RAPID REACTION: Avalanche Need Something, Anything, From Depth Forwards
After each Colorado Avalanche playoff game, I’ll put out some rapid reaction on what I’m feeling right after the game, before gathering more thoughts for Plus/Minus in the morning.
Zero shots on goal for Nathan MacKinnon. Zero shots on goal for Artturi Lehkonen. Mikko Rantanen finished with a whopping two shots on goal, but they both went in. None of those guys had very good games. Even Rantanen, who was the only player who could actually finish a chance, struggled all night long controlling passes and making passes of his own.
But far too often, if those guys aren’t scoring, no one else on the Avalanche is.
Let’s compare it to the Kraken. Through four games, the Avalanche have goals from five different forwards. And one of those forwards is now missing from the team for an undetermined amount of time.
The Kraken, on the other hand, have seen eight different forwards find the back of the net.
I’ve liked a lot of what Lars Eller has done on the ice, but at some point, they’re going to need some offense. The hope was that he would be the third line center, but his production has been more comparable to what you’d get out of a fourth line center. He has just three goals since the calendar turned to 2023. Andrew Cogliano, who may be playing with one arm, has one goal since Feb. 15. Logan O’Connor is sitting at four goals since Nov. 10. Alex Newhook has two goals since Jan. 28. Matt Nieto has one goal since Feb. 24. You get the picture.
“There’s a level of concern, but I can’t say I haven’t had it all year, to some extent,” Jared Bednar said after the game about his secondary scoring.
Could the Avalanche still get by the Kraken with their big guns carrying the load? Sure they could, but how far can you realistically expect them to go if this keeps up? Something has to change, and has to change fast.