The Colorado Avalanche can take two, if not four, points from their latest back-to-back series.
The Colorado Avalanche are embarking on their sixth back-to-back series of the season. The game against the Chicago Blackhawks is number 33 on the year. Yeah, that’s a lot of back-to-backs already.
Colorado will face the Blackhawks in Chicago on Wednesday, fly home, and host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. (By the way, they have another set of back-to-backs next weekend, right after the Christmas holiday.)
The Hawks are currently 13-15-6 and are dead last in the Western Conference. The Hurricanes are 21-11-2 and are third in the Metropolitan Division. Colorado is 21-9-3 and chasing St. Louis for first in the Western Conference.
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But there are no easy games, and the Avalanche have ever had a hard time with teams they should easily beat.
The Avs are coming into the game relatively healthy. They didn’t have a practice yesterday, not least because their plane out of St. Louis was delayed until 4:00 am. I know they’re on chartered flights, but they don’t have actual beds in those planes.
Anyway, no practice, so we don’t know if Cale Makar or Erik Johnson will be able to play with the Avs when they return to Denver. Both defensemen have been skating on their own, though they’re officially still on IR. That said, the forward corps seems to still be healthy (fingers crossed).
So, Colorado is facing a Central Division foe they’ve already beat twice this season followed by their first matchup with the Hurricanes. It’d be nice for the Avs to take both games, but I think we’d all be satisfied with at least one win.
So, let’s look at some keys to the games.
A few years ago it seems like every time I wrote one of these posts I was exhorting the Colorado Avalanche to play a full 60 minutes. Well, I’d still like to see that miracle, but now my focus is on turnovers.
I’m fed up with the turnovers. Again and again the Avs gain possession just to give it right back to their opponents. They’re especially egregious in the defensive zone, where the opponent can immediately create a scoring chance or even, you know, score.
If only the Avs could eliminate defensive zone turnovers, I’d forgive them the others.
Tyson Jost Score
I want to see Tyson score again. That’s it. That’s the section.
The Colorado Avalanche would be a lot better off if they could play defense as a five-man unit. That’s how they play offense, with so many defensemen pinching in to make plays. That’s how they should play defense, too.
Man, it was rough watching the Avs against the Blues because the latter are so better at supporting each other in all zones. They could force turnovers and immediately create chances out of them because they were working as five-man units.
If the Avs could implement a similar plan with their superior offense, they’d be near unstoppable.
How to Enjoy the Games
Wednesday Game Time: Dec. 18, 6:00 pm MT
TV: NBCSN, TVAS
Radio: Altitude Radio (AM 950)
Thursday Game Time: FS-CR (‘Canes’ feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (AM 950)
Wednesday marks the third of four meetings between Colorado and Chicago. Thursday is the first of two meetings with Carolina.