Tag: Nate Guenin

Florida Panthers v Colorado Avalanche

Avs lose penalty kill leader Stuart to hamstring injury

The slumping Colorado Avalanche got more bad news on Wednesday, as head coach Patrick Roy announced Brad Stuart would be out a “couple weeks” with a hamstring injury.

Stuart, who turns 35 on Thursday, left yesterday’s loss to Vancouver after playing just four shifts in the second period. The veteran blueliner had been averaging close to 20 minutes per game this season and had appeared in all 14 contests prior to getting hurt, leading the team in shorthanded TOI  at 3:39 per game.

(Colorado currently has the NHL’s best penalty kill, at 93 percent.)

According to the Denver Post, the Avs won’t make any immediate call-ups to replace Stuart on the active roster, meaning they’ll roll with six defensemen: Tyson Barrie, Nate Guenin, Jan Hejda, Nick Holden, Erik Johnson and Zach Redmond.

The club’s eighth blueliner, Ryan Wilson, is out 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury.

Roy shuffles Avs’ lines after blowout loss

Nathan MacKinnon

After watching his Colorado Avalanche limp through Thursday’s 5-0 loss against the Minnesota Wild, head coach Patrick Roy isn’t just going to maintain the status quo in the hopes that everything will work out in their rematch on Saturday.

Roy has decided to scratch defenseman Nate Guenin, who was minus-one in 14:49 minutes of ice time, in favor of Ryan Wilson. He’s also reversed some of the changes he made in response to the Avalanche’s offensive struggles in the preseason, per the Denver Post.

Specifically, Ryan O’Reilly will shift back to the left wing while Nathan MacKinnon will serve as a center. Jarome Iginla and Matt Duchene will join O’Reilly on the top line and MacKinnon will skate with Alex Tanguay and Gabe Landeskog.

Roy classified thinks these changes will serve as a “wake-up call” as he doesn’t believe the lines’ struggles were chemistry related.

The Avalanche won the Central Division last season, but they still have a lot to prove given how vulnerable they looked from an advanced statistics perspective in 2013-14.


Can we talk about how bad the Avs were last night?

Looking to make the leap: Stefan Elliott

Stefan Elliott

During the 2011-12 season, Stefan Elliott made a name for himself as a 21-year-old with the Colorado Avalanche.

Elliott had offensive abilities from the blue line (four goals and 13 points in 39 games) and seemingly had upside that left them thinking they might have something special. Two seasons later, and just 19 NHL games since then, like the title of the post says, he’ll be looking to make the leap in 2014-15.

What’s hurt Elliott, now 23, is seeing other young defenseman seizing the opportunity when called up. Tyson Barrie, Ryan Wilson and Nick Holden are looking more like sure things to stay on Colorado’s blue line, and only Barrie is his equal in age. While Wilson and Holden are four years older, the Avs’ lack of defensive strength was part of their undoing last season.

With defensemen being counted on to carry and possess the puck more and more in today’s game, Elliott’s work during his rookie season showed he can do just that. As Behind The Net tabulated, his possession numbers were strong over those 39 games in 2011-12. In 18 games the following year, he was equally effective.

Last season, however, he played just one game for the Avs. While he had a bad possession night, he scored a goal in the final regular-season game of the year.

Colorado weren’t exactly darlings of advanced metrics, but if Elliott is given a bit more of a look, he might stand a chance to produce better than guys like Wilson or defensive-defensemen like Nate Guenin and Jan Hejda. Considering how poor the Avs were on defense, giving Elliott a shot to show he’s worth it might be Patrick Roy’s best move.

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.

Avs ink offensive d-man Noreau from Swiss league


After three years, Maxim Noreau is on his way back to North America.

On Monday, Colorado signed Noreau to a two-year, $1.25 million deal, per the Denver Post. The deal comes after Noreau spent the last three seasons racking up points for HC Ambrì-Piotta of the Swiss National A League, scoring 89 in 124 contests.

Noreau, 27, made his NHL debut with Minnesota in 2009-10, just a few years after signing as an undrafted free agent out of QMJHL Victoriaville. He appeared in six games for the Wild, spending most of his time in AHL Houston and, not surprisingly, racking up points — in 2009-10, he finished tied for 2nd in the league with P.K. Subban for goals by a defenseman (18) and, in his last season with the Aeros, put up 54 points in 76 games.

Noreau has a decent shot of cracking the Avs lineup next year. The team has seven d-men currently on NHL contracts — Erik Johnson, Brad Stuart, Jan Hejda, Ryan Wilson, Nate Guenin, Zach Redmond and Nick Holden — and that’s not exactly the toughest group to break into. That said, Colorado still has to reach new deals with RFA d-men Tyson Barrie and Stefan Elliott, so the mix will get more crowded.