Colorado Avalanche Thoughts Following Latest Loss


You know what’s tougher than watching Colorado Avalanche games? Writing about the Colorado Avalanche.

There’s only so many times we can convey our frustrations with the lack of offense depth, the blown leads in the third periods, the amount of shots given up, etc…. There’s only so many times we can question Patrick Roy for playing Nate Guenin or shuffling the lines after every game. You’ve read it a million times on a million different websites or in a million different tweets.

So get ready for a million and one. Here are an Avalanche of thoughts:

*It’s great that Matt Duchene is finally playing like a $6 million man. It’s just a shame that he’s wasting away on a team going nowhere. It’s also a shame that Roy had to move him to the wing with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog to get this out of him. MacKinnon and Duchene should be our 1-2 punch down the middle, but that’s gone right now. Maybe MacKinnon and Auston Matthews can be that dynamic duo.

*The Avs need to trade Semyon Varlamov at any cost. He can still be a #1 goalie, but there’s no sense in paying him $5.9 million for the next four years when Reto Berra is a cheaper option and Calvin Pickard is ready to make the jump. You pay that much for a goalie who can win important games for you when it matters. The Avs and Varlamov aren’t playing important games and when they do, he doesn’t win them.

*The Ryan O’Reilly trade looks terrible right now, but let’s give it a couple of years. We all expected Mikhail Grigorenko to be a top nine forward and Nikita Zadarov to be Tyson Barrie’s defensive partner, but things just didn’t work out this year. I think Grigorenko can still be a valuable offensive player when surrounded by the right guys, but this team doesn’t have the right guys, especially with all the line shuffling Roy does.

Zadarov is better off playing a bigger role in the minors than developing losing habits on a terrible defensive team. O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn would certainly make the team better this year, but the Colorado Avalanche would still be a last place team with far less cap space.

*The O’Reilly trade also doesn’t take into account the fact that the Avs paid Carl Soderberg far less money than they would’ve paid O’Reilly along with the acquisitions of Grigorenko, Zadarov, and others. Soderberg wasn’t good early, but he’s been solid as of late.

*Jarome Iginla deserves a chance to win the Cup, and I hope the Avs accommodate him. Unfortunately, with one year left on his deal after this season, I don’t see many takers for him this year.

*The power play that started so well is now 20th in the league. What’s worse is that, every time the Avs need a power play goal to put the game away, they fail to get it. And then the opponent scores minutes later.

*Chris Wagner has been a solid pick up.

More from Mile High Sticking

*I was excited for the addition of Brandon Gormley, but I can’t say I’ve been thrilled with the results. He’s been paired with Guenin, which certainly doesn’t help, but he’s contributed nothing offensively. At least Stefan Elliott has four points in 11 games for the Coyotes.

*Avs fans like to pretend that there’s a rivalry with the Minnesota Wild, but in reality, they whoop us when it matters. Sure, we beat them on the night that the organization celebrated the 20th Anniversary Team, but they beat us two nights before and managed to get a point on the 20th Anniversary night.

*At least we have two Stanley Cup banners.

*I want more from Gabriel Landeskog. This is our captain. He’s supposed to lead by example, but I rarely see him set a good example. He takes a lot of bad penalties and disappears far too often when the chips are down. He used to a shot-taking, hit-giving machine. Now he just seems very passive.

Next: Observations from Avs vs Penguins

*Roy shouldn’t be fired, but I’d be fine if he gave up his position as Co-General Manager or whatever his title is. It’s extremely tough to balance roster decisions and coaching decisions. Roy needs to focus on one and let Joe Sakic focus on the other. It’s not like he’ll be completely out of the loop.

What do you think the Colorado Avalanche need to improve?