Colorado Avalanche Road Trip: 5 Keys to Success

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Where’s the D?

Nov 5, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie (4) and Arizona Coyotes center Boyd Gordon (15) battle for the [uck during the third period at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

With the “non goalie controversy,” defense has become more important than ever for the Colorado Avalanche road trip.

The Avalanche haven’t exactly had trouble scoring goals, not like last season anyway. However, they’ve definitely struggled to score the big goal. Again, that means it falls to the defense to steal a game or two… or seven.

The pieces are there. The top pairing are Erik Johnson and Francois Beauchemin, and they’ve been getting along like a house on fire. They are more than adept at shutting down top lines while providing offense themselves.

Tyson Barrie has had a revolving door of partners, but he’ll probably skate with Nick Holden or Nate Guenin. Or Brandon Gormley. Anyway, Barrie has the offensive firepower, and he’s been Mr. Clutch in the past.

Add Brad Stuart to that mix, and do what you will with it. He and Guenin are decent shut-down guys, and both Holden and Gormley are good puck movers.

Like I said, they just have to come up huge.

(By the way, the sub-heading is a reference to Erik Johnson’s racehorse — that’s the creature’s name.)

So, come on, Colorado Avalanche. You go into this epic road trip dead. You fight every shift and every game to stay alive.

Remember — victory is life.

More from Mile High Sticking:

Semyon Varlamov: Time for a Goalie Change

Calvin Pickard Could Boost the Avs

Why the 20th Anniversary Season is so Disappointing

Avs: Just Do What You Do