The Colorado Avalanche are up next. A team that is so close but hasn’t been able to get it done yet. The Avs have done well the last few years, thanks in large part to Nathan MacKinnon. Is there enough scoring depth besides MacKinnon to be successful? Will a goalie change help their cause? Let’s break it all down.
According to Daily Faceoff, these are the lines as of right now:
First line – Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen
Second line – JT Compher, Nazem Kadri, Andre Burakovsky
Third line – Alex Newhook, Tyson Jost, Valeri Nichushkin
Fourth line – Mikhail Maltsev, Darren Helm, Logan O’Connor
First of all, we need to address the elephant in the room. Nazem Kadri needs to stop taking dumb penalties in the playoffs that get him suspended. The top line is top notch and MacKinnon is the straw that stirs the drink. The second line is solid, and Burakovsky won with Washington and he knows how to score. The concern here is the bottom six. Jost has been around, so there is some continuity there. Newhook, who was the 16th pick in 2019 will be getting an opportunity on the third line. It may be a little too early to speculate what the fourth line will do.
Daily Faceoff also has the pairings and goaltenders:
Devon Toews and Cale Makar
Samuel Girard and Erik Johnson
Bowen Byram and Ryan Murray
Goalies: Darcy Kempner and Pavel Francouz
The trade for Kempner was completely unexpected. The Avs could not come to terms with Philip Grubauer which was also surprising. Makar got the money bag and rightfully so, it was important to lock him up for a long time. There were some other defensemen out there. However, Colorado felt good about who they had. Will it be enough to make a championship run? That remains to be seen. Overall. the Colorado Avalanche are going to be the favorites in the central division. The time is now for the Avs.
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