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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3. Valeri Nichushkin

The Colorado Avalanche are just better when they have Valeri Nichushkin on the ice. When Nichushkin was on the ice this season, the team was 35-15-4, whereas when he was not on the ice, they were 15-10-3. It is a shame that he had missed 28 games during the regular season.

During the 2023-24 season, Nichushkin put the puck in the net 28 times while assisting on 25 other goals. That’s the type of production we want to see out of players who are not named Nathan MacKinnon.

It’s also a fun fact that Nichushkin had six game-winning goals this season. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen are the only players on the team who had more game-winning goals than Nichushkin; both players had nine each.

The Colorado Avalanche really missed Nichushkin during his absence due to his placement in the NHL’s players assistance program. He has had to face many different challenges dating back to the Stanley Cup Finals series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Avs Nation absolutely loves Nichushkin and for good reason. He is one of the biggest difference makers on the team, and I fully expect that to continue in this playoff run, starting against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.