Colorado Avalanche are Losing on Home Ice Because of Negligence

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche have now lost their last six home games with a startling record of 0-5-1 during that span. They only have their negligence to blame too.

Well, did anyone expect the Colorado Avalanche to beat the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night? Me either…

The game was close at least…

And hey, Matt Duchene found a way to put the puck in the net on home ice!

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He notched two goals, and is now tied with Nathan MacKinnon for the team lead in points. Duchy is also now on pace for 39 goals this season. That would be awesome…

Still, it was a loss. And the Avs can’t keep losing at home. Furthermore, they really only have their own negligence to blame for their lack of wins at home.

The Avs are Taking Too Many Penalties

I know what you’re thinking. The Avs actually played really well last night. They only allowed 25 shots against, put up 29 themselves, won 57 percent of the face-offs, and matched the Flyers in penalty minutes with 11.

However, it is that final stat that is the most disconcerting. The Avs lead the league in penalty kills per game with 3.89. They have actually taken more penalties on the road than at home, and their PK percentage is better at home as well.

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However, in the game against the Oilers the Avs took three penalties in the final frame, and we all know how that went.

Luckily in the game against the Flyers, none of the penalties came back to bite them in the ass. Still, the rate at which the Avs are shorthanded is entirely unacceptable. At the very least, the amount of penalty minutes disrupts momentum for the Avs, and at the worst, it puts them in situations where deficits are difficult to overcome.

But, it’s not only penalty minutes that are hurting the Avs.

The Avs Need Better Defensive Zone Coverage

The Avs also don’t seem to have a grip on their odd-man rushes against, or their defensive coverage.

Video time:

Video breakdown:

  • When the Flyers are coming through the neutral zone — pause the video at the two second mark — every player is covered. Duchene has the trailer, and the remaining Avs players are in a kind of box of four ready to take on the four Flyers streaking through the zone.
  • Then, as the Flyers enter the offensive zone — pause the video at the three second mark — Michael Del Zotto slips by Mikhail Grigorenko back door, and Grigs continues to watch the puck. He’s focusing on Jakub Voracek rather than the back-door man.
  • Del Zotto slips by for a relatively easy goal.

But just in case you thought that was it, here’s another:

Video breakdown:

  • First of all, this goal is atrocious. It all starts when Nikita Zadorov gets beat at the Flyers’ blue line while they exit the zone — pause it at the four second mark and you’ll see Wayne Simmonds blow by Zadorov (Simmonds may have gotten away with a little hip-check).
  • However, the neutral zone coverage lacks support on the boards behind Zadorov, so once Zads misses his man, it’s basically over — pause the video at the six second mark and you’ll see what I mean.
  • Of course, Simmonds gets a breakaway, and scores another rather easy goal. And, it’s all because the Avs struggled providing transition defense, just like the first goal I showed.

Negligence, and negligence that can’t be remedied without some help on the blue line. Erik Johnson’s injury is starting to plague the Avalanche in the worst of ways.


The Colorado Avalanche need to be better at discipline because they actually have some rather encouraging stats otherwise. For example, only two teams have less giveaways than them this season. They are also ninth overall in the league in takeaways. They also have the second best face-off percentage in the entire league.

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Furthermore, they are also the second most unlucky team in the entire league, with a PDO well below 100. There is reason for optimism. Still, the Avs give up the first goal at an astronomical rate, and quite simply can’t be expected to win unless they start taking some initiative in their performance.

What’s on tap:

The Florida Panthers come to town on Friday for a game at 7:00 pm MST in the Pepsi Center before the Avs head back out on the road for two games.

The Avs cannot let this winless streak extend to seven games. I don’t have anything else to say on the matter.