The Colorado Avalanche have an excellent bottom six of forwards comprised of a solid mix of player types.
The Colorado Avalanche have a relatively set first two lines. You might see a little movement in the second line, with players cycling in and out. However, you know primarily who is possible to make the top six.
The bottom six is less settled. Generally, those two lines are a little less settled. However, the Avalanche have such a plethora of talent that cracking even the bottom two lines is difficult.
It’s a pleasant “problem” to have from the team’s perspective.
The Avs have a good mixture within those NHL-ready forwards. Though we saw some consistency last season in the actual line formation, by nature they simply change too much. So, let’s look at some of the types of forwards the Avalanche can ice for the bottom six.
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The Colorado Avalanche are lucky in that they have players who might make the second line on another team. They have skilled players who dress for a bottom-six role.
Joonas Donskai is a good example of one such. He often does flirt with the second line, especially since he can skate and has a skilled shot. However, he’s a third-liner on this Avs team.
Best buds J.T. Compher and Tyson Jost fit this bill, too. Compher is a power skater who makes clutch goals. Jost has been working hard to transition into the two-way forward Colorado needs in the bottom six.
Valeri Nichushkin, whose play last season earned him a new contract and a fresh start at the NHL, lands in this category, too. He’s a big presence who can skate and who seems to have found his scoring touch again after a very long drought.
The other main category of forwards for the bottom six might be called grinders or journeymen on another team. However, the pair have something in common — they’re heart-and-soul types of players. These men are Matt Calvert and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.
Both of these players have sacrificed the body for the team. They’re also players who have dropped the gloves for the Avalanche.
What’s important to note about Calvert and Bellemare is that neither puts up big offensive numbers. However, their presence is sorely missed when they’re out of the lineup.
The Colorado Avalanche can ice an excellent team whenever the season starts up — January 13 is the latest rumor. They have a lethal top line and excellent second line, not to mention their stellar defensive corps. The bottom six, though, are the glue that hold the team together.