Yikes. The Colorado Avalanche dropped a tough game to the Minnesota Wild last night after battling throughout the entire game. Last night’s loss was one of the most physical games we have seen all year from Colorado, yet they couldn’t muster enough offense. Colorado recorded their first goal against Minnesota this season, yet it was a fluky goal recorded by Maxime Talbot in the second period. Colorado fell to Minnesota 3-1 at the Pepsi Center as the playoff window is getting shorter and shorter.
Everyone in the hockey world is probably thinking, “What in the world happened to the Avalanche?”. After hoisting a Central Division banner at the start of the season, the Avs have fallen towards the middle/bottom of the pack. They have a strong, young core of players such as Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly, Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Tyson Barrie and Jamie McGinn. Although McGinn is out for the season, there is absolutely no reason this team should be on the outside looking in, in terms of making the playoffs.
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Colorado’s offensive numbers are eerie; one reason why they have to scratch and claw game-after-game to collect a win. Just take a look at these stats.
Goals Per Game: 23rd (2.5)
Power-Play Percentage: 29th (12.6)
Shots Per Game: 24th (2.5)
Those numbers are in the bottom tier of the league, yet Colorado has a winning record.
Just a little advice, SHOOT THE PUCK. If you were watching Colorado’s most recent game against the Minnesota Wild Sat. night, you might have noticed that Ryan O’Reilly was hesitant to even shoot it at Devin Dubnyk on the 4-on-3. O’Reilly was literally three feet away and couldn’t pull the trigger – no Wild defender seemingly close. Colorado’s power-play is absolutely atrocious, yet they still possess a record above .500. Just imagine what their record would look like if they could capitalize more frequently with the man advantage. Crazy to think about, yet one goal seemingly doesn’t perhaps win you a game.
In baseball, if you don’t swing, you likely won’t score – depending on how wild the pitcher is of course. In basketball, if you don’t shoot, you won’t score. In soccer, if you don’t shoot, you won’t score. You see my point, there is too much stickiness on the sticks of the Avs players. Shoot the puck and good things will happen. Rebounds, tips, one-timers, you name it. Colorado needs to be more active in throwing the puck on net, more aggressive if you will.