On Sports Social, nearly a month ago the team from Altitude TV were talking about the Colorado Avalanche. Specifically what the team would look like when and if the season starts up again. At that time there was still no confirmed details of what opening hockey back up would look like.
They put up the list of the four forward lines the team would have to recommence the season.
And wow! What lines they are.
The top line, of course, would be Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, and Gabe Landeskog. That’s our top line. With everyone fit and healthy there is no way that would change. I agree with the Altitude team on that one.
Each in their own right is a star. Together they are magic and goals on the board.
Given the injuries to Mikko and Gabe this season it would be so great to have them all out there recapturing the dynamic energy they bring to the ice.
Our second line at the start of this season proved just a powerful. They stepped up on the nights the top like was being shut down. How great to have Nazim Kadri, Andre Burakovsky and Joonas Doskoi back together and for them too, reigniting the chemistry they showed when they joined the Avs for this season.
It was interesting watching these three split up and playing on other lines due to the injuries they sustained. That made me appreciate each and every one of them more. The power they bring to the ice is amazing. They break through and are so determined to be in the right place for those scoring shots; not always textbook, but who cares.
A goal is a goal. And a win is a win.
The third line combination is an interesting one. Interesting because of the new kid on the block Namestnikov. He showed in the first few games that he played in an Avalanche jersey before the season got shut down, just what he’s capable of.
We all know that Valerie (Val) Nichuschkin has stepped up and is playing some of his best hockey. This is a line that can make things happen too. JT Compher, whilst he’s showed that every now and then he can perform miracles, he’s the weakest link in this line for me. What do you think?
Then there’s the fourth line: Nieto, Bellamere and Calvert.
This is the line that I love to watch the most. The things these guys do on the ice, phenomenal. Matt Calvert as we know is the 150% go-getter. He’s in there pushing the top players, he’s getting those rebounds and skating with speed. As you can tell, I love this guy.
PE has become my second favourite player. The chemistry between him and Calvert is there. They read each other’s minds. Maybe it is because of their hockey experience. I don’t care. They make things happen on the ice. Great things.
At the start of the season, I wasn’t sure it was a great choice to have kept Matt Nieto. I had my doubts. Yet, he’s showed that with these other two he’s created a dynamic and dangerous fourth line for the Avalanche.
So, the question then is, do you swap out one of the players on the third or fourth lines for Tyson Jost? I know my fellow writer Nadia would say “Of course” because we know she is Jost’s biggest fan.
For me, the answer is no.
In a way, I feel sorry for Jost. He was interviewed by the Altitude crew last week on Sports Social and talked about how he felt he was beginning to excel in his game and get his rhythm. For me his lack of consistency has an impact on the overall team.
He’s not dependable enough for me. Having a few great games doesn’t make for a player that can be relied upon game after game, especially in playoff situations.
So, for me, it’s a ‘no.’ Leave Tyson Jost out of the time and go with the lines that are identified here. And I know that Nadia won’t agree with me on this one.
Of course, in the long run, it’s the coaches decision and I’m sure Jared Bednar will ultimately do what’s best for the team, just as he has done for the past few years.