3 Takeaways from the Avalanche’s 5-0 Loss to the Jets – 11/29/22

The Colorado Avalanche took a depleted squad into the Canada Life Centre Tuesday night to face the Winnipeg Jets. The Avalanche, 4-0-0 on the road in November, were seeking to end the month with a perfect record away from home, but it was not to be.

The Jets, behind a strong performance from goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, shrugged off 40 shots on goal from the Avalanche, to record a dominating, 5-0 shutout performance. With the win, Winnipeg moved within a point of the Central Division-leading Dallas Stars and increased its lead over the third-place Avalanche from two to four points.

Here are three takeaways from the game.

More New Faces for the Avalanche

With key Avalanche players continuing to rehab injuries — including top six forwards Gabriel Landeskog (knee), Valeri Nichushkin (ankle), and Evan Rodrigues (lower body) — two more players made their first appearance in an Avalanche sweater Monday night. 

Jean-Luc Foudy made his NHL debut. The 20-year-old right winger got off to a rough start with a two-minute minor penalty for tripping on his second shift. The Jets capitalized, with Blake Wheeler scoring the first goal of the game while Foudy was in the box. 

Windsor Spitfires Jean-Luc Foudy
Jean-Luc Foudy of the Windsor Spitfires. (Terry Wilson / OHL Images

The Scarborough, Ontario native, who has five goals and nine assists in 18 games played with the Avalanche’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Colorado Eagles, had 12:11 time on ice (TOI) in the contest, with three shots on goal and an even plus/minus rating. Foudy hails from an athletic family – his mother, France Gareau, earned a silver medal running the relay for the 1984 Canadian Olympic team; his father, Sean Foudy, spent six seasons in the Canadian Football League; and his brother, Liam Foudy, plays for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Latest News & Highlights

Alex Galchenyuk skated with the Avalanche in training camp, but sustained an injury. He was eventually released from his professional tryout contract (PTO) and then signed with the team on Monday (Nov. 28). The 28-year-old journeyman, originally selected third overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, has appeared in 643 NHL games for eight different teams, notching 354 points. He had 13:42 TOI against the Jets, with no shots on goal, one block, and a plus/minus rating of minus-2. Galenychuk and Foudy skated on the third line with center Alex Newhook. They are the 25th and 26th players to dress for the Avalanche this season.

Related: The 3 Man Avalanche – MacKinnon, Makar & Rantanen

Beyond Colorado’s first line – Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Artturi Lehkonen – the Avalanche have been forced to roster players that are either not yet ready for primetime, and/or playing out of their depth. It’s a testament to head coach Jared Bednar that the team has remained relevant in the face of overwhelming injuries. As of this writing, they have more than $17 million worth of salary sidelined by injury.

Winnipeg House of Horrors for Colorado

The Avalanche have losing records in only seven road venues, none worse than the Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg. With the loss Tuesday night, they are 3-7-0 when visiting the Jets since the 2017-18 season.

Colorado has scored 21 goals in those 10 games and surrendered 35. Their power play, which produced no goals on four attempts in the loss, has only converted nine percent of the time (three goals in 33 attempts) in Winnipeg since 2017-18. The Avalanche have one more game at the Canada Life Centre this season, in late February.

Hellybuck Outshines Georgiev

Hellebuyck and Alexandar Georgiev each came into the game in the midst of strong seasons. Georgiev entered the game with a .933 save percentage (SV%) and a 2.29 goals-against average (GAA), while Helleybuyck brought a .926 SV% and 2.43 GAA to the contest. But it was Hellebuyck who stood tall Tuesday night.

The veteran native of Commerce, Michigan stopped all 40 shots he faced, and never looked in distress at any point in the game. By contrast, Georgiev faced only 23 shots and made only 18 saves. It was a rare off night for him, who has met and exceeded expectations so far this season in Colorado. Fans should expect to see backup goaltender Pavel Francouz get at least one start on the team’s current four-game road trip.

Game Notes & Up Next

Wheeler, who was stripped of the captaincy this season, had a hat trick in the game. The shut-out was only the second against the Avalanche this season, the first coming in late October with a 1-0 loss to the resurgent New Jersey Devils in New Jersey.

The Avalanche continue their current road trip when they visit the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night.

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