Tis the season to be jolly but also real about a few things that would be nice to see from the Colorado Avalanche the rest of the season.
It’s that time of the year again, where we all ask Santa Claus for our wishes to come true, but you can also do that with your favorite team (in this case, the Colorado Avalanche) – though I don’t guarantee that them, just like Santa, will fulfill your wishes. It’s worth the try, right?
With a few exceptions here and there, I am quite pleased with the Avs performance this season so far, but there are a couple of things I’d like to see (and probably you too).
1. More Philipp Grubauer
Sure, Semyon Varlamov has been at the top of his game most nights, and currently stands at #19 among goalies in the NHL (with a save percentage of .913), but a common mistake, and a highly overlooked one in the NHL, is to rely heavily on their number one goalies, eventually burning them out. Just take a look at New York and Henrik Lundqvist.
If the Avs want their goaltending to be a tough one to break, they need to balance how often they start Varlamov and Grubauer. If you are into numbers, Grubauer is #29 with a save percentage of .905. Not bad at all.
All we are saying is give Grubi a chance.
2. Don’t Fix It If It Ain’t Broken
Remember when coach Bednar decided to break the top line and quickly realized he shouldn’t have done that? Exactly. Don’t go all experimental on the lines if they are working well and producing goals.
The Colorado Avalanche’s top line continues to lead the league in points (153 to be precise) so there really isn’t anything to “fix” there. Nor is there in the other lines. Remember when we talked about scoring depth? The second, third, and fourth line don’t need major changes, though a minor switch like putting Alexander Kerfoot on the second line with J.T Compher and Colin Wilson is not a bad one, even if that means that Tyson Jost gets to visit the fourth line for a while.
And speaking of the fourth line…
3. Stop Scratching Sven Andrighetto
This might just be me, but I believe in it. Great things can happen when we have Sven Andrighetto on the ice – but obviously, they won’t happen if they don’t give him the chance.
Last season (his second in an Avalanche jersey), he recorded a career high 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) despite being out for weeks with an injury. So far this season, Andrighetto has four points in 20 games played.
This “healthy scratch” situation reminds me of Nail Yakupov, whom I miss terribly and who was, in my humble opinion, a valuable asset. Please, Avalanche: don’t do the same to Andrighetto.
4. Stay Healthy
More from Mile High Sticking
- Could Colorado Avalanche move on from Pavel Francouz next offseason?
- 4 goalies to replace Pavel Francouz if he has to miss time
- Colorado Avalanche make sneaky signing with Tatar
- Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog could return in 2023-24 playoffs
- Colorado Avalanche rookie face-off tournament roster
Every hockey fan wishes they could cast a protection spell on their team because injuries can go deeper than just something physical: depending on the player, the power play and penalty kill units can be seriously affected and, well, we all know those are very important.
The new addition to the list of injured Avalanche players is Colin Wilson, with an upper body injury sustained during last night’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Another key member of the team who is currently dealing with an injury is defenseman Nikita Zadorov. The team will manage to survive, yes – but their absence will be felt.
So please, boys: stay healthy.
5. Keep Proving Them Wrong
While many are still recovering from that season we don’t talk about and others are still processing last season’s comeback, the Colorado Avalanche are fighting to stay among the top teams in the Western Conference.
At the time of this writing, the Avalanche are sitting on the third spot in the Central Division and are #4 in the Western Conference. Not bad for the team that many people turn their backs to.
And maybe, just maybe, if the previous wishes come true, this one will work its own magic.
Before Christmas arrives and we wait for our wishes to come true, the Colorado Avalanche will face the Arizona Coyotes tonight in their first stop in a two-game road trip.