Tag: Jesse Winchester

Carolina Hurricanes v Colorado Avalanche

Avs to ‘punish’ defenseman… by playing him at forward


Looks like Patrick Roy has dug deep into the motivational handbook:

Holden, 27, was one of the biggest surprises in Colorado last year, making the team out of training camp before appearing in a career-high 52 games, scoring 10 goals and 25 points (Holden also had three goals and four points in seven playoff games.)

But this year… yikes. Just one goal through 25 contests with a team-worst minus-16 rating (41.2 percent Corsi For.)

As the above tweets suggest, Colorado is all sorts of banged up right now. Forwards Dennis Everberg, Jamie McGinn and Jesse Winchester are all on IR, as too are blueliners Brad Stuart and Ryan Wilson. That’s led to some major ice time for certain guys, like Tyson Barrie — he played a season-high 24:59 in Monday’s 4-3 loss to Montreal — and Alex Tanguay, who played 21:28 against the Habs, way above his season average of 17:29.

As mentioned above, the Avs are Calgary on Thursday for a date with the streaking Flames. After that, Colorado will become well acquainted with the Jets and Blues — from Dec. 5-23, the Avs play the Jets twice and the Blues three times (in the span of 10 total games).

An Avalanche of injury woes in Colorado

Patrick Roy, Cody McLeod

It’s not getting any easier for the Colorado Avalanche.

The Avalanche continue to occupy last place in the Central Division, a sign of the regression many who believe in advanced statistics thought was going to happen. Now, Colorado is dealing with a rash of injuries, forcing them to recall three players – Andrew Agozzino, Ben Street and Tomas Vincour – from Lake Erie in the American Hockey League.

According to the Avalanche, there are eight players now out of the lineup due to injuries. You might say this dilemma is starting to snowball.

Alex Tanguay was the latest casualty. He took an Alex Ovechkin shot to the face and suffered a facial fracture as a result.

“He texted me last night after the game and said that he will try and come back as soon as possible,” head coach Patrick Roy said Friday, as per the club’s website. “Knowing Tang, I know he has the success of the team at heart. He knows that he is an important player, and he will do whatever he can to come back as soon as possible.”

That’s a tough loss for the Avalanche right there. The 35-year-old Tanguay – and this might be a sign of the times and struggles in Colorado right now – leads the Avalanche in goals with seven.

Perhaps the good news is goalie Semyon Varlamov is only listed as day-to-day with a groin injury, suffered earlier this week. Although, because it’s a groin injury, the good news still comes with caution.

It’s not so promising beyond that.

Rookie forward Dennis Everberg (shoulder) is also out. Roy didn’t have any specific timeline for him, other than he’s out for “awhile,” according to the club.

Defenseman Ryan Wilson (shoulder surgery) is out for the season. The club has listed Patrick Bordeleau (back), Brad Stuart (hamstring) and Jesse Winchester (head) as out indefinitely, and forward Jamie McGinn (back) was still being evaluated.

It’s Colorado Avalanche Day at PHT

Minnesota Wild v Colorado Avalanche - Game Five

Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team?  The Colorado Avalanche.

For more entries in this series, click here.

Last season’s Colorado Avalanche did something for the City of Denver that hadn’t happened in a while: They brought fun and excitement on ice back to the Rockies.

The Avs were the surprise team in the Western Conference as they beat out the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks to win the Central Division with 112 points. With Patrick Roy behind the bench for his first season in the NHL, he won the Jack Adams Award leading the team to 52 wins. With Joe Sakic running the show in the front office, it felt like the year 2000 all over again.

On the ice, Colorado’s offensive attack was something to behold.

Matt Duchene led the team in scoring with 70 points. Ryan O’Reilly led the team in goals with 28, and captain Gabriel Landeskog was a dual-threat with 26 goals and 65 points. Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon was a revelation scoring 24 goals with 63 points. All told, the Avs had five players with 60 or more points (Paul Stastny was the other). Defenseman Erik Johnson spurred the offense from the blue line with 39 points as well.

In goal, Semyon Varlamov was brilliant on the ice. He finished second in Vezina Trophy voting to Tuukka Rask, but had a .927 save percentage after facing a league-high 2,013 shots and had a 2.70 goals-against average.

Wait, how did a team that do so well allow over 2,000 shots on goal? Oh right… The defense.

The Avs were not darlings of the advanced statistic community for their lack of ability to possess the puck and their great talent at giving up tons of shots. Without Varlamov’s brilliance, things would’ve been much worse. While they had Johnson producing offense, guys like Cory Sarich, Nate Guenin, Nick Holden, Tyson Barrie, Andre Benoit, Ryan Wilson, and Jan Hejda made up a virtual no-name corps that struggled to slow down opponents.

Getting bounced by the Minnesota Wild in seven games in the first round showed off their defense as their Achilles’ Heel for all it was worth. Despite all the offensive and goaltending brilliance, apparently defense still wins championships. Or at the very least a playoff round or two.

Offseason recap

The Avs saw Paul Stastny depart for the St. Louis Blues on a four-year, $28 million deal. On the upside, they got a two-year deal done with O’Reilly after some rather collar-tightening negotiations.

Up front, they added Jarome Iginla on a three-year contract and dealt P.A. Parenteau to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Daniel Briere. A veteran presence amongst the forwards should help out, especially with Iginla still having plenty in the tank after scoring over 30 for Boston last season. They also added Jesse Winchester to help out the bottom-six.

One area they didn’t really address was the defense. The Avs acquired Brad Stuart from the San Jose Sharks and added depth guys in Bruno Gervais and Zach Redmond. Losing Benoit to Buffalo and Matt Hunwick to the New York Rangers won’t hurt them, they haven’t improved the back end.

They’d better hope Varlamov kept his off-ice activities to a minimum in the offseason because it’s shaping up to be another busy year in Denver.