The Colorado Avalanche need to get some help from their secondary scorers if they want to sustain any win streaks — or even stay above .500 hockey.
We’re all in awe of Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon. It’s like a switch turned in him this season, and he’s living up to his potential. He had a magical November with 20 points in 12 games, and he has 30 points in 21 games. In fact, he pretty much single-handedly put the Florida Panthers away with two goals in last night’s game — the only two goals of the game, by the way.
As superstar quality as MacKinnon is, the Avalanche cannot count on him, or even him and his line, for all the scoring. Not if they want to win hockey games. Colorado is now one game above .500. If they want to stay in the black, they’ll need to get some scoring from the following six forwards.
Carl Soderberg is on the very reliable checking line, and you don’t expect to get a lot of scoring from your checking line — their job is to wear down the other team. However, when you have a whole line of rookies, and a sophomore is your second-best scorer, your checkers are going to have to pitch in some.
Soderberg has four goals and nine assists for 13 points in 28 games. He got just one more point than that in 80 games last year, so it’s safe to say he’s improved. However, he’s only had one goal in the last 12 games, and that was an empty-netter.
Matthew Nieto is Soderberg’s cohort on the checking line. He’s known for being an industrious forward. He’s never been a high scorer, but he’s another one who needs to chip in.
Nieto also seems to have a case of the Joe Colbornes — his first career hat trick was his only goals contribution to the team for 20 games. In the 20 games since that hat trick, he’s recorded just one goal. Like Soderberg’s it was an empty netter.
Oh, Sven Andrighetto is officially in a slump. He doesn’t have a goal in the last 14 games. In that span of time, he has just two assists. This is not the speedy scorer we enjoyed at the end of last season.
In fact, Andrighetto was a healthy scratch fro a game. Since then, his play has been a lot better. He’s been getting some good looks. Hopefully he’s the kind of player who scores in bunches — and one of those scoring streaks is around the corner.
Colin Wilson‘s start with the Colorado Avalanche was brutal. He didn’t score a goal in his first 10 games with the team, and he only recorded three assists in those games. In the 12 games since then, he’s scored three goals and earned another assists.
Wilson is a better player than that. He’s got good offensive abilities. Last year with the Nashville Predators he recorded 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) in 70 games. Right now he’s on pace to earn just 23 points.
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It’s so obvious that Tyson Jost doesn’t have his NHL legs yet. His talent and skill are clear, but he hasn’t been able to convert that very well this season. He’s been hampered by two big issues this year — injury and inconsistent linemates.
The young rookie has just four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in 15 games. That’s not a horrible pace for a 19-year-old rookie. Likewise, he’s been trending up, recording a goal and an assist in the last two games. Also, he’s back to forechecking like a bulldog, so I think good things are going to start happening for him.
J.T. Compher hasn’t had a goal in the last seven games. For the season, he has 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in 25 games. He’s been up and down the lineup, playing a lot with fellow rookie Alexander Kerfoot. Lately he’s been lining up with Jost a lot.
Compher is so close to scoring. He has a breakaway pretty much every game and has been some good chances besides. Like Jost, he’s been pretty true to his game lately.
You don’t expect the players above to be scoring every singe game. However, since December 1, when Compher last scored, only Wilson and Jost have been trending in the right direction. Avs games have mostly been the Nathan MacKinnon show, also featuring his sidekick Mikko Rantanen.
Ideally, I’d like to see one of the above players scoring at least every couple games as well as racking up a few assists. That’s going to be a better recipe for success for the Colorado Avalanche.