After perhaps a slightly slow start, the Colorado Avalanche are settling in again. Their shots against per game are falling, their goals for per game are rising and they're 6-2-1 over the past four weeks. They haven't been fully healthy through it either.
The most recent hit was J.T. Compher, lost for about a month to injury. He was filling in as the top line centre for Nathan MacKinnon, who himself has been out of the lineup since Oct. 19 with a lower-body injury. When two of your top three centres are out, it can really pinch lineup depth, but the Avs are getting through.
And Nazem Kadri has been a major contributing factor.
The Avs scoring leader with 17 points in 13 games, Kadri is on an especially strong tear recently and has scored at least three points in three of his past five games. He's done it from the second line, too, between Valeri Nichushkin and Andre Burakovsky — a trio head coach Jared Bednar is not keen to break up even with the injuries down the middle. Mikko Rantanen has stepped in to pivot the top unit.
At 5-on-5 and accounting for ice time, Kadri's 2.69 points per 60 minutes ranks 34th in the league and is tied with Connor McDavid.