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Should the Colorado Avalanche use Alex Newhoek as a top center?

this Colorado Avalanche He has won five games in a row, so changing the lineup is not the most urgent thing for coach Jared Bedner. With the absence of Nathan MacKinnon and regular backup forward JT Compher, Avs has turned to Logan O’Connor as their first line.

The undrafted forward didn’t do anything wrong, even though he clearly has limitations. Most importantly, his promotion in the lineup allowed Mikko Rantanen to take on the role of center. This is okay, but it’s not much better, and you really want to know what will happen if the Avalanche team recently played a better opponent. Suitable for Finns. Although not the best in the league, this week’s games against Anaheim, Dallas and Nashville did bring some more difficult things.

So, considering this, and the tougher timetable that is coming, if Avalanche hopes to change the first line by moving up Alex Newhoek?

The young man scored the winning goal of the game Beat Ottawa on Monday Since his return from the American Hockey League (AHL), he has looked comfortable and confident. At least in the short term, is now his chance to shine?

Pros of moving Newhoek to the top line

The biggest reason for pushing Newhoek to the top line is to give him a taste of what is about to happen. In the long run, he will not replace McKinnon, but will be a key part of the advancement of the top six.

Moving him can also eliminate the additional pressure of Lantanen as a center, because Newhoek is born in that position, allowing Lantanen to play his own game. In the current five-game winning streak, Lantanen has accumulated 8 points, which is an impressive score, and at least on the surface, it shows that turning to center responsibilities did not hurt him.

Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche (Jess Starr/Hockey writer)

However, of these eight points, four are from Game of Thrones, which has been rolling in the absence of McKinnon, and because there is no McKinnon, the current impact on Lantanin is even greater. Three of his four goals also came from strong offenses. In the past five games, Lantanen has only scored one evenly matched goal.

On the surface, Rantanen has moved to the center position without any problems, but deeper observations show that things are not perfect, and Game of Thrones numbers help to mask this. In any case, this is not a sarcasm for Rantanen, but it does show that, even in terms of intensity, his dominance is not as good as his overall data suggests.

As the team rolls, Newhoek is full of confidence in himself, and with the support of the goals that won the game, now seems to be the ideal time to put him on the court, allowing Lantanen to exert even strength on the wing.

Disadvantages and why Avalanche should stick to Newhook

Of course, this argument has another side.Newhoek was his first full season in the NHL. He played a game at the beginning of the season. With an average performance and a rather bad preseason, he Sent to AHL Try to find some form and confidence.

Newhoek’s performance after returning to the NHL was much better, as his winner of the wild game against Ottawa highlighted this.He seems to have found a place where he can play well and thrive without being pushed into a role that is too demanding, and that is with Tyson Yost and newcomer Nicholas Obu- Kubel is on the third line together, this line helps Finally brings depth score To the team.

The buzz around Newhoek depends on his potential and the perception of him as a long-term member of this avalanche team. With this in mind, why should we focus on short-term goals here? This may put long-term goals in an uncomfortable position for him, which may affect his development.McKinnon is Expected to start in early December On the road, so if Newhoek moves, we will only focus on a few games.

What will Avalanche do?

The best guess is that because of their winning streak, Avs will not do anything unless something happens before MacKinnon returns to force them to take action. It could be a bad game, a loss, another injury or a breakthrough from Newhoek, which is too good to be ignored.

If any of these happen, we are likely to see the 20-year-old player appear on the top line. If this happens, many people will pay attention to him. But don’t be too frustrated if it doesn’t happen, because Newhoek has a long-term plan and we are only in the first chapter of his time with the avalanche.



Craig Jones is a freelance NHL writer from the UK covering the Colorado avalanche. Viewing the NHL from a distance, Craig has been following Avs for more than two decades and has almost written an article about them. To find out what the UK thinks about the NHL and all things in Colorado, follow Craig on Twitter @craigjones29.


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