The Colorado Avalanche can officially call it a slump as they are 1-3-1 in their last five games after losing on home-ice 4-1.
We’ve been down this road repeatedly this season, even in wins. The Colorado Avalanche rely too heavily on scoring from their top line and defense from their goaltending. Both were mostly absent in the loss to the New York Islanders.
While Gabriel Landeskog would get on the board to spare Colorado the shutout and was assisted by Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen failed to score a point for the first time in 14 games. He maintains a substantial lead in the points race with Mac right behind him (56 and 53 points respectively).
As a side note, it’s interesting to point out that Washington Capitals big man on campus Alex Ovechkin has 29 goals, seven ahead of Landeskog in second place but Alex only ranks ninth in points. Guess he’s not so big on assists.
Semyon Varlamov faced just 21 shots, allowing the four goals and stopping only 17 for a dismal .850 save percentage. It’s the second straight sub par outing for Varlamov who can be excused in the midst of a fantastic season but was certainly disappointing on Monday night.
Let’s not overlook the performance by Isles netminder Thomas Greiss who stopped 30-of-31 including a six-shot stoning of MacKinnon who was active but could not solve the New York Giant (Greiss is 6-2, 235).
Since surging to first place in the Western Conference just 10 days ago, the Avs have slipped to fifth and are in danger of digging a point hole in both the division and conference that will be difficult to overcome.
The Winnipeg Jets have moved ahead of the Nashville Predators though both sit at 46 points. Colorado isn’t far behind at 42 but again, this is the time to fight off the funk that’s taking over if you want to make a playoff run.
Colorado will lace them up again on Wednesday night welcoming the Montreal Canadiens to the Pepsi Center. The Avs may have some good news with the return of Alexander Kerfoot who has been out four games with an upper-body injury. As important as it is that Colorado stay on pace, every able body is a benefit and Kerfoot’s speed and craftiness will be a nice assist.