Sakic did, however, make a few cheap depth additions to help in the meantime, trading Calle Rosen back to Toronto for a depth goaltender Michael Hutchinson, who stands to backup Pavel Francouz while Philipp Grubauer remains out with a mysterious lower-body injury. Colorado also traded next year’s fourth-round draft pick to Ottawa for Vladislav Namestnikov, who will likely slot in as the Avs third or fourth-line center/wing.
With GM Joe making just a few smaller moves, it likely indicates that the injuries are not significant enough to warrant trading for bigger talent, which is a great sign. So the roster you see now is the one heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
And without further ado, I present to you this week’s Twitter Tuesday:
Do the lack of high-profile trades mean the prognosis is good for relatively quick recoveries for Mikko, Kadri, Grubs and Calvert?— Tales of the New West (@ChrisAaland) February 25, 2020
Yes, this is exactly what that means.
If one your injured top-six forwards, i.e., Rantanen or Kadri, were out for a longer period of time at this juncture of the season, I’d say Sakic would’ve really pushed harder at a Jonathan Drouin or J.G. Pageau or even a Joe Thornton.
The lack of those high-profile moves means the prognosis is pretty good for the injured forwards and they all should be back well before the regular season ends.
Same with the Avs injured starting netminder...
Is Hutchinson really much of an upgrade over Miska?— Nick (@meatface55) February 25, 2020
Probably not, but he’s cheap and he’s a more proven NHL goaltender in the interim.
In short, while his NHL numbers aren’t that great (4-9-1 this season, 50-52-14 all-time), Huthinson has 126 games under his belt to Miska’s one game.
The move to pick up Hutchinson rather than one of the bigger-name goalies is a sign that Grubauer’s injury maybe isn’t that serious. If he was potentially out for the season or into the playoffs, then I think we would’ve seen Sakic go hard after maybe a Robin Lehner or Louis Domingue.
Toughest matchup for the Avs in the playoffs out of any of the teams they could play?— Erich Eisenach (@erich0811) February 24, 2020
Course that's gonna have to wait till after the deadline, but we know that the playoffs are about matchups.
Someone asked a couple weeks ago about how the Avalanche would fair in a playoff matchup with the Dallas Stars. I essentially said I didn’t think it would go too well for the Avs. So I’m going to stick with that to answer your question.
I think a team like Dallas or St. Louis, which are the two likeliest first-round matchups for Colorado at this point, would be a very tough series for the Avs.
Dallas has proven to be arguably the NHL’s best defensive unit this season and they got the better of the Avalanche in all four games of the season series this year. Despite Colorado owning one of the league’s top offenses, the Stars’ stout defense was able to contain the Avs. It’s the same thing with St. Louis. Although the Avs have had a couple of solid performances against the Blues this season, St. Louis is a very physical team that can really ramp it up come postseason, which I’d fully expect them to do.
The Central Division is stacked this season and whichever team the Avalanche get in the first round is certainly going to be an easy feat.
Can Avs beat Dallas in playoffs?— MultiverseSunDevil (@MultiverseBrian) February 25, 2020
My answer, to be blunt: I don’t think so.
Do you think jost would be a lot more effective if he was put in more of an offensive role.— Dylan Smith (@DylanSmith101) February 25, 2020
Tyson Jost was drafted for his speed, playmaking ability and his offensive prowess. He was taken 10th overall by Colorado after a season in which he was the BCHL MVP and the MVP of the entire Canadian Junior Hockey League after scoring 42 goals and 104 points during the 2015-16 campaign.
Then following his draft, Jost was committed to North Dakota and was second on the team in both goals (16) and points (35) as a freshman. Jost later joined Colorado at the tailend of its abysmal 2016-17 season and scored his first NHL goal in just his fourth game. People were very high on Jost and his offensive talents.
Jost’s offensive upside just hasn’t been fully realized yet. In his first full season in the NHL, he tallied just 12 goals and 22 points. Last year, it was 11 goals and 26 points. And now this season has just been a flat-out struggle offensively for Jost, who hasn’t scored a goal since Nov. 30 and has just five goals and 15 points thus far.
Now, as his rookie contract is expiring and he’s set to become and RFA at the end of the season, Sakic and the Avalanche will have a difficult decision to make regarding their once highly-touted offensive power.
As far as this season goes for Jost, I think he’s become buried by a bunch of depth that wasn’t there the past couple seasons. The 21 year old is averaging the fewest minutes (12:01 per game) among Avs forwards and is largely being utilized as a third of fourth line, defensive-zone guy. That’s quite the opposite role he’s found himself in, considering he was drafted for his offense and playmaking abilities. Coach Bednar obviously doesn’t use him in that capacity, and whether that’s a lack of skill on Jost’s part or a failure to give him an opportunity on Bednar’s part — who knows.
Maybe the talent just isn’t there and his style was more fit for junior hockey rather than National Hockey. To be honest, I was hoping Jost would get traded yesterday. I think he deserves a fresh start elsewhere, and I also think he’ll get that at the end of the season when Sakic doesn’t offer a new contract to his soon-to-be RFA.
I hope he finds a fresh start and a new home somewhere else this offseason. It’s sad how he’s fallen from grace like this. He’s become almost vilified — for whatever reason — by a fanbase and organization that once viewed him as their future high-scoring second-line center.
Why is Jost still an Av?— The B#1G MacK (@sn0b40) February 25, 2020
Case in point.
Can the Av's survive the playoffs with the current D core?— Greg (@Greg_Harold1) February 25, 2020
Well, with the deadline passing yesterday, looks like they’ll have to survive with this current D core.
I’ve never been high on Colorado’s defense and I make mention of that fact in just about every Twitter Tuesday. Obviously guys like Cale Makar and Ryan Graves have proven to be a great one-two punch both offensively and defensively, the bottom four defensemen gets a big C- from me.
I think the Avalanche defensive unit lacks the physical, shutdown D-men that are a requirement in the playoffs. Erik Johnson is always solid on the backend, but that’s about it. Nikita Zadorov is physical but not reliable defensively. I roll my eyes or shake my head more often than not with plays made by Ian Cole. Sam Girard hasn’t been the Sam Girard we saw last season.
I think adding a guy like Brenden Dillon at the deadline — or if Sakic could’ve pulled the trigger on Petry in Montreal — that would’ve done wonders for the Avs blueline. But alas, we must hope that the D and goaltending hit their stride in the playoffs.
The stadium game was rough all around, but giving traffic help could have made it better for many. Which former Avs player(s) or staff member(s) would have done the best job directing traffic?— BKS (@gusbeansjr) February 24, 2020
(Obviously not current players/staff, because they were at the game)
Defensemen are usually the ones directing traffic, so to speak, in front of their goaltenders. That said, Rob Blake is an imposing character that I’d like to have as the one directing traffic at the Stadium Series.
Favorite touristy activity in Denver?— Gil Maneclang (@Rx_MoreCowbell) February 24, 2020
Favorite non-touristy activity in Denver?
Touristy activity: Come down and see me on the 16th Street Mall. A lot of bars, restaurants and shops. Start on the east end and walk down and grab a few drinks on your way towards Coors Field. Then, when you’re all good and well-pregamed, catch a Rockies game (when in season obviously). Tickets are cheap and the view of downtown and the sunset over the mountains is the best part of going to the baseball game — no offense Rockies.
Non-touristy activity: Colorado is known for its craft brewery scene. I’d hit up RiNo (a fun, artsy neighborhood just a few blocks away from Pepsi Center in downtown Denver), where there a number of taprooms and breweries located there. Spend an afternoon happy hour hopping through there. Pretty much every other building is a brewery. Added bonus, RiNo is home of a lot of street art. There are murals on just about every building in the neighborhood. Pretty neat stuff.
Try Epic Brewing, 10 Barrel Brewing Company or Improper City.
Any more questions, comments or concerns? Feel free to hit me up on Twitter @0ffScottFree or email me at email@example.com.