The Colorado Avalanche are having themselves one incredible season, and it’s no denying that Denver is long overdue to have hockey back in a real way. This is the city that didn’t know championships until the Avalanche came into town and gave them one in 96′ and proceeded to hand them another in 01′. All along the way the Colorado Avalanche became one of the most dominate, star studded, well known franchises in all of hockey. The fan base was a strong one and hockey had a real presence within the confines of Colorado and even extended far beyond that.
Nostalgia aside, that was a long time ago and that has been far from the case in the last decade plus. It’s no secret that the Avalanche have stumbled on some hard times for what seems to be forever. Historically bad seasons and long playoff droughts have plagued the franchise with the exception for a couple of random seasons of greatness that the team never built from. The Avs shocked the NHL world when they turned their season around last year and made it to the playoffs, and this season is a whole other animal. The Avs are one of the best teams in the Western Conference, have one of the best offences, the best line in hockey, and the league leader in points (Rantanen).
All of this sounds like this team is primed for another playoff spot and a much deeper run into the playoffs, so what’s the catch? The goaltending for the Avalanche has also been a bit of a concern for quite some time and with the team that has solid wingers, and defensemen it’s the Achilles heel of this team. Semyon Varlamov has been known to be injury prone, but even a healthy Varly is 20th in the league in save %, 20th in the league in wins, has 24th in goals against average, and has given up 10 goals in the last two games.
The backup goalie for the Avs, Philipp Grubauer, has even more bleak looking stats. Hockey is back in Denver, the Avs are one of the best teams in the West, but the goaltending leaves something to be desired especially when it comes playoff time and the difference between a good team and a cup contender is a hot goaltender. Can the Avalanche rely on Varly for a deep playoff push? only time will tell……