With every excuse in the book for the Avalanche team to lose, they have found a way to win. After enduring a five-game losing streak, Colorado has now won three straight, including an impressive 4-0 victory on Tuesday night in Winnipeg.
Missing from the Avalanche lineup going into Winnipeg were Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen, Nikita Zadorov, Colin Wilson, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Philipp Grubauer. Then 31 seconds into the game against the Jets, backup goaltender Pavel Francouz left the game with an injury.
The Avalanche had to rely on their third goalie, 22-year-old Adam Werner, yet they found a way to beat the Jets. Werner posted 40 saves in his first NHL game, as well as holding the Jets scoreless. Werner is the largest goalie on the Avalanche current roster, checking in at 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds. In his time with the Avalanche affiliate, Werner posted a .908 save percentage and a 2.88 goals against average.
There are some positive notes on the injury front with the Avalanche. Rantanen, Zadorov and Grubauer were all skating at the team’s last home practice. Traveling with the team on this five-game road trip are Bellemare and Grubauer.
Nathan MacKinnon and rookie defenseman Cale Makar have been carrying a lot of the load for this team in the last three games. MacKinnon has scored three goals and added five assists in the last three games. Meanwhile, Makar has scored four goals and added two assists.
Joonas Donskoi scored a hat trick against the Predators and has picked up slack for this team. He’s scored four goals, and two assists in the three games.
Callups T.J. Tynan, and Jayson Megna have seen fourth line minutes with Vladislav Kamenev. During that time, Kamenev has started to build his confidence. Tynan is a small player, but has a lot of speed and heart to his game. Tynan was given an assist on Donskoi’s third goal against Nashville, only to have it taken away upon review. Since then, Tynan has looked even more hungry to get a point in the NHL. The Avalanche entire fourth line are fighting for their lives once players start to return to the lineup.
Given this production, the Avalanche will find themselves in a tough spot when all the injured players start to return. Fitting these all-star players back in the lineup is needed, but others have made cases for some movement in the lineup once the return begins.
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