Oct 30, 2015; Raleigh, NC, USA; Colorado Avalanche head coach Patric Roy (C) looks on from behind the bench during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Hurricanes won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
7. Colorado Avalanche
Previous Rank: –
October Record: 3-6-1
Despite the team’s rough start, head coach Patrick Roy keeps saying the team is on the right track. Well, he does want them to shoot more and get less shots against, but he does not seem to change anything but the lineup to do so.
The biggest bright spot is center Nathan MacKinnon. Only 10 games into the season, it seems like the 20-year-old is past his sophomore slump. Whether he is on a line with Alex Tanguay and Gabriel Landeskog or with Tanguay and Jarome Iginla, MacKinnon is looking more and more like the superstar he is supposed to be. He is on pace for 82 points and the Avalanche’s top-scoring forward.
The 2015-16 campaign is turning out to be the same old defensive horror story. Nate Guenin is still on the roster and actually finds himself in the lineup for most games, and the forwards are not really helping either. The Avalanche is last in the league in even strength Corsi-For Percentage at 40.3 percent. At 46.0 percent — which is bad but well ahead of the Avalanche — the Detroit Red Wings rank 29th in this category.
Obviously, the Avalanche’s possession numbers need to improve. Roy may refuse to call it Corsi, but at least he realized that something about those numbers needs to change. In the NHL’s strongest division, the playoffs seem impossible, but that doesn’t mean you cannot improve as a team. Simplify the game, reduce turnovers, shoot more — and it will look much better already.
Next: #6 - Chicago Blackhawks