Some Colorado Avalanche fans seem to have redirected their out of touch to defenseman Samuel Girard as this season approaches the deadline. Many jumped to the defense of the small-framed 24-year-old when a still image of the crowd surfaced showing an Avalanche fan wearing a backwards retro jersey while holding a sign in all black letters that read ” Trade Girard”. However, some joined in with similar sentiments, showing just how ruthless fans can be.
In this week’s Mile High Hockey Lab episode, we conducted a live poll with some tongue and cheek intentions. It’s no secret that Colorado should see the return of Bo Byram and Josh Manson after the All-Star break. Thus, the defense group gets an upgrade, and players like Andreas Englund, Kurtis MacDermid and Jacob MacDonald are pushed down the line-up and back to the AHL. We sent out a live poll of the names that fit and one that didn’t, asking who the Avs should scratch or send down. Here is the poll:
LIVE VOTING: #GoAvsGo
Who should the Avs sit when players return to the lineup?
— Mile High Hockey Lab (@MHH_LAB) 23 January 2023
This week’s host Ezra Parter and the entire MHH panel of writers were frustrated but not surprised to see Sam Girard get nearly 10% of 700 votes. That means nearly 70 Avalanche fans and MHH supporters think Sam Girard should leave the lineup. What gives?
Sam Girard went from playing at Shawinigan in the QMJHL to playing five games with the Predators to being part of a blockbuster trade that immediately put him in the Avalanche lineup for 68 starts at just 19 years old. He is a six-year vet approaching 400 games played for the Avalanche. He is a 0.41 point per game defender. game, just two goals short of tying his career high in a single season.
With that, he has never really been a goalscorer, but primarily a creator. Sam Girard has two assists in his last five games and is a plus-one. Even if you don’t take plus/minus seriously, it looks like his production is improving now that he can create for actual finishers. Josh Manson was also brought in for the specific role of Sam’s D-partner. I expect an increase in Girard’s assist total when he returns.
I understand it; some fans need a scapegoat, and what used to be the Tyson Barrie treatment has now landed on the shoulders of another lesser defender. I think it’s time to find something real to worry about. This Avalanche team is made for pure breakouts and high-speed hockey.
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