The Colorado Avalanche are showing flashes of solid, disciplined hockey on their four-game road trip. They need to maintain consistency to develop their road identity.
The Colorado Avalanche hit the halfway mark of their East coast road trip with yesterday’s win in New Jersey. That means they’re 1-0-1 so far on the roadie and 2-1-1 so far in road games overall.
Last season the Avalanche dominated at home but tended to flounder on the road. So far, they’re doing a better job of developing a road identity and winning.
Before this four-game roadie, I talked about some of the keys for developing that road identity with the aim of winning more in other buildings. Let’s check in with how the Avs are doing.
Play the Full 60
The Colorado Avalanche are about 50% on this endeavor. The Avs definitely took shifts off in the game against the Rangers. However, they put forth a good effort in the entire game against the New Jersey Devils.
Yeah, no, they’re failing miserably on this key. Penalties took away a lot of their momentum in the Rangers game. The captain, Gabriel Landeskog, also took a full four-minute penalty for high-sticking former Av, Cody McLeod in the schnozz. Poor Cody — his nose is definitely worse for the wear:
In the game against the Devils, Nikita Zadorov laid a beat-down on Pavel Zacha:
Actually, they were a lot better at maintaining their discipline in New Jersey.
Concerning actual game management, I hated their management of the overtime and shootout in New York. A lot of that was coach Jared Bednar’s roster choices. Game management was better in New Jersey, but they still got sloppy here and there — especially in their own net.
As we know by now, J.T. Compher has been put on Injured Reserve with a head injury sustained in the game against the Calgary Flames. He was seen skating in a red no-contact jersey, but he didn’t attend today’s afternoon practice.
Sheldon Dries was recalled from the Colorado Eagles and played against the Rangers, but he sat against the Devils. He’s been sent back to Loveland.
The Colorado Avalanche picked up forward Marko Dano off waivers from the Winnipeg Jets. Dano, an Austrian citizen, had to sort out his immigration papers before joining the team. He’s officially been activated by the Avs. However, he’s not expected to play against the Carolina Hurricanes.
So, moving forward in the East Coast road trip. The Colorado Avalanche have to play their game for the full 60 minutes. That will take game management whether they’re ahead, behind, or tied. I’ve seen them play disciplined hockey — the first two games of the season. We need to see more flashes of that kind of hockey as they round out the next two games on the road.