The Colorado Avalanche have looked lackluster in their last 2 games after an opening night throttling of the Blackhawks. Despite scoring 10 goals in 3 games, they sit at just 1-2.

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The Colorado Avalanche came into the season with all the expectations. The Florida Panthers are trying to show they belong in that convo while reeling off 3 straight wins to start the season. This is the first of 2 stops in Florida to complete this 3-game road trip. The Panthers have actually scored 14 goals in their 3 games. The difference comes in the defense and goaltending as the Panthers have only allowed 6 goals in their 4 games, to the Avalanches 13 GA in their 3 games.

I really thought Nathan Mackinnon returning to the roster would give it more of a jolt than it did in their 6-3 loss to the Capitals. Hopefully having both Mack and Landy back for this one will provide that jolt. The loss of Jack Johnson to COVID protocols hurts, but having the Captain back should offset some of that pain.

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As much as I love J.T. Compher, no team wins consistently with him as their leading goal scorer. Which is currently where he rests on this Colorado Avalanche squad with 2. One thing these teams have in common is an inability to score on the Power Play with the Avalanche sitting at 9.1% and Panthers at 10%. The 5 on 5 is where these 2 teams shine, Florida more than Colorado to this point.

I am not of the ilk that is ready to panic after a 1-2 start. And much has been made about the play of Darcy Kuemper, who has looked outmatched at times against the Blues and Capitals. But I believe it’s more a team issue, than a goalie issue. Time after time against the Blues and Capitals Kuemper was left out to dry by poor defensive zone discipline and defensive effort/discipline. So I’m not ready to pull the cord on Darcy either. Way too small of a sample size to gain any meaningful information yet. If this becomes a consistent problem over the next week or so, then you can start pondering trades. But for a goalie, not a Jack Eichel, Eichel is a luxury, goalie may be a necessity.

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Key Stats

.917

That is Darcy Kuemper’s career save percentage. In the one game Kuemper had a .900+ save percentage the Avs won.

1

That’s how many goals Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon have combined. This must change and quickly for the Avs to get to their winning ways, sample size be damned.

Key Players

Gabriel Landeskog/Nathan Mackinnon: As these 2 go, this team goes.

Bo Byram/Cale Makar: Can the 2 young guns replace the physical play of Jack Johnson?