Originally Posted by BroncoLifer
The goaltending (Varlamov) has been good and at times excellent. The problem is that he has a bunch of pylons on defense in front of him. And their troubles in getting the puck out of the zone and through the neutral zone is hurting the offense at the same time.
The Avs have only one true NHL caliber defenseman (Johnson, who is currently out with a concussion), one young guy who may eventually prove to be a good PMD and two guys who are at best the #6 guy on most teams (Wilson & Hejda). The rest (Hunwick, Zanon, O'Brien, O'Byrne) are NHL trash.
This is true, outside of Johnson and Hejda there is not a player on the D for the Avs who would be in the top 6 on most other teams. Outside of the top 6 forwards the same is true up front, too many AHL players wearing NHL sweaters.
Varlamov is good, but he is no Hasek and will never be. In today's NHL you need your goalie to be able to play his angles and he can only do that if he can trust his defense to cover the areas he will leave open. That is fine if your name is Lundquist or Brodeur and you have a defense you can work with, but when your defense consist mostly of people who shouldn't be in the league you either leave areas open or you play more conservative and can't cover as much of the net. The same was true for Jimmy Howard earlier when he had guys like Lashoff and Huskins play well over 15 minutes per game.
The Avs need to be able to attract 3rd liners and 2nd pairing d-men so they can fill out the roster with actual players, they can't be competitive the way things are now.