Colorado Avalanche: The Good And The Bad; Thoughts On Byram
At 22-8-3 there is a lot to be happy about if you're a fan of the Colorado Avalanche. Fresh off a five-game win streak, could have been six if not for a horrific blown call in overtime, the 'Avs find themselves sitting pretty in both the Central Division and the Western Conference. And while there has been plenty of good since the season resumed a couple of weeks ago, there's been a fair share of bad from a team in Colorado's position.
I'm going to run through some of that using a point, counterpoint system. Should be loads of fun so buckle up buttercup and enjoy the ride.
The Good: The 'Avs are 5-0-1 since the end of the extended Christmas break scoring an average of 4.7 goals per game.
The Bad: The 'Avs have trailed in all six games, including several multi-goal deficits, and their opponents are averaging three goals per game.
The Good: The power play has been good all season long. Colorado had six power-play goals during the winning streak. Overall, the 'Avs 24.2% success rate ranks 7th in the NHL.
The Bad: The 'Avs penalty kill stinks. They are 30th in the league at 72%. They've given up at least one power-play goal in 23 games this season. In the last six games, they allowed at least one power-play goal against, and their power was outscored by the opponent's power play 7-6. It gets worse when you consider five of Colorado's power-play goals were scored in just two of those games.
The Good: Pavel Francouz is back between the pipes after missing so much time with injuries. He's been pretty good too.
The Bad: Darcy Kuemper remains very inconsistent and has not provided the security in the net that the 'Avs were hoping for.
The Good: Nazem Kadri leads the entire NHL in assists with 35 and leads the team with 48 points.
The Bad: This is the final year of Kadri's contract and it's hard to know if this type of production is sustaining beyond this season.
The Good: Cal Makar is scoring at a Bobby Orr-like pace.
The Bad: Orr only played 657 games over 12 seasons.
Finally, Bo Byram took a leave of absence from the team for personal reasons prior to the Nashville game. Everything seemed to be on the up and up healthwise for the young defender.
According to some reports he's still dealing with issues pertaining to his concussion issues. If that's the case Byram should take all the time he needs. If it's at the point that his career is in jeopardy he should do whatever is necessary to get his health right.
Byram is more than just a hockey player, he's a young man with his entire life ahead of him.
I wish him all the best and hope he gets the help he needs.
Thanks for reading,