Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild: 7 Takeaways

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Oct 8, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Chris Porter (7) and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie (4) battle for control of the puck in the first period at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

1. The Guenin-Barrie Pairing Doesn’t Work

When Roy announced that Nate Guenin made the second D-pairing again, the majority of fans wasn’t happy. A minority was sure, though, that it can work again, just like it did last season. After the first game of 2015-16, let’s just say… it could be better.

It’s true that this pair can work, just like it did last season. Barrie is still young, he overcommits on offense sometimes and has his issues defensively. That’s not a secret, and pairing him with a 32-year-old veteran like Guenin seems like a decent idea. As I said, it can work.

Guenin isn’t an NHL defenseman, though, and he sure as hell isn’t a top-four defenseman on a team that wants to make the playoffs. But yet, that alone isn’t the issue. The issue is that Barrie and Guenin can work together, but only when Barrie is at the top of his game. As soon as Barrie has an off-night — like he did against the Wild — it can get quite ugly.

Against Minnesota, Guenin and Barrie had the Colorado Avalanche’s worst Corsi Differential at -21 and -22, respectively, according to Unfortunately, those numbers are a perfect representation of what could be observed throughout the game: Guenin and Barrie spent what felt like the entire game in their own zone. Something will have to change here, and exchanging Guenin and Brandon Gormley should be a first step in the right direction. Then again, Roy is in love with Guenin… Oh well.

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