The Colorado Avalanche are coming off a strange season. After a slow start and questions in goal, the Av's were able to finish on a high note. That is until the playoffs came around.
After a tooth and nail battle with the Minnesota Wild, the newly re-loaded Avalanche were quickly ousted by the Detroit Red Wings. Even though Colorado re-acquired Adam Foote and Peter Forsberg, Detroit's speed and puck control was too much to handle.
With the firing of coach Joe Quinneville and uncertainty of Joe Sakic's return, the Av's may have their work cut out for them in the 2008-09 season. Sakic 37, has been the epitome of leadership and loyalty in the NHL much like Steve Yzerman.
While many believe that Sakic will retire, nothing has been confirmed or denied. Some say that Colorado's depth will carry them through without captain Joe but they may not fully realize how much of a catalyst Sakic is.
Compare all of Colorado's star players' production with and without Sakic. Milan Hejduk has gone from a Maurice Richard trophy winner to a third line winger, Ryan Smyth often does not get the chance to produce because of injury- riddled seasons, and Peter Forsberg can't seem to tie his own skates without Sakic's presence.
Combine all of these factors with the looming problem of Jose Theodore's streaky goal tending, and Colorado could quite easily have their own avalanche of problems this year.