Colorado Avalanche vs Winnipeg Jets: Division Rivals


Colorado Avalanche games against the Central Division rival Winnipeg Jets don’t tend to be high-scoring affairs. Usually. Occasionally scoring breaks open, though, and the game can get wild.

The Jets aren’t a gifted team, but they’re hard workers with a lot of heart. They struggle a bit with their goal tending situation. They are almost the opposite of the Avalanche, who have a gifted goalie and gifted players who, well, occasionally struggle with work ethic. The Avalanche went 2-2-1 against the Jets, with both their wins coming in the shootout.

October 26, 2014

The first match between the teams was a hard-fought battle with lots of penalties. In fact, in this game the Avalanche even managed to score a power play goal. Winger Jamie McGinn scored the goal actually, in one of the few games he played this season. (Shows part of what we lost when he went down with an injury.

Both teams were struggling to score at the time, and there was no scoring in periods two and three. There wasn’t a ton of shooting either — Winnipeg’s Ondrey Pavelec faced only 23 and Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov only 28. Jets center Brian Little scored with just a few seconds remaining in the overtime — Avs lost 2-1.

December 5, 2014

This was a mess of a game for the Colorado Avalanche. It was another physical game, with players roughing, fighting and even earning game misconducts. This was also one of the games that saw the scoring open up — in Winnipeg’s favor. The final score was 6-2.

This was also one of the games that goalie Semyon Varlamov lost for the Avalanche. To be fair, he was just a few games back from one of his groin injuries, and only Jarome Iginla managed to score (twice) for the Avalanche. However, Varlamov let in five goals in 30 shots before head coach Patrick Roy finally replaced him with Reto Berra. (Varlamov was out with another groin injury after that game.)

December 11, 2014

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This mid-December game is when tides started turning for the Colorado Avalanche. It’s not so much that their record got radically better — it did improve — as they started showing a lot more heart. It was in this game that Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog fought Jets captain Andrew Ladd — and won.

The Avalanche erased a two-goal deficit to force overtime. They held their own through overtime — at that time, overtime was not a happy time for the Avs. They made it to the shootout — and their young talent shined. Both centers Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene scored shootout goals while Avalanche rookie goalie Calvin Pickard held of both Winnipeg shooters. The Avalanche won 4-3.

February 8, 2015

This was a heartbreaking weekend. The Colorado Avalanche had spoken so strongly about making the February games count. They won against the Dallas Stars but then lost three straight. Two of those losses were back-to-back — first to the Minnesota Wild in a clogged game of hockey, and then this game to the Jets.

Another physical game, but what made this one so frustrating was how the Avalanche just couldn’t get anything going in the second period. Literally half of their shots came in the second period — 14 — yet they couldn’t manage to score. On the other side, the Jets scored four on nine shots. This was seriously another example of Varlamov costing the team the game. The Avs lost 5-3.

April 9, 2015

Colorado Avalanche goalie Reto Berra was able to stop 41 shots and lead the team to victory against the Winnipeg Jets.

The Colorado Avalanche already knew they weren’t making the playoffs, eliminated when the Winnipeg Jets had made the playoffs. Yet the Avs — led by captain Gabriel Landeskog — had promised they would play their best game in front of the home fans for the last three games.

They delivered. Even though they allowed back up goalie Reto Berra to be peppered with a ridiculous 41 shots, he was the equal to all of them. The Avs couldn’t get one past Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec in three periods and one overtime. However, the game went all the way to the shootout. Berra held off both Winnipeg shooters while both Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly scored for the Avs. They won 1-0.


The Winnipeg Jets and the Colorado Avalanche go hard against each other. Hate for the Jets isn’t as great as for the Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks or St. Louis Blues amongst Avs fans, but it seems pretty intense on the ice. However, in their five games, the Avs only scored two power play goals while allowing four power play goals from the Jets.

Winnipeg also seems to have goalie Semyon Varlamov’s number — he didn’t prevail against them once this season. He allowed 13 goals in three games — that’s not going to win hockey games. The Avalanche two wins came with back ups Calvin Pickard and Reto Berra in net. The Avalanche also didn’t win in regulation against Winnipeg a single time this season.


Shoot the puck. Winnipeg seems likely to keep Ondrej Pavelec around, yet he’s a streaky goalie. On the flip side, Varlamov needs nights off — it might be better to give them to him when it’s time to face Winnipeg.

The power play needs tightening up here as it does against all teams. And if the Avalanche are going to take penalties, they need to tighten up the penalty kill a bit, too. On the plus side, if they can hold out to the shootout, they have a very good chance of winning.

Next: Avs Star of the Week: Daniel Briere

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