Top 3 reasons Colorado Avalanche won the NHL Trade Deadline

The Colorado Avalanche were aggressive at the deadline. They improved in key areas and added clarity for a roster ready to win now.

Feb 17, 2024; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA;  Buffalo Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt (37) scores a
Feb 17, 2024; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Buffalo Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt (37) scores a / Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
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Commitment to Goalie pairing and defined roles

So much of the NHL Trade Deadline comes down to organizational confidence. I touched on the theme last week when even prior to the new Avalanche players arriving the team was visibly energized by news of their impending arrival.

This can be the case even when the front-office decides against making a splashy move. The Avalanche have been grappling with the question of who to trust as a back up to Alexandar Georgiev for most of the year. As it turned out, they decided to put their faith in their in-house development of Justus Annunen.

Some have opined that Georgiev is over-worked as the Avs' primary goalie. He is tied for the NHL lead among goalies at 52 GP (with Jusse Saros) . This is something the team has decided gives them the best chance to win consistently. While it doesn't quite raise to the level of Martin Brodeur, who holds the all-time league record of 78 starts, it is a heavy responsibility.

Yet if you can put yourself in the head-space of a starting goalie, isn't team confidence among the greatest assurances you can have? There were options on the market but Colorado kept the faith in Georgie. That has to feel good for him, even if it means added pressure.

Justus Annunen has been brilliant of late, shutting out Chicago 5-0 in back-to-back starts. But all things considered, it is Chicago. This does not mean Juice is credibly in contention for stealing the starting job. What it does mean, however, is that the Avalanche have enough belief in Justus as a solid #2.

In fact, I believe that Juice is in net tonight against Calgary. This will be an important start, as it is the first half of back-to-back for the Avalanche in Canada. On Wednesday, they face Vancouver, who lead the West in points with 91. If Colorado is going to have a real shot at chasing down the top spot in the conference, wins in the next two would count as a fitting statement that they truly won the Deadline and are ready for more.

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