The Colorado Avalanche need some players to play big roles during the team’s injury-laded three-game road trip.
Tonight the Colorado Avalanche play the first game of their three-game roadie. They’re facing the Canucks in Vancouver.
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Anyway, the Avalanche are suffering through a big spate of injuries to key players:
Ranten, Kadri, and Calvert have been skating in no-contact red with skills coach Shawn Allard, while Grubauer has also been practicing. Burakovsky and Makar are said to be day-to-day.
The Avalanche are 14 points away from falling out of a playoff spot. In other words, it’s unlikely to happen this late in the season, and it’s definitely not going to happen during this road trip.
No, this road trip is important for two other reasons. For one, the Avalanche have been a better road team for some reason. They’ve earned 71% of their possible points on the road, compared to 63% of their possible points at home.
For the other, they’re chasing the St. Louis Blues. They’re perpetually two points back from Best in the West with a game in hand. They already have more regulation wins, so they’d take first place if they matched the Blues in points.
What’s more, they’re currently enjoying a nine-game road win streak. It would be great to see them keep that streak alive in their quest to beat the Blues.
It starts tonight with a handful of players who have to have impact on the team’s success.
It should come as no surprise that our best player is integral to our success. Nathan MacKinnon busted a seven-game slump in the game against the Anaheim Ducks. I am just petty enough to want to see him make a fool of Quinn “I Don’t Know if Anyone Has Been Better Than Me” Hughes.
Yeah, our superstar scorer is exactly the man to teach Hughes a little humility. And, you know, keep propelling the Colorado Avalanche forward.
When that many players are out with an injury, some guys have to step up. That guy in the Avalanche’s case has been Tyson Jost. No Avs player has elevated his game more than Jost.
Since the Kings game on February 22, Jost has been averaging around 17:30 a game. He has two goals and four assists in five games. And by all accounts he has been buzzing.
Not bad for a guy a lot of y’all wanted to trade.
Cale Makar is out, and that sucks. So, we need to look at our other young defenseman to pick up the pace. Samuel Girard doesn’t have quite as much offensive acumen as the missing Makar. However, he can contribute.
And he’s a fast, puck-moving defenseman of the same ilk. The Avs would love to see him ramp up his game.
Mon chum, Erik Johnson, is a two-way defenseman — it’s often forgotten that that was his role. He’s had to play a lot more of a shutdown role in recent years. However, he’s capable of being responsible on both ends of the ice.
He showed that in the game against the Ducks. Colorado would like to see him play the way he has the last couple games.
The Colorado Avalanche’s last seven games have been decided by one goal — six of those in Colorado’s favor. You don’t enjoy one-goal games with a decimated scoring core if you don’t have a great goalie.
We went into this season with Philipp Grubauer as our starter. I’m not saying that’s changed, but Pavel Francouz has been phenomenal in Grubauer’s absence. Since the Avs are missing some of their high-octane fire power, it would be great for Francouz to keep most pucks out of his net.
The Colorado Avalanche play in Vancouver tonight. They’ll then head to California for their final back-to-back of the season. They play in San Jose on Sunday and LA on Monday. Hopefully the above players will have big games during the roadie.