The Colorado Avalanche can start to develop their home dominance with a win against the Ottawa Senators tonight.
The Colorado Avalanche are a good home team. Their record is currently 14-7-4 in Pepsi Center this season. That’s certainly respectable.
However, they have it in them to be truly dominant. After all, their quest to beat our St. Louis for the top Central Division spot — which would also mean Best in the West — is so they can earn home ice advantage.
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Home ice advantage is only an advantage if you’re better at home than on the road. Currently, Colorado is 18-9-2 on the road. So, they’ve gotten 65% of the available points on the road and 64% at home. Again, not bad by a long shot.
But not dominant. The Avalanche have it in them to be dominant at home. And it can start tonight against the Ottawa Senators.
Attention to Detail
When the Avs are on the road, they tend to pay better attention to detail. We saw it in all their games except against Philadelphia. In all four of their road wins they were making crisp passes and working hard in the corners.
Maybe the reason they play that way on the road is they have more focus, less distraction. However, they started out the season playing that way even at home. So, hopefully they can get back to that basic in Pepsi Center.
Play as a Team
In a similar fashion, the Colorado Avalanche players also tend to play better as a team on the road. You see the players supporting each other. When a defenseman jumps into the play, a forward takes over more defense.
Part of the rationale may be that the players can just focus on the game instead of what’s going on in their lives. And when you’re on the road, you need to band together.
However, another part of the equation can be that the players can relax into the system instead of relying on in-game coaching. Speaking of…
When the team is on the road, the players don’t have to rely as much on coaching. The home coach has the last line change, so he gets the matchups he wants.
That allows the players to just focus on the systems instead of trying to jump through the hoops of revolving line changes. However, they’ll have to power through that challenge to be a dominant home team.
The Colorado Avalanche didn’t hold a practice yesterday, so we don’t know what’s going on with Nazem Kadri. The center seemed to suffer a lower body injury against the Minnesota Wild. Since there was no practice yesterday, we’re officially on Kadri watch.
Not a fan.
How to Enjoy the Game
Game Time: Feb. 11, 7:00 pm MT
TV: ALT2, TSN5, RDS (Sens’ feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (FM 92.5/AM 950)