Colorado Avalanche: Matt Calvert may Turn into our Unsung Hero

CALGARY, AB - APRIL 13: Colorado Avalanche Right Wing Matt Calvert (11) smiles during warm ups before Game Two of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs where the Calgary Flames hosted the Colorado Avalanche on April 13, 2019, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB - APRIL 13: Colorado Avalanche Right Wing Matt Calvert (11) smiles during warm ups before Game Two of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs where the Calgary Flames hosted the Colorado Avalanche on April 13, 2019, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Colorado Avalanche role player Matt Calvert can just turn into our unsung hero for Round 2. Find out why.

The Colorado Avalanche have heroes aplenty. We have superstar Nathan “MVP” MacKinnon, our Viking captain Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen (🎶I said Mikko Rantanen🎶). Our captain of the blueline Erik Johnson, rover Tyson Barrie…

However, sometimes in the playoffs you also have unsung heroes. These are the players who don’t put up big numbers. Maybe they don’t even show up well on the analytics sheets. But they play with so much heart and character that they provide that little bit of difference in important games.

In Round 1, we saw Matthew Nieto become a character player for Colorado. He scored two goals — both short-handed — and recorded two more assists for a total of four points.

That’s not to say Nieto can’t continue to be an important factor in Round 2. However, successful teams see different players step up.

I’m beginning to think Matt Calvert might become that player for the Avalanche.

There’s no question Calvert is a heart and soul kind of guy. The Avs acquired him in free agency last summer. He was never meant to be a high-scorer. Indeed, this season marked a career-high for him in points — 26 (11 goals, 15 assists).

Matt is the kind of player who makes a difference in the little ways. He did get into six fights this season. However, all of them were scrums that helped promote the team’s heart. None of them were ill-timed affairs that ultimately hurt the Avs — which is more than a certain bearded defenseman can say.

Calvert also secured a spot, however minor, in Avalanche history when he became involved in this:

Now, for reference, you can see the opponent is the once-rival Detroit Red Wings. The rivalry may be a thing of the past, but you see blood still runs hot when the two teams meet.

What’s more, the player who removes his glove to suckerpunch Calvert is Tyler Bertuzzi, nephew of Todd Bertuzzi. The elder Bertuzzi is infamous for having ended Avs rookie Steve Moore’s career with a far more vicious suckerpunch. Young Tyler did get suspended two games for that dirty play.
I’m also hoping he got a nasty spear in the gut when Calvert jammed his stick into the bench.

Matt also essentially saved the Colorado Avalanche’s season with his so-brave blocked shot:

I’m 99.9% certain he had no intention of blocking the shot with that part of his body. And, as he was writhing on the ice in agony, he was probably hating every single decision in his life that had led to that moment. However, that blocked shot meant the Avs had made the playoffs.

He also did his best to resurrect the mullet:

That’s some hair bravery.

The first round of the playoffs weren’t exactly uneventful for Calvert. He was second only to Nikita “I Bring the Chaos” Zadorov in penalty minutes with 14. However, the majority of Matt’s penalty minutes came in Game 3 when he earned two minutes for roughing up Sam Bennett (which I support) and a 10 minute misconduct for the same play. Bennett incurred the same.

Matt also earned an assist in Game 4 on JT Compher’s goal.

Next. Top 5 Moments from Round 1. dark

So, I think the 29-year-old Matt Calvert is the type of veteran the Colorado Avalanche can count on to provide the right kind of heart play. He can become their unsung hero in Round 2.