The Colorado Avalanche are undefeated after playing two games. Here are the positives we’ve seen so far.
In two games Colorado Avalanche fans have seen some new faces and some familiar faces. As far as new faces go Matt Calvert, Ian Cole, and Sheldon Dries have already played both games. Philipp Grubauer hasn’t played just yet, but his is expected to start for game 3.
The surprise player to make the team for me has been Dries. With Cole you get what you know and what you paid for. Calvert has found come chemistry with JT Compher and has shocked a lot of Avs fans as a solid addition to the team.
Familiar faces that have looked good the top line (shocker), Compher, Carl Soderberg, Erik Johnson, Samuel Girard, Colin Wilson, and Alexander Kerfoot. I am not going to say the Avs have figured out some of their secondary scoring just yet, but in the first two games Wilson and Compher have two goals and Soderberg has one. Hopefully they keep this up and get even better as the season goes, maybe even getting Sven Andrighetto back from injury will help as well.
So far JT has looked better in the faceoff dot, currently leading the team among centers. After that comes Tyson Jost, Soderberg, and Nathan MacKinnon. Jost looks like he worked hard in the summer to get his skating and his hands better than last season. He and Kerfoot have developed chemistry, still looking for the solid third on their line. Colin Wilson took that place the other night and scored two goals.
The power play second unit has looked better than the first unit, tallying two goals. The penalty kill has been rotating to find who works well together. Calvert shows promise and hustle on the PK unit with great forecheck pressure. Other penalty killers are the same from last season.
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As far as defense goes, EJ and Sammy G have been playing together and it has been working well. Sammy has added weight and has gotten stronger on the puck. He still had his speed and hand which is the most impressive part after adding 16 pounds.
Nikita Zadorov is still throwing his weight around, but continues to figure out how to use his weight to his advantage further. Ian Cole has been a solid 5th D man that you know will not make the stupid plays Avs fans have seen in the past from other players. He has been partners with Nemeth and Mark Barberio, who are the 6 and 7 D-men on the team. It might be interesting to see which defenseman gets the 6th spot but my money is on Nemo, even though he was scratched last night due to an injury.
The defense as a whole looks better letting Semyon Varlamov see the puck and letting fewer shots on goal. Maybe we can keep Varly healthy if he isn’t making 40+ saves per night — here’s to hoping the defense keeps it up.
The forwards have been shooting more as well, even out shooting the opponent. After two games it’s early, but I am liking how the Colorado Avalanche look so far and the additions over the summer. The confidence is still there and the closeness is there still.