Colorado Avalanche: Is Jared Bednar on the Hot Seat?

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 22: Jared Bednar of the Colorado Avalanche talks to his players during a time out during a game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on December 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 22: Jared Bednar of the Colorado Avalanche talks to his players during a time out during a game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on December 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche have been in an outright free fall in the last couple of weeks. Is Jared Bednar at fault?

The Colorado Avalanche may have a coaching problem.

Now, first things first. I am the last person in the world that will blame a coach for a team’s failures. The reason being, is because in the end, the coaches can’t lace up their skates and get out on the ice. The players are the ones who have to execute every single shift.

The best coach in the world, who could draw up the most perfect of plays, and have the greatest means of motivating a team, could fail. It’s all about the players who have to listen and transfer his gameplan into the game. With that being said, I do believe as a team, the Colorado Avalanche have a strong locker room and are willing to play for the coach.

This is where I bring up Jared Bednar. I like Jared Bednar as a person. He seems to be a well-liked guy in the locker room and at the very least he seems respected. I’ve loved some of my own coaches before but hated the decisions they made on the ice, where on the contrary I have also hated coaches on a personal level but loved the way they coached a game.

If everything was right in the world, the Colorado Avalanche would have a coach that they admire and a coach who, if asked to jump off a bridge, the players would respond with “How far?” due to their belief in everything he has to say.

The issue at hand is, the Colorado Avalanche do not have that coach. As recently as January 9th against the Calgary Flames, it was the argument heard around the world between Jared Bednar and Nathan Mackinnon. As we know now, they both explained how much they respect each other and emphasized how it wasn’t a big deal.

Let me tell you, it was.

I’ve been in conversations at the end of a game where my coach drew up a play, and I hated the play. It happens. But it seems Nathan Mackinnon’s outburst wasn’t directed at just one moment, albeit he did say it was about pulling the goalie, but the way he reacted seemed as if he had a few things bottled up in his mind.

One thing is for sure, if there was really any issue between Mackinnon and Bednar, Bednar would be gone faster than Nathan Mackinnon can skate down the ice. But there isn’t a major issue, just a possible philosophical issue.

I tend to agree with the frustration of Mackinnon here.

There are times where Bednar may pull a goalie too early or too late, but that’s not an issue to me. How about we don’t pull our goalie at all? Why don’t we just lead at the end of games? That’s where I have some issues with Jared Bednar.

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I’m going to pick on Matt Nieto here a little bit -it’s something I really don’t want to do because I actually like what Nieto brings to the team, but it is necessary to get my point across. But it’s really Jared Bednar i’m complaining about.

If you’re going to break up the top line-which as we noticed, doesn’t work- the first player to replace Landeskog should not be Matt Nieto. Yes I understand he’s fast, but he just does not have the skill to play up there. Give a guy like Alexander Kerfoot or J.T. Compher or dare I even say it, Tyson Jost-who for that matter is far from a bust- a chance on the top line. For more than three shifts.

Matt Nieto is a perfect fourth line guy who can kill penalties. The other guys who have been given shots on that fourth line recently include the likes of Gabriel Bourque, Sheldon Dries. The biggest issue I have with this fourth line is how Bednar plays them.

In the Colorado Avalanche’s game against the Nashville Predators, the Avalanche were down two goals in the third period. Jared Bednar sent this line out with somewhere around 15 minutes left. I bit my tongue and figured it would be their last shift. It wasn’t. They were again, sent out there with 7 and a half minutes left in a game the Avalanche most desperately needed.

Next. Losing Streak Should Put Bednar on the Hot Seat. dark

We have three current lines, that, as of late, are playing strong and can put the puck in the back of the net. Obviously the top line is head and shoulders above the other two, but the likes of Compher, Wilson, Soderberg and Andrighetto, Kerfoot and Calvert comprise two quality NHL lines. They are in good enough shape to shorten the bench in the times of need.

The fourth line should not be playing in the third period anytime the Avalanche are down by more than a goal.

As far as I was concerned, this was the breaking point for Jared Bednar.