Avalanche Fly to the Flyers


(The Flyers) are a pretty solid team, so it’s going to be a good challenge for us.” Nate MacKinnon

The Colorado Avalanche are flying to the city of brotherly love for a less-than-loving match with the Philadelphia Flyers. Normally part of the storyline would be Avalanche center Daniel Briere’s return to the team where he spent seven years of his career playing. Unfortunately, Briere has been a healthy scratch for the last several games, and it’s unlikely that he’ll be called upon to suit up against the Flyers.


Winning Streak

The Avalanche would like to have one, a winning streak that is. For awhile they had a points streak, but that came on overtime and shootout losses with a win thrown in here and there. They have yet to win twice in a row. Coming off of a shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, they would like to change that with a win in Philly.

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon wants to see the Avs start winning on the road:

"“We haven’t been great on the road this season. I think it’s important for us to get a good start against Philly tomorrow night.”"

Road Games

The Avalanche are on the road for a whole week, facing the Flyers, New York Islanders, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils.

"“It’s a tough road swing. All the teams we’re playing are either fighting for points or playing very well right now. For us we’re in a dog fight right now. It’s early, but we still need to get these points. They’re really going to matter down the stretch.”"

The Flyers are one of those teams fighting for points. They’re coming into the game after a 4-1 win against the Florida Panthers.

Keys to the Game

Power Play

The Colorado Avalanche have one of the best penalty kills in the league, having gone 29 straight without letting in a goal until the Toronto Maple Leafs scored a power play goal. The Avalanche having such a strong penalty kill is a little odd considering they’re not known for being a defensive team.

And especially considering the power play has been struggling. That in itself is bizarre considering the firepower head coach Patrick Roy puts out there. The first power play unit is usually comprised of Nate MacKinnon, Gabe Landeskog, Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay and Erik Johnson as the lone defenseman. As if that’s not impressive enough, the “second” power play unit consists of Jamie McGinn, Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly, John Mitchell and Tyson Barrie as the “defenseman,” though Nick Holden does sometimes stand in for Mitchell.

Consistent Play

The Avalanche did not play a perfect game against the Leafs, if such a thing even exists. They blew the lead twice. However, they did not let that throw them off their game, as they had in previous games. They continued to play their game, and they eventually came away with the win. They’ll want to follow that formula no matter what happens in Philly.


For most of last season and the first 14 games of this season, the Avs played man-on-man defense. To put it mildly, it wasn’t working. So, for the game against the Maple Leafs, the Avs switched to a hybrid zone/man-on-man style. They still let a lot of shots on goal in the wide-open game, but the forward seems to have a lot more support. Hopefully it’ll get even better in the game against the Flyers.

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not


Erik Johnson currently leads the Avs D-men in points with two goals and seven assists for nine points. Forwards Matt Duchene and Nate MacKinnon are the only players with more points, both with 10.

Alex Tanguay has been showing off his soft hands. He had a goal, an assist and a shootout goal against the Leafs. He leads the Avs in goals scored with five.


Though Ryan O’Reilly earned his 200th point last game on assisting on Matt Duchene’s goal, he currently has the worst plus-minus ratio on the team with -11. Considering he was the takeaway king last season, and the player with the most goals, this is a disappointing turn for him. He’s already been talking to coach Roy, and he’s focusing on improving his game.

The game starts at 5:00 MST and is being broadcast on Altitude TV.