Colorado Avalanche defenseman Sam Girard might be ready for a postseason breakout when play resumes, which is expected in August.
The Colorado Avalanche have officially entered Phase 2 of the NHL’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. They’re eligible to start using the team’s facilities, in this case the Pepsi Center. They’re going to start on Monday with the following players making up the first sextet:
I was a little surprised to see Donskoi on that list. I knew he was dancing away on Tik Tok, but I didn’t realize that took place here in Denver.
The Avalanche are one of eight teams, four in each conference that will have a bye week when the NHL resumes in Phase 4. They will play against the other three teams in their division — St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, Vegas Golden Knights. Those four teams in the Western Conference were already seeded in the playoff bracket, so they don’t have to participate in the play-in tournament.
So, the Avs are guaranteed a first round of playoffs at least. We here in Avs Nation all think they’re going to go far — Stanley Cup Finals far.
Just a couple of years ago, Colorado Avalanche players didn’t have much in the way of playoff experience, especially those that came up through the system. Defenseman Samuel Girard isn’t one of those exactly, coming as he did in the Matt Duchene trade. But he’s a young player who’s played the lion’s share of his games with the Avalanche.
He could also be a key to their success in the playoffs.
Sam Girard in playoffs past
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Sam Girard has played 12 playoff games, all with the Colorado Avalanche. He should have played more, but he was injured for part of the 2018 playoffs. His lack was felt in that series, against his old team the Nashville Predators. Unfortunately, he didn’t really get his playoffs legs since he was coming back from an injury.
Alas, he was injured for part of last year’s playoffs, too. He did play nine of the team’s 12 games. He recorded just two assists, but he was definitely more of a presence.
He even spent some time as rookie Cale Makar‘s defensive partner. It was so much fun watching them whirl around each other, and they definitely seemed to confuse the opponents. Most pundits don’t think they make a good match, though. Indeed, Girard’s partner all season has been Erik Johnson, while Makar has skated with Ryan Graves.
Sam Girard Playoff Predictions
I think this could be Sam Girard’s year to shine in the playoffs. He’s coming in healthy. He has his longtime D partner. And he’s a little older and a little wiser.
Girard has 34 points on the year. Just four of them are goals, and I don’t know that we’ll see him score a lot on his own. However, he definitely has the puck-moving ability to get plays set up. I’d expect to see his assist numbers climb.
Sam Girard is in Denver, at least according to his dog:
I’m not sure why he didn’t get hooked up in the practice group. You can have only six, but I’m not sure why Girard was the odd man out. Maybe he’s waiting for mon chum, Erik Johnson, to return from California. He does have the right to access Pepsi Center on his own in the mean time.
What do you expect to see from Sam Girard this postseason. Do you think he’ll perform well for the Colorado Avalanche?