The upcoming National Hockey League season will be interesting in Denver, although that’s not the way Yahoo! Sports describes it. “Bottom of the Western Conference yet again,” Yahoo! predicts, after analyzing the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Avalanche heading into the 2009-10 season. Buzz seems to be high on top draft pick Matt Duchene, but it’s not clear whether the youngster will make the squad or spend the year developing in the minors.

Mile High Hockey profiles several young forwards for the team, but none of them seem too special. The Yahoo! piece notes the obvious, but the words still ring powerful: This will be the first season most Avs fans will not expect any playoff gold.

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Fan blog Jibblescribbits likens the situation to Madonna’s song “Like a Virgin,” saying the lack of playoff optimism and the fact that fans will be seeing a lot of players they know nothing about will be new to all of us (hopefully minus the awkward fumbling, confusion, and self-loathing). Jibblescribbits pleads with Avs fans to have optimism and enjoy watching prospects develop. Yeah, that should be fun. But it’s a better outlook than some people have.

When asked for his opinion on the upcoming season, Shane Giroux at Avs Talk offers this gem: “Who gives a s*#&?” I’m going to ride with Jibblescribbits. You guys have fun with Shane.