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For some reason, the Colorado Avalanche recall Rocco Grimaldi

The Avalanche bring back Grimaldi despite his early season performance.

NHL: Preseason-Colorado Avalanche at Minnesota Wild Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today, the Colorado Avalanche sent Dominic Toninato back to the San Antonio Rampage in order to recall Rocco Grimaldi. In a move that simply doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, Grimaldi will be up in time to play on a line with Alexander Kerfoot and Tyson Jost as the Avs take on Buffalo Sabres tomorrow night.

In five NHL games this season, Grimaldi has 3 points and has looked ok at times with the puck on his stick. Unfortunately, he has been completely lost without the puck, especially in the defensive zone.

Grimaldi is bad defensively - like really bad. When playing 5v5, he is on the ice for the more attempts towards the net than any other forward in the NHL. His 84.45 CA/60 is absurdly high. Add to that his 110 PDO and it really shows how much Grimaldi didn’t fit the last time he was up with the Avalanche.

Yes it’s a very small sample size, but when you put it in a direct comparison with the guy he will be replacing, the numbers look really bad.

Grimaldi vs Toninato

Player CF/60 CA/60 CF% xGF%
Player CF/60 CA/60 CF% xGF%
Dominic Toninato 51.65 45.57 53.12 67.66
Rocco Grimaldi 49.16 84.45 36.79 42.57

That brings up the question, why?

This is a team that needs to be better defensively. The Avalanche are 23rd in the league when it comes to giving up attempts towards the net. Replacing Toninato with Grimaldi simply makes them worse.

It’s hard to understand why the coaching staff would rather have Grimaldi in the lineup. If the Avalanche want to breed a culture where the young players get NHL ice time based on how well they’re playing, replacing Toninato with Grimaldi sends the wrong message. Dominic Toninato was playing well in his short stint with the Avs, he should be given a longer look.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that the Avalanche coaching staff has no idea just how bad Grimaldi has been defensively.

Luckily Gabriel Landeskog only has one game left in his suspension, so it’s likely Grimaldi will be sent back down before the team goes on their road trip. For now, he is up and he will be playing on the second line - hopefully, it’s only for one night.