Colorado Avalanche Burgundy and White Game: 3 Things to Watch


Find out what to watch when the Colorado Avalanche host their annual intra-squad Burgundy and White game.

The Colorado Avalanche are hosting their annual intra-squad scrimmage this Sunday, September 25, at the Denver University Magness Arena. The game features Team Burgundy (in home colors) vs. Team White (in away white). It culminates two days’ worth of training camp.

For me, the Burgundy and White game is always a fun jaunt. It’s a chance to see some of the new players and all the old favorites.

This year there’s no chance to see the biggest Colorado Avalanche names. Though Erik Johnson’s and Nathan MacKinnon’s teams have been eliminated from the World Cup, they still don’t rejoin the team until Monday. Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Carl Soderberg and Semyon Varlamov are still on teams in the competition.

Nonetheless, the scrimmage still offers the opportunity for fans to get an inkling of what the season is going to bring. As a bonus, you can be guaranteed the Avs will win!

New System

According to the Avalanche website, the new system is all about support and moving the puck out of the defensive zone. As of yet, the focus doesn’t appear to be on offense or the rush just yet.

It could be that the system is designed as a direct counter to the fact that the Colorado Avalanche were consistently outshot in games.

Now, I’m not sure how this is different from former coach Joe Sacco’s defense-first system. That resulted in the Avs going dead last in the conference and second to last in the entire NHL. Hopefully it’s different enough to yield a different result.

Anyway, the coaching staff and players are focusing on the new system in training camp. Therefore, it should be on full display during the Burgundy and White game.

Defensive Corps

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The Colorado Avalanche defensive corps has a new identity as well. The previous system was built around having a shut-down player paired with an offensive player. Right-handed shots were also paired with left-handed shots.

As stated above, the new system is more about puck moving. It sounds like all players are going to have strong defensive responsibilities.

Colorado has several new faces on the blueline. Patrick Wiercioch is an analytics wiz who came over in free agency. Fedor Tyutin, a Columbus Blue Jackets buy-out, also came over in free agency.

Though not strictly speaking a new face, Eric Gelinas is also impressing at camp. Likewise, Chris Bigras and Nikita Zadorov are sure to have bigger roles this season.

Team Chemistry

Training camp and the preseason are when teams often start working on their chemistry. Of course, the World Cup of Hockey puts a damper on that. Luckily all the players representing have been playing with each other for at least a year.

The Burgundy and White game will be a chance for the prospects to show off their skills. If they can develop some chemistry with the veterans or even each other, they might have a chance of making opening night, or at least going farther into the preseason.

Last season Mikko Rantanen earned the opportunity to play the first few games of the regular season in part because he showed chemistry as part of the Scandinavia line with Gabriel Landeskog and Carl Soderberg. Alas, Rantanen was injured during the Rookie Showcase.

Anyway, the new system is supposed to be all about players earning their jobs. That’s already started with training camp and goes forward with the Burgundy and White game.

The scrimmage starts at 3 pm. Altitude TV will be broadcasting the game.