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Cause for concern in Colorado?

Jan 8, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT

San Jose Sharks v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche started the season on fire, racing out to a 14-2-0 record under new coach Patrick Roy, while ostensibly blaming former coach Joe Sacco for much of their past problems.

But while the Avs still boast a respectable record of 26-12-4, good enough for a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference, a 12-10-4 mark in their last 26 games has to be cause for concern.

On Monday, Colorado dropped a 4-3 decision to one of the NHL’s worst teams, the Calgary Flames. For that, Roy chose to blame his goalie, Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

“We may not have had the jump that we should have, but Giggy should have been better,” Roy said. “He hasn’t played well in the past four or five games and he should stand up and say, `I’m not playing up to what I should.’ He needs to be better and we need to have him playing better. Period.”

One of the greatest ever at the position, Roy obviously understands the importance of goaltending, which overall has been excellent in Colorado this season. In fact, the tandem of Semyon Varlamov and Giguere has combined for a team save percentage of .921, the fourth highest in the NHL.

How important has goaltending been for Colorado? Well, it’s helped the Avs win 15 games in which they’ve been outshot. In that category, only Toronto (17) has more.

Of course, we’ve seen how unsustainable the Leafs’ previous winning ways have turned out to be. Along those lines, per Extra Skater, here’s how the Avs’ puck-possession stats have been trending:

source:

That’s not good, unless you’re one of the teams trying to catch the Avs in the standings.

Colorado hosts streaking Ottawa tonight.

  1. jpelle82 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    they’ve come back to earth a bit, thats for sure. i wouldnt be surprised if they are battling dallas for the third spot and it coming down to the wire in april. i still think they make the playoffs but not very far in them.

  2. joey4id - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the boys are a little tired. They’ve had to assimilate a new system, which includes new tactics and techniques under Saint Patrick. He’ll need to get them out of their funk. Patience, rest, and get them back to basics. Use the KISS system for a while should help.

  3. jernster21 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    They’re in the midst of a 7 game home stand and have got 7 out of a possible 10 points up to this point…I’d say they’re doing fine.

  4. penguins87and71 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    I would say a 12-10-4 record in their past 26 games is actually pretty considering they are playing in the Western Conference. They have cooled off a bit and may have falling back down to earth. I think they will be fine. They are holding their own against tough competition almost every night.

    • jernster21 - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      This has been without Alex Tanguay as well…who had 9 points in 13 games, and now PA Parenteau is out till probably after the Olympics. On this home stand the lines have been changed up quite a bit (ie: Talbot is now playing next to Duchene) – I’m not a huge fan of the line combos but I suppose it’s better that we can mix and match with what we have without having to recall anyone from Lake Erie because we don’t have enough depth guys down there that can jump up and make an impact in my opinion.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Price (1709)
  2. J. Harding (1682)
  3. M. Staal (1548)
  4. J. Giguere (1483)
  5. J. Thornton (1446)
  1. J. Spezza (1259)
  2. A. Semin (1254)
  3. C. MacArthur (1239)
  4. A. Ekblad (1210)
  5. B. Bishop (1082)