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Patrick Roy doesn’t thinks Avs’ defense is far behind Kings

Jun 22, 2014, 10:17 AM EST

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson (6) saves the empty net goal by the Minnesota Wild during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series on Thursday, April 17, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) AP

The Colorado Avalanche are coming off of a breakout season that pushed the question from if they can make the playoffs to what steps can they take to close the gap between them and the championship Los Angeles Kings.

One thing they might do is add a complimentary defenseman to help give their team the depth it needs to play at that level.

“We’re not that far away on defense,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said, according to the Denver Post. “You look at (Erik) Johnson, who had a really good year, we have (Tyson) Barrie, who played really well at the end of the season, and we have Nick Holden, who we think is a solid defenseman.

“Are they where (the Kings are)? The answer is no, but now the (question) is, ‘Who are we going to add?’ You cannot just add the top players. You have to have a great mix, and you look at some teams as a model, and I think L.A. is a good example. If we could get the good mix — stay-at-home, physical defensemen playing with high-skill defensemen — I think that’s the approach that we’d like to have, and I think we’re heading in a pretty good direction.

“I think the future of our franchise on the defensive side of the game is a lot better than people think it is.”

Colorado might even target Willie Mitchell or Matt Greene to help close that gap as one or both of them could end up on the unrestricted free agent market after winning the Stanley Cup with the Kings.

Meanwhile, the Avalanche are also trying to retain pending unrestricted free agent Paul Stastny and re-sign restricted free agent Ryan O’Reilly while staying within their budget parameters.

  1. gbart22 - Jun 22, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    What is he supposed to say publicly?

    • Hard to BeLeaf - Jun 22, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      something more realistic?

  2. easez1 - Jun 22, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Is this Roy pounding on the partition again? The AVs will have to dispense with some talent to afford his mystical shopping trip for stay at home defensemen who come with a winning pedigree.

  3. purpleguy - Jun 22, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    If this team had better defensemen they would have made it past the first round i the playoffs, and this is coming from a fan of the team that beat them.

    • tru2joelu4eva - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      um…i think what he was saying is that when it comes to acquiring new defensman via trade or free agency chemistry is of greater significance than stand-alone stardom. mitchell, greene, voynov, etc. while great players are not “elite” in the same sense that doughty or suter or duncan keith are. the kings defense is so effective because the players compliment each other well and commit to a scheme that works. it sounds like that’s the approach that the avalanche organization wants to take regarding its defense, rather than just trying to spend the most money or get the biggest names. sure, having a star-studded blue line can yield lots of success (like the chicago blackhawks), but it can also tie your hands financially and put you in a very undesirable situation if it’s not effective and changes need to be made (like the pittsburgh penguins).

      i know they haven’t been making these decisions for very long, but all in all i think coach roy and joe sakic have shown that they can be reasonably good judges of character. i’m looking forward to the changes that they make to the defensive core and otherwise moving forward in the offseason.

  4. mackattack29 - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    Acquiring Stralman and Mitchell and then bringing up Siemens, Elliot, Corbett or Butcher and then sticking with EJ, Barrie, and Holden. Then yeah, that defense would be able to go up against really anyone. But we also need more depth.

    • avscup - Jun 22, 2014 at 10:05 PM

      Siemens or Elliot are not the answer. They are not ready nor good. Guenon is better than each. The Avs need some size and toughness back there. Mitchell or Green type player.. Johnson, Holden, Hejda, Barrie (hopefully healthy), Benoit (decent season)? We’ll see.

  5. puckoff70 - Jun 22, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    Sounds like Colorado has turned Roy into a pothead.

    • welch3319 - Jun 23, 2014 at 8:05 AM

      Yeah nice try bud!

  6. hanspard - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Counting on Erik Johnson would make me nervous.

  7. paulerhythm - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    Yeah, I’d say the Avs need to shore up their defense as it was their Achilles heel during their series with Minnesota. Sure, they make the playoffs again but if they don’t address their D, it’s a short series again.

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