Colorado Avalanche: What’s Happening That’s Oh So Wrong?

Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche are quite literally the most embarrassing team in the entirety of the NHL this season. So, what is so wrong with the team?

It’s probably impossible to answer that question for the Colorado Avalanche honestly, just because there are so many problems this team is facing, but I’ll give it a shot.

It starts with a 2-9-1 record in the last 12 games.

However, it certainly does not end there.

The Avs quite honestly represent the worst of the NHL, and there’s really no getting around that:

That list is just absolutely ridiculous, and it’s a pretty clear representation of what is going wrong for the Avs this season. And it really comes down to a couple things:

  • The Avs need to get the puck out of their own zone.
  • The Avs need to be able to maintain puck possession in the opposing team’s zone.

Puck Possession Explained in Relation

It’s not really just as simple as puck possession because obviously — as you can see above — there are myriad issues impacting the Avs right now.

However, puck possession is generally a good representation of how a bunch of factors can contribute to one stat capable of measuring on-ice success. I’m not saying that puck possession is the ultimate stat, but it certainly paints a rather interpretable picture.

More From Mile High Sticking: Avs Keys to Success Against the Wild

A team that gives up a lot of shots, and doesn’t take many themselves obviously has an issue with puck possession. A team that scores the fewest amount of goals in the league, but gives up the most obviously has an issue with puck possession.

A team that can’t score the first goal for the life of them obviously has an issue with puck possession.

Simple as that, let’s move on.

Getting the Puck out of Their Own Zone

I believe the system is in place for this team to effectively get the puck out of their own zone. It’s simple, it’s based on short crisp passes, and it uses a five man support system.

However, beyond Erik Johnson, Nikita Zadorov and maybe Tyson Barrie, MAYBE…the Avs don’t have a defenseman that can get the puck out of the zone.

More from Mile High Sticking

I think it’s really only confined to Erik Johnson in that regard, but Barrie and Zadorov have a lot of potential. They just need some more support on the blueline. Although, I wouldn’t mind seeing Barrie in another uniform next season.

Obviously this team needs to pick up another blueliner, and a good one at that because otherwise the forwards will never get the puck. And that’s been the case for the past three years, the Avs just can’t get the puck to their forwards.

Maintaining Puck Possession in the Opposing Team’s Zone

Once again, the system is in place. This is a team of extremely fast and skilled players, and it’s a system built on speed. However, the Avs are constantly losing the puck in the neutral zone and along the boards in the opposing team’s zone.

So, as much as this is about the necessity for the defensemen to get the forwards the puck with more consistency, it’s also concerning that the Avs don’t seem to be winning the one-on-one battles.

Unfortunately, that’s not really a stat that can be quantified, but Adrian Dater did kind of hit the nail on the head.

Regardless, there is still a glaring issue with maintaining control of the puck in the other team’s zone. It seems to be an issue of getting into the zone to begin with.

However, even once they get in, they never stay in the opposing team’s zone for long. So, that’s either an issue of pursuit without desire, or some sort of forechecking problem, and maybe they’re related.

Either way, something has got to give.


It’s hard to watch huh? It’s not like I even get excited for Avs’ games anymore, I sort of just feel obligated to watch.

I mean, I do have to write about them, but it’s also just a fan love that forces me through the pain.

There’s a lot of talk about the Avs and the changes they will make out there right now. Change is inevitable for this team. The only question is when it will happen.

Next: Avs Face the Wild Looking for Dignity

Just know that it will happen in some form or another.

What’s on tap:

The Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche play at 6:00 pm MST in the Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday night. The Wild are on fire right now, and by that I mean that Devan Dubnyk is on fire right now.

Maybe the Avs will get their third win of the season against the Wild and maintain some shred of dignity.

Maybe not…

That’s all for today folks, thank you for stopping by.