Colorado Avalanche: 3 Franchise Highlights for 2018

Colorado Avalanche(Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Colorado Avalanche(Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Colorado Avalanche
Colorado Avalanche (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche’s 2018 season is happening now.  They are in the middle of it.  Despite rough patches, they are in good shape.

Currently, the Colorado Avalanche sit fourth in the Western Conference at 44 points.  With their current slide, they are closer to missing the playoffs than they are to the top seed.  That’s a top seed they held just two weeks ago.  A 3-6-1 record over their last 10 games has taken a promising season and raised some questions.

First and foremost, the Avalanche have struggled on the blue line for several seasons.  Their defensive ability relies far too much on their goaltenders. For the most part, the netminders are up to the task but Semyon Varlamov and Philipp Grubauer have struggled lately.  More Varly than Grubi but still, there has been a drop off in net.

One can understand, Colorado ranks in the bottom third of the League in defensive rating and even that is bolstered by a strong penalty kill that bumps their numbers. They allow north of 32 shots per game which is a tall order even for seasoned, quality goalies.

Offensively most of Colorado’s punch comes from the oft-complimented top line.  Scoring beyond that is sporadic and inconsistent.  The top guys have 52 goals between them, the rest of the team has 67.  That’s too top-heavy for a team that wants to be a legitimate contender.

So, clearly, the Avalanche have to work on balance, while that top line performs consistently, in a playoff run, there has to be a balance of scoring.  Allowing an opponent to focus on one line is a recipe for disaster.

While we search for that balance, we thought we’d point out three things that are encouraging for the Avalanche’s fortunes.