Colorado Avalanche: Tyson Barrie’s Grade and The ‘Yotes


The Colorado Avalanche hit the ice again tonight, but I promised you fans a midseason grade for Tyson Barrie.

Well, Christmas Day is a busy thing and I just did not have time to write an article on Tyson Barrie for Saturday, so you fans will be getting Barrie’s midseason grade and the game preview in one article today. I’ll start with Barrie.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman, Tyson Barrie, has 22 points in 32 games this season. He also has 4 points in his last 5 games, and he might be on the verge of his breakout.

The Set Up!

If he kept this pace over the remainder of the season he would end up with 54 points in 79 games, which would be one point better than last season, when he dropped 53 in 80. However, at this stage in his career he should be building on his point totals over the next few seasons.

Tyson Barrie is just 24 years old, and he hasn’t even played 300 games at the NHL level, which is generally considered to be the mark that NHL defensemen should reach in order to truly realize their potential.

Even if he played the remainder of this season’s games (which he hopefully will) he would still be 35 games short of the 300 mark. Essentially, I’m saying that Tyson Barrie is on the cusp of his offensive dominance, and it will only get better.

More From Mile High Sticking: Mikhail Grigorenko’s Midseason Grade

Earlier this year, I wrote an article on Tyson Barrie’s Norris potential, and ultimately came to the conclusion that he will win a Norris in the coming years. He is incredible offensively already, and he’s beginning to prove invaluable defensively as well.

Even with a slow start, Tyson Barrie has quietly contributed necessary numbers this season, and he’s found a real niche with Nick Holden as his partner. Nonetheless — even though there is no “worst” category today — there are still some things that Tyson Barrie can improve.

What Can Tyson Barrie Improve?

Obviously, Tyson Barrie is at his best when he’s providing offensive jump, and this generally stems from him skating with the puck and finding open players.

He lead the Avalanche in assists last season with 41, and he’s currently tied with Carl Soderberg for second on the team in assists with 18 this season. Nathan MacKinnon leads the assist category with 19.

He’s also very effective when he’s skating without the puck, and finding open spots on the ice to receive the pass and unleash his dangerously accurate wrist-shot.

He also lead the Colorado Avalanche in the +/- department last season with a +5. That’s pretty impressive considering his partner most of the year in Nate Guenin, and the nature of his game in general.

So you ask me, what can Tyson Barrie improve? Well, the Colorado Avalanche power-play is quite dismal and I’m not putting the entire blame on Tyson Barrie, but offensive defensemen such as himself should thrive on the PP.

More from Mile High Sticking

Tyson Barrie has 1 PP goal this season, yet he has 8 assists on the PP, and 9 of his 22 points with the extra man so he hasn’t been that bad, yet he could certainly do more.

The real area he could improve is with his turnover ratio, especially with his speed and his impressive stick-handling in close. He has 12 takeaways this season, but he has 30(!) giveaways.

With his speed, that’s just unacceptable. He had 47 giveaways all of last season, and he’s on pace for over 60 this season.

Fortunately for Avalanche fans, his offensive game is enough to offset some his of defensive blunders but if he has hopes of winning the Norris, he’ll certainly need to improve his defensive game even more.

Tyson Barrie at His Best

As was mentioned earlier, Barrie is at his best when he’s scoring goals and making other players better, witness:

That play needs to be unequivocally and entirely attributed to Tyson Barrie.

He starts the rush from behind his own goal-line, and takes it all the way over the blue-line before dropping a nice pass to Blake Comeau who then begins the tic-tac-toe that Barrie eventually finishes.

Tyson Barrie methodically skates the puck up the ice before dropping a pass to Comeau and then charging the net hard where he’s ready for the perfect one-touch pass that Carl Soderberg gives him.

Tyson Barrie is beginning to learn that he is at his best when he’s leading the rush, and using his hard skating and speed to create odd man situations.

But, he can also thread the needle with a beautiful pass, check this out:

That pass to Matt Duchene on the break is amazing. He barely has any team to think when he gets the puck, and he makes the immediate decision for a pass to Dutch on the run. The pass is perfectly placed, and Duchene finishes it off with a nice 5-hole jam.

Anyway, Tyson Barrie receives the pass from Gabe Landeskog in the neutral and makes a quick decision to snipe a pass to Dutchy on the break, and Duchene makes no mistake.

These sort of plays are what comprise Tyson Barrie, and he needs to continue this play in order to help the Avs turn the season around.

Midseason Grade

I’ll give Tyson Barrie a B+ because he’s on pace to up his point total. But, he’s yet to shine in my opinion, like his current point total is a matter of being in the right spot at the right time, which is not a bad thing I guess.

But, he has the capability to embarrass anyone on the ice, and I’ve yet to see it really this season. His 22 points are quiet is all I’m saying.

Nonetheless, his offensive abilities still earn him top-tier quality. He just needs a better defensive game and he’ll be one of the best defensemen in this league.

New Year’s Resolution

Tyson Barrie obviously needs to work on his turnover ratio, because -18 is pretty bad as a defenseman, even if your game is offensively orientated.

He could also stand to improve his confidence on the power-play because he could literally dictate the process of the power-play until it works to perfection.

Finally, I want to see him shoot the puck more often because he possesses an extremely fast release surely, but his accuracy is on another level of compete.

More from Avalanche News

Now, let’s move onto tonight’s contest against the visiting Arizona Coyotes because it’s an important outing for the Avalanche. Hopefully, Tyson Barrie will show up tonight and give Colorado Avalanche fans a performance to remember.

Game Preview

The Colorado Avalanche play the Arizona Coyotes tonight. I’m so happy that hockey is back because I hate being apart from it.

— Puck Drop is at 6:00 PM Mountain time tonight.

— Everyone is still on Christmas break so returning to reality seems like a bad dream amongst the haze of a holiday food coma. However, it’s got to happen.

— As much as father’s are meant to delight their kids by being steady fixtures of support and entertainment, the Colorado Avalanche are meant for the same amongst their fans.

— So, here’s to hockey being back, and my short game preview because Tyson Barrie took up most of the space on the page.

And now, a poem to set us up for the rebirth into hockey after the Christmas break. Today, we have Charlie M. joining us with some scorching poetry, like red hair striking against fair skin.

She’s got some nice rhymes, and it’s better than hearing my poetry at the end of the article anyway.

T’was the night of the game,
and the Avs fans sat tight.
The break had been hard,
for there was no hockey in sight.

To come back on the ice,
after five wins and a loss.
Hopefully with fire in their belly,
to show the Coyotes who’s boss.

I know little about hockey,
but I try my best.
Lets get out there Avs,
and put the opponent to rest!

— Charlie M.

Well, that’s all she wrote folks. It’s time to get back to hockey tonight. Last time these two teams met the Avalanche lost in a 4-2 contest that was rather close. The Colorado Avalanche need every win they can get still, and they have no room for error really.

Next: Colorado Avalanche Need to Win the Easy Games

So get crazy tonight Avs fans because this game is an important contest for the Avalanche who will want to stay above .500 hockey for the rest of the year to have any hopes of making the playoffs.

What do you think Avs fans? What Grade should Tyson Barrie have gotten? What New Year’s resolution would you have given him? What can Colorado Avalanche fans expect in tonight’s contest? Let us know in the comments!