Colorado Avalanche Go Into Holiday Break with Much to Consider

Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

The holiday roster freeze will be lifted on Wednesday morning at 12:01 am ET, and the Colorado Avalanche have much to consider during the holiday break.

The Colorado Avalanche fortunately ended their last game before the holiday break with a win over the Chicago Blackhawks on this amazing goal:

That’s up there for my favorite goals by Nathan MacKinnon, along with his ankle-breaker against the Minnesota Wild in the playoffs, and his World Cup goal this summer. You gotta love his face after he scores, he was certainly questioning whether or not he even scored.

Nonetheless, even though they were soaring high for a few moments, they still got on that plane with a last place record in the NHL.

The players, coaches and management have a lot to consider during this holiday break.

Joe Sakic Surely Has a lot on his Mind

The Avalanche are floundering at the bottom of the standings, and one win against the ‘Hawks doesn’t change that.

The rumors have been circling around just about anyone on the roster since the collapse happened. Everyone except Nathan MacKinnon of course. Trading him is out of the question for the team.

There is a desperate need of help on the blue line. However, top-two defensemen don’t just grow on trees. Hence why Nashville and Columbus orchestrated that huge trade last season. And, that’s something the Avs need to consider as well. My eye is on Hampus Lindholm.

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The point is, this team needs a shakeup, and there are players available for that shakeup. There was a Gabe Landeskog and Hampus Lindholm rumor over the summer, maybe those rumors start to heat up again.

Gabe Landeskog Needs to Dig Deep

Landy has 9 points in 23 games this season, and he hasn’t looked quite the same since returning from injury.

It appears that he’s starting to get his legs under him, but he still only has 1 point in the eight games he’s played since returning. He also hasn’t notched a point in the last five games, and only has four points in his last 15 games.

He’s on pace for the worst season of his career. Yes, even worse than the lockout/concussion shortened season. That’s unacceptable, especially as the captain.

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So, either Landy starts to dig deep, hits the reset button after the break, and comes out on a tear, or the Avs start shopping his name aggressively.

It appears that anyone is available, but it really needs to be for the right price. And, you don’t trade your captain unless the trade makes perfect sense. It’s really difficult to break up leadership like that, especially midseason.

So, I’m hoping that Landy starts to dig deep and produce, bring some value back to his name, and then the Avs can consider a fire sale at the trade deadline.

Jared Bednar Needs to Inject this team with Passion

The coaches can’t be left out of the deep consideration.

This is of course Bednar’s first year behind an NHL bench, so there has to be some leeway for an adjustment period. However, that period is quickly reaching its end.

Bednar needs to figure out how to get this team to at least play hard every night, and compete every night, even if they aren’t going to win.

If you watch a team like the Carolina Hurricanes — who aren’t very good — you watch a team that competes in each and every game.

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How many games have you turned off this season because you can’t bear to watch a team that doesn’t care?

Bednar needs to figure out how to instill a desire to compete within this group of young men, and it may take some different tactics than he normally uses, or wants to use this early in his career.

So, hop to your study during the holiday break Mr. Bednar. It’s time to buckle down and get this team to play hard and compete every night, even if they aren’t going to win.


The holidays are often a time for reflection. Why do people always make New Year’s resolutions? Or, why do people spend so much time figuring out what gift to give a loved one?

It’s just that time of year I suppose. It’s the time of year when we deeply consider our existence both internally, and as it relates to those around us.

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So boys, do you want to play like a team, or do you want to keep wallowing in the muck?

It’s time to decide. Change is inevitable at this point, but a little panache and fight before the bust-up would be nice to see.

What’s on tap:

The Colorado Avalanche play the Calgary Flames in the Pepsi Center on Tuesday night at 7:00 pm MST. They’ll have another chance at ending the losing streak on home ice. Let’s hope they are able to do it this time.