Stockholm, Sweden – The Colorado Avalanche fell 4-3 in overtime to Matt Duchene and the Ottawa Senators on Friday night in Stockholm, Sweden in the first of the NHL’s two-game Global Series.

With the page officially turned on the Duchene saga, this was the first game the coaching staff needed to start assessing their roster to start to find a replacement for the role that Duchene filled for the nearly nine years. And at least for tonight, Alexander Kerfoot filled that role.

Kerfoot had two points (1G, 1A) and three shots on goal in 14:56 of ice time tonight, and was a threat all game long.

“I thought he was good tonight” head coach Jared Bednar said. “I thought he was making plays out there, he was playing dangerous. I liked his commitment to come back into the d-zone”

Knowing the Duchene situation was bound to end in a trade, Kerfoot was brought in as a college UFA over the summer to give the Avs some more skilled depth at center. And Kerfoot knows that. This is the exact situation in which the team is looking for him to step up.

“I mean, I think that’s what you want as a hockey player,” Kerfoot said. “To be able to play against anyone. You don’t want to be sheltered in your minutes, you want the coach’s trust, and to be reliable at both ends of the ice, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

And while it was a good night for him, it’s just that, one good night. In order for the Ads to have continued success without Duchene, it’s going to take a group effort. But having players like Kerfoot chipping in, along with other rookies Tyson Jost, J.T. Compher and newcomer Vladislav Kamenev, who is expected to join the Avalanche next week, things are going exactly as planned.

“I’m obviously not gonna step in and do what [Duchene] did,” Kerfoot told BSN Denver. “He’s been in this league a long time, and he’s a hell of a hockey player. And I think that a lot of guys are going to have to step up to fill his void.”

The Avs showed resilience tonight against their former franchise cornerstone and his new team. Colorado came back from a deficit two times to force overtime. In addition to Kerfoot’s two-point night, the Avs got contributions from Nail Yakupov, and Nathan MacKinnon. Avs’ new defensemen Samuel Girard also picked up his first point in an Avs uniform, showing off his skating ability and creativity before setting up the shot that led to the Kerfoot tip.

Colorado’s top line stayed hot as all three players picked up a point on a nice passing play that tied the game up late in the third period.

The Avalanche will take on the Senators for the second of a back to back tomorrow night at 7 PM Local time (11 AM MST) in Stockholm, Sweden.

  • Charlie Anderson

    Um, is it just me or does Kerfoot have more points and goals right now than our previous #2 center?

    • aussieavsfan

      i can’t believe he’s playing rocco over either one of them. i like rocco, but he’s an ahl player.

      • Charlie Anderson

        I know, right?

    • I think with Soderberg out he needed Bourque for the PK. That in my mind is the justification for Bourque over AJ.

    • Jim C

      Greer seems to think the way he is going to stick in the NHL is to be an agitator. He’s better than that and he needs to play smarter.

      • Charlie Anderson

        I couldn’t agree more. But he could develop into something bette,r and that’s why he should be in. We already know that Bourque isn’t going to be able to pass or shoot at all. And we know that Rocco’s not going to be able to play defense at all. But Greer could turn into something more than an agitator, though sometimes I doubt it, and I doubt his intelligence in general as a result.

        • Jim C

          The Avs have been in full out suffer mode because of poor drafting, hence rushing guys like Greer up, and it is very possible that the Avs and fans have over estimated what Greer is.

  • Ace O’Dale

    Jesse, thanks for making the sacrifice and going all the way to Sweden just to keep us updated on the Avs.

  • Av-a-dabba-doo

    I don’t want to be negative, and I am not ignoring the positives from this first game w/o Duchene, but if I’m honest I experienced no small amount of frustration watching this one. Still far too many bad decisions, ill-advised pass attempts (resulting in loss of possession), and just poor overall execution in the offensive zone. Add to that a pretty shoddy OT effort, and that’s not the way you win games, folks. Glad we tallied a point. At some point these continued gaffes must trace their way back to coaching. I realize that no team plays mistake-free hockey, of course, but the excellent ones do not commit such errors constantly. We do. Let’s hope that the second game in Sweden is a marked upgrade in quality from the first.

  • The Avs deserved to lose that one. Far too many giveaways and missed defensive assignments. The OT goal was also 100% Landeskog’s fault as he was covering literally no one when his guy, Stone, scored a wide-open goal.

    Also, Tyson Barrie continues to cement my opinion of him with his complete lack of ability to handle opposing players in front of the net. Sam Gerard already looks better defensively than Barrie. It’s my hope that he gets moved to forward. Failing that, I want him traded because despite all the points he puts up, he seems to cost us just as many, and for a defenseman that’s completely unacceptable.

    • Jim C

      Good post until you wanted to move Barrie to forward.

      • Why shouldn’t he be moved to forward? He can still play the point on the powerplay. I think his skillset is perfectly suited to playing forward.

        • Jim C

          Oh I don’t know because he has spent his entire career at a defenseman, or that he is 2nd pairing defenseman, or that playing forward is completely different than playing defense, or that you don’t have forwards qb power plays because of ice time. And contrary to your opinion you don’t give a guy who is horrible a $5M dman contract. It’s the type of comment back in the day you’d here from uniformed fans about Ozolinish. Joining the offense from the d spot is a distinct skill when to pinch or sneak down in the slot, as compared to forward playing off the half boards, behind the goals, living in the slot in front of the crease. The numbers he creates from d wouldn’t translate pt for pt to forward. Look at a scoring chart for where his points come from, 80% from face off dots and out. Compare that to a forward who is usually 80% inside and below the face off dots. It’s asinine to here fans say move defenseman to forward. Name me ONE NHL defenseman that has done it. Outside of Sergei Federov, who was a hall of Famer, and arguably the best skater ever, I’ve never seen a forward move back to defense. Sure some forwards are on the point on the power play Joe Sakic a home town advantage, but he didn’t qb the power play because he played with a Dmen like Ozo, Blake, and Bourque. But it is a complete different skill set and it doesn’t happen for a reason. Another thing. You want to create ANOTHER hole on the defense, to move Barrie to forward, where is he going to play. Not on the 1st line, who is he going to replace on the 2nd line? Then your going to what put him on the third line the 4th line? What so he can get 10-12 minutes a game instead of 20-22? Then playing out of position in a third less time, what is his point production going to do, go up?????

          Yeah it is a stupid, dumb, uninformed opinion.

          • Chris DeMott

            Brent Burns

          • “because he has spent his entire career at a defenseman”

            [change is inherently bad]

            “he is 2nd pairing defenseman”

            And he was a top pairing defenseman last season when the Avs were historically bad defensively.

            “playing forward is completely different than playing defense”

            Yes, it’s my contention that Barrie is bad at many of the things that make playing defense different than playing forward and good at many of the things most important to playing forward.

            “you don’t have forwards qb power plays because of ice time”

            I didn’t say QB. I say play the point. EJ, Bigras or Gerard could QB the powerplay.

            “It’s the type of comment back in the day you’d here from uniformed fans about Ozolinish”

            I was too young at the time to accurately evaluate NHL defensemen. Was Ozolinsh completely incapable to effectively covering forwards in front of his own net?

            “Joining the offense from the d spot is a distinct skill when to pinch or sneak down in the slot, as compared to forward playing off the half boards, behind the goals, living in the slot in front of the crease.”

            I never claimed Barrie was bad at the offensive aspects of playing defense. In fact, he’s very good at those things. I also don’t think he’d be instantly great as a forward. I think in the long run it would be better for the team though.

            “The numbers he creates from d wouldn’t translate pt for pt to forward.”

            Probably not, but he’d also be responsible for a lot fewer goals against.

            “Look at a scoring chart for where his points come from, 80% from face off dots and out. Compare that to a forward who is usually 80% inside and below the face off dots.”

            Yes, and that would likely change if he was moved to forward. I’m not trying to claim he already is a forward.

            “It’s asinine to here fans say move defenseman to forward. Name me ONE NHL defenseman that has done it.”

            As Chris DeMott pointed out, Brent Burns. Also Dustin Byfuglien. Historically Red Kelly and Phil Housley played forward in their careers too. I’m not saying it’s common. But something being uncommon does not make it automatically a bad idea.

            “I’ve never seen a forward move back to defense”

            Good thing I’m not proposing that.

            “…but he didn’t qb the power play…”

            See above.

            “You want to create ANOTHER hole on the defense”

            Yep. I’m more concerned this season with the long-term success of the team than wins. With Makar, Girard and Timmins in the system it’s only a matter of time before Barrie is expendable as a defenseman. So the option is either to trade him, keep him, or (unlikely I’ll admit) move him to forward. Since everyone on the team loves him apparently, trading him is not ideal, and if we keep him we’ll eventually end up with a defense core of entirely offensive defensemen.

            In terms of lines, I’m not worried about that – it would depend on if he fit as a winger or a center and which wing and whether he could develop chemistry with anyone. Our lines are so fluid now anyways there’s not point in speculating. And anyway, A full-time move to forward for Barrie would probably happen in the offseason.

            And if he for some reason played on the 4th line, yeah his production would go down. But I’m a Colorado Avalanche fan first and a Tyson Barrie fan second.

          • Just a little add on: I found it really amusing that in the very next game after you said it never happens and it’s asinine to even consider it, Chris Wideman (a defenseman) played right wing for the Sens against the Avs.

          • Jim C

            As a fourth line forward. John Klemm did the same for the Avs in 1996.

            Burns and Byfuglien if you want to call it playing forward do it on the power play (and granted Burns played forward in major junior) where their sizes both are 6’5” is used in front of the net. But get real, they log 90%+ minutes of their time and all of their even strength time there. In addition neither were established Dmen when they were shifted around, or in the case of Burns a dman at all. But both of those occurred at the beginning of their careers.

            Sure Dmen have played wing in games, for a variety of purposes, usually injury or like Burns and Byfuglien they provide size in front of the net. But what you are advocating is taking one of the best puck moving Dmen who qb’s the power play, and turning him into a 4th line forward. That is asinine.

            And yeah Girard is on the team and Makar and Timmons in the system though neither has signed their ELC, but between them all they have 6 games of NHL experience. I hope they all pan out but history says at least one and maybe 2 will completely flame out.

            Then suggesting you trade Barrie, which I wouldn’t be opposed to actually because I agree he is a defensive liability, what would be his trade value if you moved him to forward with a $5M salary?

          • “turning him into a 4th line forward”

            That’s your assumption, not my proposal. Why would he be on the 4th line?

            “Then suggesting you trade Barrie, which I wouldn’t be opposed to actually because I agree he is a defensive liability, what would be his trade value if you moved him to forward with a $5M salary?”

            The idea to move him to forward is assuming the team doesn’t want to trade him. if they’re willing to trade him then the move to forward is unnecessary.

            As for the rest of your post, your argument continues to rest on the idea that if something is uncommon or not done often then it’s inherently a bad idea. How about focusing on the *reasons* you think it’s a bad idea?

            “ozolinish’s nickname was the wandering Latvian he never met a rush or pinch he didn’t like.”

            I remember his roving ways. That’s not my problem with Barrie. My specific concern with Barrie is that the moment the other team has complete control of the puck in his zone, he’s basically useless.

            “Barrie is the PP Qb, EJ can do it, but do you really want him logging more minutes. Bigras, can’t do it, he can’t even get more than 14minutes of ice time.”

            EJ already QBs a powerplay unit. Just move him to the first unit. As for Bigras, you certainly seem to be willing to give up on a rookie who has barely played. I for one would want to at least give him a chance to QB the powerplay before deciding he can’t do it. And if Girard stays up then he can QB the powerplay in place of Barrie.

            On top of all that, there’s really nothing stopping Barrie from playing forward at 5-on-5 then shifting back to defense on the powerplay. It probably wouldn’t be ideal, but it could be a way of transitioning him slowly to his new position.

          • Jim C

            He isn’t going to get moved to forward. Ever. If it does I will gladly celebrate your hockey knowledge. Until then the conversation is moot because he hasn’t played forward. He isn’t going to play forward.

          • I never said he was going to move to forward. I said he *should* be moved to forward. I agree it’s unlikely, but something being unlikely does not mean a) it’s a bad idea and b) it will *never* happen. You can keep repeating your opinion as fact all you want but it doesn’t make it fact. But if you don’t want to talk about it any more that’s fine.

            (edti) P.S. I take it based on this response that you don’t actually think it’s a bad idea but rather that it’s simply never going to happen and thus not worth discussing?

          • Jim C

            Quick add: ozolinish’s nickname was the wandering Latvian he never met a rush or pinch he didn’t like.

            Barrie is the PP Qb, EJ can do it, but do you really want him logging more minutes. Bigras, can’t do it, he can’t even get more than 14minutes of ice time.

            And didn’t mean to come across so harsh. At least coming up with ideas even if I think they are wrong at least means you are a true fan.

          • Chris DeMott

            Also with Jim’s “I’ve never seen a forward move back to defense” comment…
            Brent Burns was drafted as a forward and converted to defense, which he was inconsistent at, at first, and rotated back to forward periodically early in his career before becoming the Norris Trophy stalwart that he is today.

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