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Game 12 Preview: Coyotes @ Avalanche

After another blowout loss, the Avs (5-6-0) return home to take on the Arizona Coyotes (4-7-0).

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Avalanche are a tale of two teams this season. At times, the Avs will show flashes of an improved team. They will put together a series of plays that shows a team that can shutdown teams defensively and hold a steady range of offensive attack. Then, at other times, they will look like a flaming bag of garbage, turning over the puck and looking like a bunch of high school all-stars trying to prove that they can stick-handle through the other team without any help from their teammates. This weekend was perhaps the perfect example of this Jekyll and Hyde fiasco.

On Saturday, the Avalanche played toe-to-toe with the Minnesota Wild before turning up the intensity in the third and scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 Calvin Pickard shutout. Then, on Sunday, the wheels fell out from under the Avalanche as they dropped a 5-1 game against the Blues. But when David Perron netted the fifth goal of the afternoon on Sunday, it may have seemed obvious where to point the blame.

After eleven games, the Avalanche seem to have a goaltender issue. Semyon Varlamov has not been himself so far this season and the Avalanche have played particularly well in front of him when he starts. With the expansion draft coming up this summer, the Avs will have to make a choice on which goaltender they will elect to protect. While Bednar will not throw his star goaltender under the bus, Pickard will have a chance to take Varlamov's job if the Avs continue to play better hockey when he is in net. Pickard gets the start tonight against the team with the league's worst record, the Arizona Coyotes.












- Among goaltenders that have appeared in at least four games, Varlamov has the third worst goals against average, while Pickard has the third best.

- The Avalanche's offense is struggling, they have the second fewest goals scored in the league and have only scored six goals in the last six games.

Marek Svatos, who passed away this weekend was honored by the St. Louis Blues at Sunday's game. Svatos' rookie campaign was likely one of the best and most forgotten campaigns by an Avalanche. Svatos scored 32 goals in 66 games in 2005-2006 before having his season end like so many unfortunately did, with an injury. An investigation is still being held to find out the cause of Svatos' death. He was 34.


Game time: 7pm MT