David Jones has scored six points in his last three games.
The Colorado Avalanche could finally have something to offer with two straight wins. After losing five games, they looked like they were in the water, especially as two of those games at home against division rivals Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks meant horrific one-goal losses.
One of the biggest changes for the team in recent games has been the play by right winger David Jones. Jones is a somewhat underrated name on the Avalanche, not as conspicuous as that of Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny or now Gabriel Landeskog in the team, but always there and in recent years always producing. Last season the Avalanche missed the playoffs terribly but it was a breakthrough year for the former Dartmouth player. Jones scored 27 goals in the lost year for Colorado, tied for team leadership and added 18 assists, and was named as one of the bigger names in 2012.
Unfortunately, at the start of the 2011/2012 season, Jones bit the common injury bug along with some sort of inconsistency bug. By the end of January he had only played 43 games and was a poor number; nine goals and seven assists. However, February has been extremely friendly to the winger so far as he has finally found his “ice legs”, so to speak.
Jones scored his first goal in a while in the terrible last-second loss to the Canucks. Jones then scored two goals and got an assist as the Avalanche dismantled the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. In their thrilling overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes, it was Jones who went on the offensive as he received two assists for some very nice goals.
A lot has to change for the Avalanche if they are to make their playoff hockey advance a success. Matt Duchene will have to get back on the ice sometime after his terrible knee injury, of course, and Semyon Varlamov will have to start playing like the number 1 goalkeeper they saw him be when they traded two high draft picks for Free Agency.
One of the bigger points has to be the ongoing resurgence of David Jones. It is no coincidence that the Avalanche won two games in a row and was a terrible last-second goal after the third win as Jones began to warm up and bring the skills we saw from him last season. He probably won’t be close to 30 again this year, but if he can get 20-25 it could help starting a playoff campaign. Remember, this is an avalanche squad with no real superstars so any RPG player has to help out. And if there is any phrase that describes David Jones, it is “Super Role Player”.
Chris White is a Coloradan with parents from Upstate New York, which leads to a healthy appreciation for sports teams from both areas, particularly the Colorado Avalanche and Buffalo Sabers. He loves his soccer almost as much as he loves hockey and runs the Colorado Rapids blog Burgundy Wave.