle. Wolski has been a "floater" his whole career, and that just isn't going to get it done. He needs to get garbage goals, lucky goals, fluke goals -- the kind of goals you get by going to the net, with and without the puck.
The good news is that Wolski has already shown he can change his game significantly. Last year's improvement in hustle and defense really highlighted that he can and wants to change his game for the better. I want and expect 60 points out of him this year, if he stays healthy.
Jay Vean I would love to see David Jones stay healthy for long enough so we can see what he can really do in the NHL. I'd hate for him to turn into a Svatos-type player where the only thing people bring up (and the only thing worth talking about) is his season many seasons ago when he scored "x" number of goals. Young players like David Jones are a key in every organization. When players like him become unexpected big-time contributors it leads to more than expected results in the standings. No Avs fan would mind more than expected results from this team this season.
Jibblescripts David Jones. I think he's going to finally get over the hump. The tools are there, and he just needs to find the scoring touch. I think he gets it this season.
Closing thoughts: Though the apparent consensus was David Jones, Galiardi is still the one to look to. Wolski fills out the first line on the left wing but Galiardi’s role will be far more important. Look for him to paired with Duchene and maybe Svatos but hopefully Jones. Since Duchene is new, Galiardi will have to be malleable and adjust to mistakes that Duchene will make. If that combination works, it will benefit all three them. Since Duchene is very new to the NHL and Jones is a scorer, Galiardi should be the clay that bonds that line. If Jones is the breakout player, my hunch is it will be because of T.J. Galiardi.
It's good to see Duchene and O'Reilly both make the team. Both guys worked really hard and earned their spot on the opening day roster. To see a full article about this, go to theAvalancheGuild.com where I'll be writing in addition to Hockeybuzz.