Crypto Currency News
Ethereum Classic

3 avalanche trends to watch out for in 2022

Another year is in the books and 2022 now adorns our calendars and reminds us of the eternal passage of time. Not only is 2022 more aesthetically pleasing than 2021, but it also represents the unofficial second half of the NHL’s 2021-22 season. About a third of the campaign provides a solid base of information that can be analyzed as the league enters a new year. Here are three interesting trends to watch out for for the Colorado Avalanche in 2022 as the franchise hopes to unleash its obvious Stanley Cup potential.

Colorado’s scorching offense leads NHL

Despite the often incomplete line-up in the first third of the season, the avalanche offensive continued where it left off last year and is once again leading the league in terms of goals per game. Her current goal rate (4.22) is almost half a goal higher than that of the second best team in the Minnesota Wild (3.74). The difference between Avalanche and Wild in first and second place equals the gap between second and ninth Toronto Maple Leafs (3.27), which shows the extent of Colorado’s fearsome firepower.

Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Their absurd finishing efficiency drives the Avalanche’s vaunted offensive, but they still rank high in the shooting (seventh) and scoring (sixth) generation at 5v5. If the team has a consistent line-up for the remainder of the season, the improved chemistry should keep the pace, if not pick it up. That they managed to score so many times, though Nathan MacKinnon is in the middle of a significant slump in filming (4.5 percent sales) and is a good eye-catcher for the team’s supporting cast.

Mikko Rantanen (14), Cale Makar (13) and Andre Burakovsky (12) lead the goals, while Nazem Kadri leads the avalanche in points (38) as an offensive compass. If the franchise is to overcome the wobble of its goalkeeping group, its attack must keep firing at all of the cylinders.

Ineffective Penalty Kill Limiting Avalanche

Without a pair of trustworthy specialist teams, it is almost impossible to guarantee a prolonged playoff success. While Colorado’s contingent of attacking stars means power play is not an issue (ranked 10th in efficiency), the penalty shoot-out is a different story. Though tied in the league on the underpaid goals (six), the Avalanche are the uncomfortable owners of the penalty shootout on the 26th The off-season are big, and their absences have consumed the eighth best penalty shoot-outs of last season.

Related: 3 Avalanche Trading Targets to Resolve Penalty Kill

Although part of the unit’s fights are due to their netminding (23rd in the save percentage in the penalty kill), they did not make it easy for the team captains. They allow an inordinate number of chances of quality (27th in expected goals versus per-60), likely due to the fact that they want to take greater positional risks for the potential for an embezzled goal. It didn’t work out as expected, but the logic behind the strategy is solid.

Using historical precedents can help teams identify potential areas for improvement, and the avalanches are no different. It’s a small sample and there are a number of factors that mix, but four of the last five Stanley Cup winners in the NHL boasted a penalty shoot-out that was in the top half of the regular season in terms of efficiency.

team Penalty Kill Efficiency (%) NHL rank
Tampa Bay Blitz (2020-21) 22.2 9
Tampa Bay Blitz (2019-20) 23.2 5
St. Louis Blues (2018-19) 21.1 10
Washington Capitals (2017-18) 22.5 7th
Pittsburgh Penguins (2016-17) 23.1 3

Penalty shootout success rate for the last five Stanley Cup winners

It’s not a necessary requirement to get deep into the postseason, but a reliable penalty shoot-out is a common trait of the most successful teams in the playoffs. For a competitive avalanche club, treating its potential Achilles’ heel must be a priority in the months ahead.

Shaky goalkeeper is a cause for concern in the avalanche network

When the Avalanche swapped for Darcy Kuemper last off-season, it was unlikely they’d expected the inconsistency that plagued his first season in Denver. Even against the background of Colorado’s robust defensive structure (fifth in the scoring chances and expected goals against Per-60 at 5 against 5), the former Arizona Coyote performs below average compared to expectations (minus 1.8 goals saved per MoneyPuck above the expected goals ).

The rest of their goalkeeper carousel fared not much better either. Each of the four goalkeepers used on the Avalanche network this season have allowed more goals than expected, undermining Colorado’s live wire offensive. One of the four, Jonas Johansson, was recently claimed by the Florida Panthers, reducing the team’s already limited number of options.

Darcy Kuemper, Colorado Avalanche-3 Avalanche Trends To Watch For In 2022Darcy Kuemper, Colorado Avalanche (Photo by Michael Martin / NHLI via Getty Images)

It hasn’t done them much harm so far, but General Manager Joe Sakic has to consider whether a trade is in the best interests of his club’s immediate future. Neither Kuemper nor substitute Pavel Francouz will be signed beyond this season and their various health and ice game issues undermine any future contract talks. For a Stanley Cup favorite, that’s a lot of uncertainty to carry into 2022.

What does 2022 have in store for the avalanche?

Despite a spate of injuries and COVID-related absences, the Avalanche leads the NHL’s Central Division in percentage points. As Nathan MacKinnon draws closer to a potentially earth-shattering contract extension and key players in Kadri and Burakovsky seek out hefty new deals of their own, 2022 will be one of the team’s last attempts to win a trophy before the salary cap puts a wrench on their competitive schedule. The early return looks promising, but does the Avalanche ultimately have what it takes to bring a third championship to Colorado?

Data courtesy of Hockey Reference, MoneyPuck, and Natural Stat Trick.

Marko is an aspiring sports writer with a passion for creating stories while using a combination of eye testing and (shudder) analysis, complemented by an academic background in criminology and political science.

When he’s not reporting on the Colorado Avalanche and Pittsburgh Penguins for The Hockey Writers, he can spend countless hours in various sports video game franchises, indulging in science fiction novels, and doing long laps of the neighborhood.

Marko can be reached through his personal blog at, and you can yell at him by following him on Twitter and other social media which can be seen under articles like this one.

Comments are closed.