As Thanksgiving and the holiday season approaches, PHR will be taking a look at what teams are thankful for in 2022-23. There also might be a few things your team would like down the road. We’ll examine what’s gone well in the early going and what could improve as the season rolls on for the Colorado Avalanche.
Who are the Avalanche thankful for?
The Avalanche have an incredible team, so naturally, it’s difficult to pick just one person the franchise should be thankful for. That being said, though, one name does emerge above the rest of the pack: Georgiev. Why? Because when looking at both a player’s performance alongside what could reasonably be expected of that player, Georgiev soars above all other Avalanche players.
Cale Makar is doing extremely well. Nathan MacKinnon has been brilliant. Mikko Rantanen has stormed out the gates. But brilliance is the expectation for those players. For Georgiev, what could reasonably be expected from a netminder who posted an .898 save percentage last year? Could the Avalanche have expected the performance he’s given them?
Even the most optimistic Avalanche fan would have to admit that Georgiev’s play so far this year has come as a surprise. The netminder has gone 9-2-1 with a 2.40 goals-against-average and a sterling .929 save percentage. That .929 mark is tied for third-best in the NHL, and is eight points better than the .921 save percentage former starting goalie Darcy Kuemper gave Colorado last season.
The Avalanche surrendered three draft picks to the New York Rangers in order to acquire Georgiev, and then promptly gave him a $3.4MM AAV contract that runs until the summer of 2025. At the time, it was viewed as a risk, seen as the team taking a major leap of faith in trusting such an unproven goalie in a year where they would be defending a Stanley Cup championship.
Now, it seems that leap of faith is being rewarded, and that’s something for the Avalanche to be most thankful for.
What are the Avalanche thankful for?
The depth of talent in their organization.
Every NHL team faces its fair share of injuries over the course of a season. That much is unavoidable. But in the Avalanche’s case so far in 2022-23, their injury woes have gone beyond “fair share” territory. At the moment, the team has two players on injured reserve and two more on long-term injured reserve. In addition to those inactives, numerous players are either playing through ailments or battling day-to-day…