Sep 29, 2015; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman (6) defenses Colorado Avalanche right wing Borna Rendulic (71) at Scotiabank Saddledome. Flames won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
2. The “Eurolanche” Line Leaves Question Marks
Mikko Rantanen — Carl Soderberg — Borna Rendulic
A Finnish rookie who surprised many by making the opening night roster, a Swede who’s blind on one eye and the first Croatian NHL player. Or, as a tribute to the European Colorado Avalanche fan club Eurolanche, the “Eurolanche line”. Personally, I really liked the idea, but wasn’t sure if it could work. After the first game, I tend to say it doesn’t.
In the first two periods, the line didn’t look good at all. They spent the majority of their ice time in their defensive zone, allowing shot after shot, and Soderberg lost eight of his 10 faceoffs. It just wasn’t a good night for our Euro line. Luckily, coach Roy had the same opinion and let John Mitchell start with Soderberg and Rendulic. Mitchell even took an occasional faceoff for Soderberg.
Now, how do we fix that problem? Roy decided to leave Rantanen and Rendulic out of the game for the entire third period — or so it seemed — and they were limited to 7:24 and 7:09 of ice time, respectively. I would just say that’s not the best solution.
One player who could really help this line, in my opinion, is Blake Comeau. He was last night’s best possession player with a Corsi Differential of 7 (not outstanding, but we know the Avalanche isn’t a great possession team) and could really get that line out of their defensive zone. Comeau did just that for the first line last night, but with all due respect, Comeau is not a first-line forward.
Next: Blake Comeau Was a Great Addition