What’s the Answer to the Avs Problems?

The Colorado Avalanche can’t win at home. And it may be worse than that but we will have to wait till the current home stand is over to be sure. But it’s looking more and more like a fluke that the Avs started the season off with the best road record in team history.

Since skidding to the bottom of the standings last season, the team has tried just about everything imaginable to right the sinking ship. Like trading a first round pick for young and unproven goalie, Semyon Varlamov. They also added JS Giguere to the lineup, ultimately dismissing three goalies from last season.

The defense was rebuilt with size and grit in mind, the fast, puck-moving players were traded away or waived.

Giguere rallied the team though a “must-win” game early in this season’s skid but it didn’t last long. Since then there have been variations on the must-win theme, all resulting in less than favorable outcomes. Bag skates and closed locker room meetings quickly followed.

Coach Sacco has tried nearly every line combination possible, including ones that aren’t obviously sensible. Matt Duchene played a game on the forth line after Sacco declared that he wasn’t scoring enough. The working scheme behind putting a scoring center on a line of grinders to improve scoring is not clear to the fans.

Varlamov has been allowed to play through a losing record. But Sacco also briefly started trying to go with the goalie that’s hot, problem being neither is hot for more than three periods of NHL action.

The team started the year leaderless, at least officially with no captain named. Eventually veteran Milan Hejduk was awarded the captain’s C but this too has failed to inspire the group to play competitive hockey.

The Avs latest move has been to bring up 2009 draft pick Stefan Elliot. Saturday night Elliot played like he’s been in the league for years. He scored the game-winning goal and played well both offensively and defensively. Is he the missing cog that is going to get this team humming along to a winning record? Is it back to the speedy puck-moving defenseman strategy already?

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About the Author: I'm an irascible rec-hockey player, your typical ‘lunch pail’ player. A Colorado native, I was raised on Broncos football, with occasional minor league and Colorado (hockey) Rockies games thrown in. With the arrival of the Colorado Avalanche and my crazy idea to learn to ice skate (and eventually play hockey) at the age of 33, I fell in love with hockey, finally. You can find me here: Real Denver Sports and here: Twitter

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  1. Krista says:

    Nice post! I really hope the Avs can get things figured out this homestand. Otherwise Sacco will be sitting on the couch watching hockey with Boudreau.

  2. Fred Poulin says:

    It was about time the Avalanche called up their top prospect Stefan Elliot! Eric Johnson has been a disappointment so far this season!

    • Can’t disagreed with you there. And it looks like Elliot is here to stay, they waived a player presumably to make room for him when Johnson returns. But it was a forward so now they have a lot of D-men…