Peaks and Valleys: Week One

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

This is a weekly feature that aims to recap recent (last ten games) player trends and news. Feel free to whine about the judgements.

The Avs went 2-2-0 in their first week + a game of the season, 2-0 at home and 0-2 on the road. They fell on Hockey Day in Minnesota to the Craig Leopolds, 4-2, then came home to beat the defending champs 3-1 and the defending tank 4-0. A quick trip to San Jose resulted in an ugly defeat to the First Round Exits by the same score.

3. Ryan O'Byrne
(4GP, +1, 8 hits, 21 PiM)
Meh O'Byrne hasn't been bad, or particularly great either. He does good work on the penalty kill... difficulty: he can't be the one taking the penalty, but that number is a bit inflated by his Instigating While Visored moment.
4. Greg Zanon
(4GP, 1A, 2 PiM)
Meh Some occasional lapses in his own end, including on the penalty kill, round out a pretty up and down start for the dwarven defender. He's tossing guys around hard though, which is nice. Someone has to defend The Lawn.
5. Shane O'Brien
(0GP)
Nachos nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom
I don't think he's nearly hit AJ again, so at least we have that!
6. Erik Johnson
(4GP, 0-1-1, +2)
Hot Man has EJ looked good at times, munching up big minutes. Now what will it take to get him on the score sheet more? He could shoot ON net instead of AT net, for one: for his 5 SOG, Johnson also has 6 attempts blocked and 4 missed shots.
7. John Mitchell
(4GP, 2G, +2, 11 hits, S% 33%)
Hot Welcome to the team, John: 2 goals, shooting 33%, and a bunch of facial injuries. Yikes. Money quotes from Johnson and Hejduk here: "I've never seen a guy three games in a row take such a beating." "Every game so far, he's been hit in the face."
8. Jan Hejda
(4GP, 2A, 9 hits, +1)
Meh It's taking Hejda a little bit to get the feel back after wrist surgery over the offseason, at least is my guess. The stick penalties are slowing down. Of course any assists he can add are just icing, so this one evens out for me.
9. Matt Duchene
(4GP, 2-2-4, +4)
Hot We like this Matt Duchene. The team's only point-per-game player so far is showing a more mature, reasoned game, and has certainly gotten his speed back. He looks strong on the puck too. He's been rewarded with 20:06 ATOI.
11. Jamie McGinn (4GP, 0 points, -2)
Cold We don't like this Jamie McGinn as much. He's at least banging bodies (9 hits) but has only managed 7 SOG in 4 games? Of course he also had 9 blocked or miss the (probably gaping) net, so this may turn around for him soon too.
12. Chuck Kobasew (2GP, 1A, +1) Small
Sample
Size
Kobasew has been filling in for Steve Downie, spoiler alert, and doing an... okay? job at it? It's tough to tell when we're talking about 2 games, each a shellacking, one for and one against. I'm sure he gets an A+ from Dario though.
15. P.A. Parenteau
(4GP, 2-1-3, +4)
Hot Just keep grinning, PA. Dat smile. :3 He could stand to keep shooting, too, because 5 SOG through 4 games ain't gonna cut it; nobody can sustain shooting 40%.
22. Matt Hunwick
(2GP, ATOI 21:52)
Small
Sample
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Boy, to go from the press box to nearly 22 minutes a night is kinda... something. Hunwick has looked good enough through 2 games, but (see Kobasew's disclaimer).
23. Milan Hejduk
(4GP, 3A, +3)
Meh That +3 probably speaks a lot more to Hejduk's role on the team now, but given that he's not even getting 13 minutes a night, to quietly have 3 assists in 4 games is pretty solid... but 2 were in the Blue Jackets Beatdown.
26. Paul Stastny
(4GP, 1A, -3)
Cold 1 point through 4 games, and Stastny, like the rest of his line, isn't getting it done. He is seeing nearly 20 minutes a night due to responsibilities in all situations, though.
27. Steve Downie
(knee)
Injured Downie was very in his short 2013 campaign. Very physical and/or dumb against Minnesota (3 minor penalties). Probably the best Av on the ice early against LA... and now very injured. His ACL is torn; he won't return.
37/90. Ryan O'Reilly (foot) Injured He left Russia! But that's not because he's signed. The two sides remain a good deal apart and no deal seems imminent. And we still aren't clear what exactly the foot/ankle injury is. Ankle's a long way from the contract-signing hand though. Get it done.
40. Mark Olver
(4GP, 1A, 2 hits)
Meh Had an assist against Minnesota, hasn't blown anyone away. He's still generally not good at the faceoff dot (40%).
41. Tyson Barrie
(2GP, 0 points)
Nachos Barrie had flashes of good play and flashes of bad play. Now he's watching the same from his teammates. If this press boxing lasts for long, he needs to be sent back to Erie.
44. Ryan Wilson
(4GP, 2A, +3)
Meh Wilson has put 21(!) shots at net. When he's not creating offensive chances, his defense has oscillated between very good and OH GOD WHY.
54. David Jones
(4GP, 1G, -3)
Cold Third man on the second line that's been generally un-good, though his single goal was a beauty. Jones has taken a lot of MHH Goat Talk for making lazy plays (like icing the puck one stride short of the red line), but has 6 hits too. Kinda rocky.
55. Cody McLeod
(4GP, 1G, 25 PiM)
Meh Cody bein' Cody. Those PiMs are a bit inflated by his tenner at the end of the SJ game.
58. Patrick Bordeleau (4GP, 17PiM) Meh Bordy bein' Bordy. He's barely pulling 4 minutes a night, but somehow managed to record 8 hits against the Sharks, in 6:27.
92. Gabe Landeskog (4GP, 1G) Cold Tough start for the I'M NOT GONNA FUCKING SAY YOUNG CAPTAIN. He has his Whole Lot of Shots going on, 15 so far (22 at net), and 8 hits overall, but isn't finding his way onto the scoring sheet. Plus getting his face rearranged by Stuart and all? Ouch.
1. Semyon Varlamov Hot It's possible that Varlamov has been getting negative help. He's made several of his trademark acrobatically athletic saves on his way to a 2-2-0 record, with a GAA of 2.45 and a .927 SV%.
35. J.S. Gigeure Small
Sample
Size
Giguere hasn't given up a goal all year!!!!!!!!! Hart Vezina Congressional Medal of Honor

I'm hoping to put some graphics together before this runs next week. If you want to help, remember it needs to be very small, but what I have in mind is Hot = a mountain or an up arrow, Cold = opposite of that, Meh = a shrugging face maybe?, Nachos = nachos, and Injured = a red cross. Cartoony, bright colors, rich and vibrant. If you guys don't I will AND NOBODY WANTS THAT.

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