The Colorado Avalanche have collected six out of a possible eight points to start out the 2018-19 season. That’s a good beginning they can build on.
The Colorado Avalanche have had a solid start to their 2018-19 campaign. They’re not undefeated, but they’re continuing to show some good play.
The Avs have played two games at home — winning both — and two games on the road. They split the road trip, dropping the decision in Columbus but routing the Buffalo Sabres.
Something I wanted to see the team do was develop a road identity. It’s imperative that they continue with their strong start to lay a solid foundation of points for a tough battle in the Central Division. And part of that foundation is going to be comprised of road points by necessity — seven of their 12 October games are on the road.
So, let’s look at how the Colorado Avalanche are looking and what they have ahead of them.
Colorado Avalanche Stats
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The Colorado Avalanche currently lead the Central Division. No big deal. Except it’s super cool! I know it’s way too early to worry about standings, but, like I said, it’s never too early to worry about collecting points.
After last night, the team is tied for fourth place in the NHL for power play percentage with 33.3%. They’re in second place for penalty killing with 94.7%.
Semyon Varlamov has a .955 save percentage and 1.33 goals against average through three games. His three wins puts him as an NHL leader.
Believe it or not, MacKinnon doesn’t lead the team in points — that honor goes to Mikko Rantanen and his seven points (1 goal, 6 assists). No surprise, Nate’s five goals do lead the team, and he is second overall on the Avs with six points.
Interestingly, and perhaps happily, two secondary scorers take up positions three and four. Carl Soderberg (happy birthday, Carl) is third on the team with five points (3 goals, 2 assists), and Alexander Kerfoot is fourth, also with five points (1 goal, 4 assists). Erik Johnson rounds out the top-five with four assists, and I’m delighted to see that.
The Avalanche’s second line of Tyson Jost, Colin Wilson, and Alexander Kerfoot has some ridiculous Corsi, if you’re into that kind of thing. 69.2% for Wilson, 68.8 for Jost, 62.8 for Kerfoot. They’re the team leaders followed by Johnson (59.5) and Girard (53.7). Relative Corsi is 23.9 for Wilson, 24.6 for Jost and 17.9 for Kerfoot.
What’s Next for the Colorado Avalanche
As noted, the Colorado Avalanche are going to be spending a lot of time on the road in the next couple weeks. They have a home game on Saturday against the Calgary Flames before they head off to the East Coast for four games.
After their East Coast sojourn, the Avs have a couple home games again — including Matt Duchene’s return on October 26. In fact, that game is the first game of their first back-to-back. It’s a bit of a gnarly one that sees the Avs play at home then head to Minnesota.
Weirdly, the Wild are the only Central Division team that the Avs play all month, and they play Minny twice. Another weird thing — after the Minny game on October 27, the team has four days with no games to finish out October. I guess they’ll have time for some epic Halloween costumes — hopefully they share on Instagram.
Final note, the team has sent Sheldon Dries up to Loveland to join the Colorado Eagles. That’s not too surprising. He had a nice stay here in Denver that included three NHL games and an engagement. He didn’t look too out of place in his three games, but obviously not comfortable enough to stay in Denver.
For now, Vladislav Kamenev remains the Avs’ lone rookie. He didn’t necessarily look so great in his single game, but the team is committed to giving him a chance.