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Let’s not sleep on the other things Yakupov has been doing well, either. Small sample size and all that, but Yakupov leads the Avalanche with a 61.3 percent Corsi For percentage and it’s not as though he’s getting fluffy zone starts. In fact, a greater percentage of his shifts are coming in the neutral and defensive zones, impressive given he’s yet to be on the ice for an even-strength goal against. It’s not as if he’s facing lightweights in terms of competition, either, and his line with Duchene and Kerfoot has been almost inarguably the Avalanche’s best unit through four games.
Avs/Bruins Grades – Younger, faster, better
No, the Avs probably won’t be Cup contenders in 2017-18. But it’s certainly reasonable to expect them to compete for a playoff spot, particularly if they can continue to progress from what was a pretty fantastic (and for many pundits, unexpected) start.
Overall I was pretty disappointed with this conclusion of the Royals era of Hosmer, Moustakas, and Cain. I will remember this season for what could have been. Had the Royals not had a historically bad start nor a terrible August they could have had a place in the playoffs. Alas it wasn’t to be. Will be interesting what the team will look like next season and who goes where. For me the team MVP was Merrifield.