It's rather appropriate these two teams play on Halloween night. Short of Bridgestone arena, this is one of the worst road venues in the West for the Jackets. They are 3-14-1 historically at the Pepsi Center. This is a building where Jackets fans are used to seeing horror shows.
Still, it doesn't have to be that way. A hard forecheck, defensive responsibility, and aggressive offense could easily carry the Jackets past the Avs, especially missing their franchise goaltender.
It's interesting to me, especially, because Colorado strikes me as exactly the kind of team the Jackets are trying to become: Skilled forwards, offensively capable defense, strong goaltender.
Why don't more teams look at the "Colorado method", as it were?
You hear a lot about the "Detroit method" (Hire a very smart and charismatic GM and back him up with the smartest guys possible), the "Toronto method" (Truculence!), or the "Montreal Method" (Great Goaltending + Tiny Forwards + Par Le Vous Francais = ?). You also occasionally hear about the "Nashville Method". (Given that it involves a long term coach and GM combo + letting almost every important free agent in your team's history walk, it could also be called the Buffalo method.)
I've even heard people start to talk about the "Chicago Method", which appears to be "Suck hard for 10 years, brutally mismanage your cap, and PRAY that you get lucky in a brief 2 year window before it flies apart." Fortunately for Florida, they've already succeeded at the first two steps before hiring Dale Tallon.
Still, there is a lot to be said for a team that decided they would rebuild to a specific type of play, and have been successful. It took a little bit of luck (Matt Duchene) and a little bit of knowing when to roll the dice (Craig Anderson on the FA market), but the drafting of guys like Stasny, Stewart, and Yip was no fluke. You can't guarantee a high draft pick will work out (see: Alexander Daigle), but you do you best to get the right guys with the right tools, and put them in a position to succeed.
Alternatively in Columbus, we spent 7 years under Doug MacLean's method: "Hire as many people from PEI as possible." Sadly, this strategy was an unorthodox attempt to "think outside the box" using a business plan from the mussel farming industry, and what works well for fisheries proved unsuccessful in pro sports.
So, as we gear up for a late night matchup, whose method would you go with, if you magically had to start a team tomorrow?