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Matt Duchene scores for the Avalanche
Last year's Avalanche were all about speed, and they scored some beautiful goals as a result. The problem is, they didn't score enough of them. This year's team provides a much more balanced attack—with an even blend of skill and physical presence, the Avs offense looks to be a potent one this season.
Former first-round draft pick Peter Mueller looked good in training camp. Mueller put up 20 points in 15 games for the Avs before being sidelined by a concussion two seasons ago. He has shown great chemistry with Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk.
Gabriel Landeskog brings a physical presence that was lacking after the departure of Chris Stewart. He has shown his willingness to go to the tough areas in front of the net and in the corners to make tough plays. The Avs also have the makings of a great power forward in David Jones, and T.J. Galiardi has had a very solid camp.
Matt Duchene has been progressively improving throughout the last few seasons and seems primed to have a breakout offensive year, especially with the increase in skill around him.
The dark horse contributor to this group could come from the Avs' most unheralded signing of the offseason—Joakim Lindstrom. Lindstrom had a very average career up until last season, when he had a breakout year for Skelleftea HC of the Swedish Elite League. He put up 64 points in 54 games to lead the SEL in scoring. So far, Lindstrom has had a monster training camp. He has looked more like a first-line, elite forward than a backup.