Craig Anderson started the season with a 38-save win over San Jose and a 35-save shutout of the Vancouver Canucks. (Getty Images)
OK, let’s not get crazy, but let’s also give fans of the Colorado Avalanche a chance to be a little excited here.
A 2-0 start probably isn’t indicative of how the Avs will fare this season, especially with the team set to play 11 of its next 13 on the road. Still, it’s great to see Craig Anderson kick off his Colorado time by providing the Avs with the kind of goaltending they haven’t seen much of in the post-Patrick Roy era.
Anderson stopped 38 of San Jose’s 40 shots on opening night, which started with the club retiring No. 19 in honor of franchise face Joe Sakic. Another 35 saves versus Vancouver in Game 2 – to earn him his first shutout of the season – and suddenly the Avs and Anderson were on a roll.
But what the Rocky Mountain region should be most invigorated by is the play of rookie center Matt Duchene. Here’s betting that in about three years, a 1-2 pivot punch of Duchene and Paul Stastny will be about as good as it gets outside of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
And we all know where the formula of building a team around two star centers has landed Colorado in the past.
|1||Ray Emery era begins with the right kind of bang|
|2||Can't argue with consecutive wins over the Wings, no matter where they came|
|3||How much fun is this team to watch?|
|4||Sid shows JT who's boss by scoring shootout winner over Isles|
|5||Nice three-goal start for Patrick Marleau after being stripped of 'C' in the summer|
|6||Two wins, but both a little wonkier than new coach Brent Sutter would like|
|7||Coach Joel Quenneville should be pro Antti Niemi after his first start, a shutout for the Finn in Finland|
|8||Is there any way they don't win the Northeast?|
|9||Left Sweden without a single point|
|10||Nobody should be excited about facing Craig Anderson right now|
|11||Seven of remaining 11 October games are on the road|
|12||Possibly the most miserable 2-0 start in the history of hockey after losing Markov and O'Byrne long term|
|13||Roberto Luongo picked up where he left off last spring…which isn't a good thing.|
|14||No miracles from Jonas Hiller in Game 1|
|15||Got to think Ville Koistinen will remember scoring a shootout-winner in his homeland for a while|
|16||Dan Ellis shines in season-opener|
|17||Good thing they got Brandon Dubinsky under contract; he already has two goals and four points|
|18||Wonder what James Neal's high-end output is; 35 goals, maybe?|
|19||Gave up five goals in opener; are we sure Jacques Lemaire is back?|
|20||Keep an eye on 6-foot-7 rookie Tyler Myers on the blueline|
|21||Take a picture – the Coyotes are tied for top spot in the Pacific Division.|
|22||Game-losing giveaway in final minute not the debut Nikolai Khabibulin was looking for|
|23||Lost a 2-1 game to start season; are we sure Jacques Lemaire left?|
|24||Kovalev, Michalek and Cheechoo combined for three shots and a minus-4 in the opener on Broadway.|
|25||Rich Peverley rewards all the poolies who believe he's for real with a pair plus an assist against Tampa|
|26||Erik Cole shelved up to six weeks with fractured leg|
|27||Super sophomore Drew Doughty scores two points, but is a minus-2 in opening 6-3 loss to Coyotes|
|28||Really think Steven Stamkos could go for 75 points this year|
|29||Bad start for much-improved blueline|
|30||Tavares on the board with goal and assist after one NHL game|
The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.
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