Trust or Bust: Colorado Avalanche

By now it’s probably journalistic cliche to say ‘if the season ended today’, but it’s still a fun exercise and I’m not a journalist. Besides, who hasn’t gone on to the Wildcard standings on NHL.com recently and thought ‘What if”? I’m looking at you, Edmonton fans.

Of course the season has barely just begun, some teams have only played 11 games, but early season form can still give a good insight into what the rest of the season may bring. For example, it’s not exactly a devastating hot-take to say that the Arizona Coyotes aren’t going to make the playoffs. 82 games is as many as this team is going to see.

The same can likely be said for the Colorado Avalanche. Carl’s Capitals Avalanche are, at time of writing, bottom of the Central division, with a same 5/7/0 record as the Coyotes. November has not been kind either, the Avs have just one win from five, including a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the aforementioned Arizona. Times are hard. Their one win was a 1-0 victory on the road to division rivals Minnesota.

 

Is it time to stick a fork in the team? Well probably. The only real shining light is Matt Duchene, who has 11 points to his name. Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog are playing reasonably well too, although they’re scoring in 12 games what Patrik Laine scores in one. Offensively the team are scoring just two goals per game (average). Only the Vancouver Canucks are scoring fewer.

The Avs’ blue line has failed to impress so far this season, despite coming together to assist on a fair number of goals, the Avs are conceding 3.08 (average) goals per game. The Avs defense allows very few shots against, especially compared to the rest of the Central, but doesn’t count for much when the goalies can’t keep them out of the net. Semyon Varlamov‘s save percentage is just .881. Calvin Pickard‘s is .923, which is up there with Andrei Vasilevskiy and Robin Lehner. Is it time for a change in net? Pickard has won 75% of the games he’s started, while Varlamov is at 25%.

 

When Jared Bednar took the role of head coach, I expected a surge from the Avalanche, I predicted better times and even an outside chance at the Jack Adams. Now I’m not sure where the next win is coming from. If Bednar has a trick or two up his sleeves then about now is the time to use them. Maybe the San Antonio Rampage could send up some wingers. The current lot just ain’t cutting the mustard.

Considering that when we write about something on this site, the opposite happens (Andrew Ladd scoring, Canucks winning), this might spark a beautiful resurgence for the Colorado Avalanche. I hope so for Carl’s sake. But I suspect not, I just don’t see what else the team has in its collective locker. Let’s apply the ‘trust or bust’ quantifier to the Avs: I’m calling ‘bust’.

 

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