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Colorado Avalanche preview: Forwards

September 29, 2009, 6:22 PM ET [ Comments]
Aaron Musick
Colorado Avalanche Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Avs' offense will be hard to predict this coming season.

New to the offense is Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly- at least for a while that is while others like Galiardi, Jones (though injured now), and Stewart are still cementing their role on this team.

Also hard to predict is Cody McLeod who pocketed 15 goals last year. Will he contue the trend or is it an abberition.

And then there's Wojtek Wolski. Wolski's as unpredictable as the wind. One day he can be explosive and do so much damage to the other team, then the next day you don't even notice he's there. He'll likely get first line minutes on the left side of Stastny and Hejduk which should help him but he's got to put it together.

About the only thing known about this team is Stastny and Hejduk. Assuming health- knock on wood- both should be good for about 20 goals while Stastny should be able to get 60 points. He needs to stay healthy but if he is and Wolski produces, he's capable of 100 points in a season (big IFs).

How the youth grows and molds will determine the season. If Duchene plays well, the Avs could be very dangerous offensively. He would give the teams a second target to key in on, kind of like the final battle in Star Trek VI. If Duchene is able to produce, it would give defenses two target to focus on instead of just the top line.

While the bottom lines aren't all that great, it has potential. Hendricks has looked good and he could go a long way to reinforce the fourth line. However, the third line has enormous potential. O'Reilly is an overachiever extreme, Stewart can hit and score and be a great power forward while McLeod is a good two-way player as well. If it molds and gells, it will be a really dangerous line. The only question is, if O'Reilly is sent back to Erie, who then becomes the third line center.

Wild Card: Galiardi. He's added 20 pounds, become faster and is a year smarter. He's my candidate for breakout player of the year.
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