At 17-5-0, the Colorado Avalanche have greatly surpassed many expectations for them under first-year head coach Patrick Roy. While a big part of that has come thanks to the stellar goaltending of Semyon Varlamov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere, it’s hard to discount the role that the top six forwards have played in producing consistent offense.
Colorado’s de facto top six forwards, including the injured Matt Duchene, have each cracked double-digit points in the team’s first quarter of the season. They also have each of their forwards playing with either a positive plus-minus rating or at zero, which suggests a team that plays with defensive responsibility.
The problem: Colorado only has six players with a positive or even Corsi rating, suggesting that the Avs’ top six forwards are mostly just benefiting from the unreal work Varlamov and Giguere are doing between the pipes.
With Duchene and his point-per-game offense returning shortly from an oblique injury, it should be expected that Colorado’s offense picks up. But for some of the team’s top six forwards, the numbers suggest that things may be headed back to Earth in the near future.