January 26, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Scott Gomez (23) tries to score in the third period against Colorado Avalanche goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere (35) at HP Pavilion. San Jose won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton.

Colorado Avalanche Special Teams Have to Improve


Among Avalanche fans in my Twitter timeline, it was almost unanimously agreed upon yesterday that the Avalanche got screwed by the refs during yesterday’s game in San Jose, when Ryan O’Byrne was given 19 mins in penalty time after immediately and spontaneously defending Gabe Landeskog following Brad Stuart‘s hit.  While I agree that it is unfair to award the Sharks with a 4 min PP after an illegal hit (and yes, it was illegal), but the refs did not decide the game.

What decided the game was the Avs craptastic special teams.  The Avs went 0 for 2 on the PP and 3 for 6 on the PK.  Unfortunately, after 4 games, this appears to be a trend, not an outlier.  Let’s just look at some stats:

Penalty Kill: 20 for 25: 80%.  

  • Home: 12 for 12: 100%
  • Road: 8 for 13: 61.5%  (and keep in mind, San Jose scored immediately after one of those 8 kills)

Power Play: 1 for 12: 8.3%

  • Home: 1 for 7: 14.3%
  • Road: 0 for 5: 0%
The numbers speak for themselves, and outside of the home PK, they are all pretty awful.  One other thing – opponents have got 25 PP opportunities to Colorado’s 12.  That’s better than a 2:1 ratio, and is a continuation of an bad trend from last season, when the Avs drew the fewest PP opportunities in the NHL (111).

After 4 games, the Colorado Avalanche sit at 2-2, gathering 4 of an available 8 points.  In the uber-competitive cauldron that is the Western Conference of the NHL, average is likely to leave you on the outside looking in when the playoffs begin this May.

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Tags: 2012 - 2013 Season Colorado Avalanche Gabriel Landeskog NHL Special Teams

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