The Colorado Avalanche were feeling good about their record last week. But two road losses have brought some changes to the line up.
The Colorado Avalanche did not feel good about their last two road games. They scored only two goals, one each in losses to the Nashville Predators and the Dallas Stars. Some Avalanche line up changes are expected in the next couple of games.
It’s early in the season why would they want to make changes. For one, some of the new additions are still trying to find their footing early in the season. What’s more, with so many rookies, the coaching staff can’t know exactly what they have in each player.
Likewise, the players will want to try and beat last seasons bad habits. They were guilty of a lot of turnovers and defensive breakdowns in the last two games, especially the one against the Nashville Predators. Changing lines and defensive pairings can help break this cycle.
The team is trying to switch things up, maybe bring in a little spark. Colorado is ranked 9th with 20 goals, but they are 30th in shots. Those stats are both good and bad in the sense that they are scoring goals with fewer shots.
Now rookie Tyson Jost is moving to the first line. He’ll be skating with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. The idea is to take advantage of speed and skill on the top line.
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Sven Andrighetto, who’s one of the scoring leaders on the team, will be skating on the second line with Matt Duchene and Nail Yakupov.
Alexander Kerfoot, who had been Duchene’s winger, will return to his natural center position. According to coach Jared Bednar, the plan was always to get slowly transition Kerfoot into being a center. Tonight marks his first stab at it in the NHL.
The fourth line consists of Colin Wilson, Carl Soderberg, and Blake Comeau. The latter should be skating on thin ice (pun intended) with the speedier and more skilled Matt Nieto waiting in the wings (pun intended).
For defensive pairings, the top pairing of Erik Johnson and Nikita Zadorov is staying intact for the time being. Both made a lot of defensive errors in the Nashville game, but presumably the hope is that the veteran Johnson can correct them and lead the way for Zadorov.
Anton Lindholm stepped in for Patrik Nemeth, who injured his shoulder fighting ex-teammate (and continued enemy?) Tyler Seguin. With Nemeth returning to the lineup and back to partnering Tyson Barrie, Lindholm is dropping to the third pairing. He’ll be joined by Mark Barberio. That leaves Chris Bigras with his first healthy scratch of the season and Andrei Mironov with his seventh.
The Colorado Avalanche have plenty of speed and skill in their line up. They’ve even outscored the opponents 18-10 so far in the season. They maybe trying to avoid a meltdown like last season. Sometimes switching up the line up adds much needed energy.
Every game is important, every point counts. Colorado is trying to break habits from the last few seasons before they start. It’s all about finding chemistry among the line mates. All teams mix and match to find what works. There could be other changes later on.