Avalanche at the Christmas break: Things are good, and the second half promises to be better
That was definitely a nice way to go into the Christmas break last night, a 7-3 destruction of the Vegas Golden Knights, in their barn. A loss, and it would have been three in a row entering the break. Now, the egg nog is going to taste just a little bit better the next couple of days, the fruit cake just a little tastier – and I know you all love fruit cake.
So, the Avs go into the break with a 23-11-3 record, tied with the Islanders for fourth-most points in the league (49). They have the widest goal differential of any team in the league (134-103, +31).
Here’s one negative stat though: They are averaging 31.9 shots per game and allowing 32.9 shots per game. The shots against are tied for 28th in the league. They’ve got to get that number down in the second half.
The expected return of Cale Makar, on Friday against Minnesota, should start to help with that. The Avs managed to go 4-3-1 in the eight games they played without Makar, and if not for a couple of surprising, blown third-period leads, it would have been 6-1-1.
Let’s go through some categories to commemorate the first half (I know there are four games until the real midway mark, but you know what I mean):