Colorado Avalanche Need to Figure Out Home Ice

BY Fansided and Ross Sellers/FanSided via Mile High Sticking • December 26, 2016

The Colorado Avalanche need to figure out how to start winning games on home ice.

Being an attendee of a Colorado Avalanche game at the Pepsi Center is akin to watching the painful removal of a Band-Aid from Chewbacca’s armpit — sure, it’s tough to watch, you’re only semi-interested though, and you really don’t have any empathy for the result.

That needs to change. NHL teams don’t lose on home ice the way the Avs are losing on home ice. It just doesn’t happen.

Sure, there are four other teams with losing records on home ice, but only two of those teams are more than one game below .500. And, those two teams are only two games below .500.

The Avs are seven games below .500…

Part of the reason that is the case is because the Avs are currently on an eight game losing streak on home ice. Of course, that kind of losing streak on home ice is epically unacceptable.

So, how can the Avs figure out how to start winning on home ice and bring the fans back where they belong?

What Will it Take to Win at Home?

There are too many issues to pin it down to one thing, but it starts with a certain tenacity that the Avs seem to reserve for road games.

They just seem disinterested at home, as if they’re just there to check-in out of necessity before they head back out on the road. They wave hello to the fans, enjoy the feel of the home locker room and get to put on their third jersey every now and again. It’s infuriating.

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As far as I’m concerned, that’s the only way a winless streak stretches on to eight on home ice. However, there are most certainly some other things to consider. Let’s run ’em through.

Not Scoring Enough Goals on Home Ice

The Avs aren’t scoring enough goals in general this year, but home ice has been a bit worse than the road.

The Avs have scored 32 goals on home ice, and 35 goals on the road. Which puts their home average at 2.00 goals per game at home, and 2.05 on the road.

That’s a slight difference, but the idea is to have a home-ice advantage. Scoring more goals at home than on the road goes a long way toward that advantage.

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    I know it’s simple, but the Avs should have a sizable advantage of home goals over road goals.

    Take the St. Louis Blues for example — who have one of the worst road records in the NHL — they have 56 goals scored at home to their 42 on the road.

    The Blues are awful on the road, but their issues are in goals against on the road, not in goals scored. Still, they have a noticeable advantage in home goals when compared to the goals they’ve scored on the road.

    The point is, the Avs need figure out how to start scoring more goals at home. The next issue has also been a season-long issue, but it’s more noticeable at home.

    The Goaltending is Atrocious

    When the team has only won four games at home, the home-ice win totals that Semyon Varlamov (3-7) and Calvin Pickard (1-4-1) have are obviously going to be low.

    However, the performance that both goaltenders are shoveling goes beyond win totals.

    For example — if you exclude the Montreal Canadiens game (because who wouldn’t) — Varly has a .893 save percentage on home ice, and .901 save percentage on the road.

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    The difference is more notable with Picks though, as he has a .894 save percentage at home, and a .941 save percentage on the road. Again, that’s with the Canadiens game excluded.

    Obviously it’s not all on the goaltenders because odd-man rushes and poor in-zone defensive coverage are probably more pressing issues.

    Nonetheless, the goaltending needs to be better, particularly from Pickard.

    Conclusion

    The Avs will look to snap their eight game losing streak at home on Tuesday night when they face the Calgary Flames.

    The Flames are hot right now (haha) — they are 7-3 in their last ten — and they are one of the best teams on the road this season.

    So, ending the losing skid is not going to be easy for the Avs. However, it must be done, and there needs to be an urgency about it as well.

    The Avs cannot allow this losing skid to extend any longer. So, Tuesday night against the Flames is an imperative victory.

    That’s all for today folks, thank you for stopping by.



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