The Colorado Avalanche have a problem lately. They’re still scoring goals at an impressive clip. These days, they’re surrendering them even faster.
We spoke about the dangers of the Colorado Avalanche defense relying so heavily on goaltending after the Calgary game. On Friday night, Philipp Grubauer (and the Canucks’ Jacob Markstrom) proved that in spades.
Grubauer gave up seven goals on 37 shots for an .811 save percentage. That’s on the heels of Semyon Varlamov‘s six goals against on Thursday versus Calgary.
There are many offensive positives to take away from Friday’s game. Nathan MacKinnon got his 10th and 11th goals, Sheldon Dries scored his second. Ian Cole and Nikita Zadorov both netted their first goals of the season.
The highlight of the game from the offensive side came from sophomore Alexander Kerfoot. His goal with 12:36 left in the second gave the Avalanche a 4-3 lead. Kerfoot took a long lead pass from Samuel Girard, stepped between two Canuck defenders and buried a wrister. It was what we’ve been waiting for from the incredibly talented Kerfoot.
Scoring from sources outside the first line is important to the long-term success of this Avs team and Kerfoot is one of the players that needs to step up his output.
Hockey seasons are long and we can’t fall into despair over one game or even a set of games but defense has been a concern for this Avalanche team going back to the Patrick Roy era. Maybe it’s one of those things, like the Broncos offensive line, Rockies pitching, Nuggets defense. Just one of those things that’s always part of a team’s DNA.
In championship times the Avalanche always had strong defenders but that was a different era in the NHL. It seemed like in those days Avalanche GM Pierre Lacroix could scan the NHL landscape, select the best player at any position and POOF, that player was an Avalanche.
These days it takes a lot more effort to assemble a team and the work that’s been put in on the blue line will pay off. The season, like this Avs team is very young