The Colorado Avalanche currently sit in the first wild-card spot by one point. They are one point ahead of Minnesota, Anaheim and Vancouver and just three points ahead of Edmonton. They have lost 7 of their last 10 games, are on a current three-game losing streak and to put it lightly have stunk over the last month and a half. It is bizarre because the Avalanche were nearly a top-three divisional team and looking like another shoe-in to the playoffs just a little over a month ago. Now, they have won only 5 games in their last 18 games (over December and now into January). What has been the Avalanche’s biggest issue, well aside from Semyon Varlamov going down with an injury, their depth scoring has been nearly non-existent.
Avalanche lack of depth scoring
Looking at the Avalanche’s top scorers, Mikko Rantanen (68) , Nathan MacKinnon (66) and Gabriel Landeskog (51) the Avalanche’s next top scoring forward is Carl Soderberg with 25 points. After Soderberg the next in line is Alexander Kerfoot with 24 points. Therefore from the top Rantanen’s 68 points to Soberberg’s 25 points there is a 43 point difference. From Landeskog to Soderberg there is a 26 point drop off. That will for sure cause some loses and a rough period of hockey for any team. Anyways not to highlight only Soderberg here (which 25 points for him is not too shabby) but guys like Tyson Jost, with 15 points in 41 games, Matt Nieto with 14 points in 41 games, Colin Wilson 13 points in 36 games and Matt Calvert with 14 points in 45 games is a major reason the Avalanche have struggled greatly. All the players mentioned above are either second liners or third liners, lines that should produce. The Avalanche have a major depth scoring issue and it is not only apparent on the front end, it is apparent on the back end as well. Aside from Tyson Barrie’s 32 points in 41 games the next defenseman up is Erik Johnson with 14 points in 45 games, Samuel Girard with 13 points in 45 games, the Avalanche’s top-three have not been all that productive as well.
Avalanche need to find a top-6 forward ASAP!
Which leaves us to the only solution for the Avalanche go out and get a forward. The Rangers are looking to move, Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes, Vladislav Namestikov, three guys that will be in your top six right away plus if you add one of those three you move MacKinnon or Rantanen down and even out the production a little. Or even go after Wayne Simmonds someone who can play with MacKinnon so Landeskog and Rantanen can play together or Gustav Nyquist, or Michael Ferland, Tyler Toffoli their are players out there that can be added to add some depth and the Avalanche need to do something sooner or later before they are really out of it. They need to break up MacKinnon and Rantanen or add another top-six winger as soon as possible!