Colorado Avalanche at the halfway mark in division

The Colorado Avalanche wrapped up the back-to-back against the Minnesota Wild this weekend in poor fashion.  Limping away with a mere one point, the Avs aren’t the only ones limping.  David Jones, second on the team in goals is effectively done for the season with a torn ACL.  The winger has been struggling with injuries since the Avs tapped him to be Andrew Brunette’s replacement in 2008. 

Off to a great start this season, Avs fans have been hoping that Jones would finally pan out to be the power forward that the team is in desperate need of , especially after trading away Ryan Smyth over the summer.

The back-to-back with Minnesota wasn’t really any different that the rest of the month of November for the Avalanche.  Let me list the ways;

It doesn’t seem like Darcy Tucker has been the same since the crushing hit to the glass.  He is flying around the ice hitting…no one.  Skating around on the power play doing…nothing.  It’s like that hit knocked him back into last season. 

Craig Anderson has been playing goal more like an average Clark Kent than the Superman we saw in October.  His stats have taken a beating, posting a GAA of 3.66 and SV% of 0.880 for the month of November.  Those kinds of numbers should have the Budaj-bashing club of Denver chanting for his head.  So far no one is doing that, preferring to blame everything on the defense.  A point largely ignored when blaming Peter Budaj for every loss the team saw last year.

Marek Svatos is currently second on the team in PIM.  They are all bad penalties and to make things worse he leads the team with a -11, and there is no excuse for that on a winning team.

As well as Matt Duchene is playing on the ice, he isn’t putting any points on the score board.  Well tonight he finally got another goal.  But I’ll have more on Duchene in another post.

Also of note is that since the Joe Sacco Gambit, the team has gone 2-4-2.  Previous to Sacco declaring a seemingly random game, only 25% of the way into the season as a “must-win” game, his team was 4-3-1.  Maybe the coach has lost this young team a bit with that manufactured urgency?

With David Jones out, Milan Hejduk out, etcetera, this team becomes average at best.  Healthy they are a nice looking team but the problem is depth.  The Jones injury will be felt all season long.

In one of those many odd NHL scheduling quirks, the Avs have played half of their division games in one third of the season.  In fact, they played 8 of them in November alone.  Currently at 4-6-2 in the Northwest Division, the Avs need to realize the importance of the remaining 12 games.  November was a bad time to lose so many games, going 1-6-1 in the division.  Ouch.  It may turn out to be a stroke of luck that the Avs have only played Calgary twice so far, winning both.  If the Flames continue to challenge the Avs for the top spot in the division, the Avs have time to get things together before the next meeting on December 13th

In the mean time, the Avs had better figure out why the last place team in the conference can beat you two days in a row.

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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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