3 most important players for a Colorado Avalanche victory over the Jets

Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche
Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
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The Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets kickoff their best-of-7 series on Sunday in Winnipeg. Despite winning their last game of the regular season, against the Edmonton Oilers, the Avalanche struggled at the end of the regular season, which, with this roster, there could be cause for concern as we enter the 2023-24 NHL Playoffs.

They went 2-4 in their final six games of the regular season, but defeated the Oilers twice in that time.

That being said, players will have to step up big time. I’ll be honest, there have been plenty of times this season where I felt the Avalanche have underperformed. This is the time where the Avs need to get over that and play their hearts out. This is where it all matters and why they play the game. It is playoff time.

Three players stand out in my mind when thinking about who needs to step up the most if the Colorado Avalanche want to advance to the second round of the 2023-24 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

1. Alexandar Georgiev

I’ll be honest, although Georgiev had the most wins by any goalie during the 2023-24 NHL season with 38, I haven’t been too excited about him. He just seems to let in so many goals some games. I know that is part of hockey, but personally I do not feel like we are getting the best out of our goaltender situation.

This absolutely needs to change in the playoffs. Even though Justus Annunen had been put into games as the starter against “weaker” teams, I have been very impressed by how he has handled his role on the team. I really thought that Annunen would get the Game 1 start and maybe he would have if the Avalanche start him in the last game of the season.

Georgiev had a save percentage of .897, and allowed 183 goals in 63 games, a goals-against average of 3.02.

The defense also has to step up its game to not leave Georgiev out there to dry. Not every one of the goals against was Georgiev’s fault. Combined with turnovers at the blue line and players being out of position, we should give Georgiev a bit of a break. That being said, he still needs to be better.