The Colorado Avalanche are back in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And they have had some time to prepare for their first-round opponent. Colorado's matchup with the Winnipeg Jets was the first matchup of the postseason to be confirmed this year. It should be a great series, and we even saw a preview near the end of the regular season.

The preview did not go the Avalanche's way by any means, though. Winnipeg dominated their Central Division rival and came away with a 7-0 victory. Their playoff series will certainly be more competitive. Still, it showed that Colorado has a major flaw that must be corrected in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Avalanche are one of the best offensive teams in the league. They are led in this department by Hart Trophy candidate Nathan MacKinnon. And they don't have many flaws in their defensive ability, either. Only a handful of players are truly suspect in Colorado's own end of the ice.

Colorado's flaw is one that may be rather difficult to fix on the fly. And it's something that the Jets have excelled at in the past, with this season being no exception. It will certainly present a challenge in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if the team does not rectify it sooner rather than later.

Avalanche have less-than-ideal goaltending

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) in the first period against the Winnipeg Jets at Ball Arena.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Winnipeg Jets superstar Connor Hellebuyck finished second in the NHL with 36 wins this season. The goalie that won more games? Colorado Avalanche puck-stopper Alexandar Georgiev. However, the path each goalie took to their respective win marks could not be more different.

Georgiev played a ton this season. In fact, only one goaltender in the league played more contests than the Avalance netminder. That being said, he wasn't spectacular by any means. Georgiev recorded just an .898 save percentage this year. This worked out as the fifth-worst save percentage among goalies at least 40 starts in 2023-24.

Digging a bit deeper, the picture doesn't get any prettier. Georgiev recorded a -12.45 goals saved above average for the Avalanche this season. This goes along with a goals saved above expected mark of -0.21. It's certainly less-than-ideal production from a netminder who led the league in wins this season.

Let's contrast this with Hellebuyck's totals. The Jets goalie recorded a sparkling .928 save percentage in 2023-24. The underlying numbers are also rather astounding. Hellebuyck recorded 29.35 goals saved above average and 39.35 goals saved above expected for Winnipeg. The Jets netminder led the NHL in both categories.

Overall, Winnipeg is better situated to win a goaltending battle if it comes down to it. Now, Colorado does have a strong backup option if needed. Justus Annunen took over as the backup around halfway through the season. And he played well in the 14 games he appeared in. Annunen posted a .928 save percentage, a 9.86 goals saved above average, and a 13.37 goals saved above expected with the Avalanche.

However, the Jets can also counter with a strong option in Laurent Brossoit. And Brossoit has the experience edge over Annunen. The 24-year-old Avalanche goal has played just 18 career NHL games, with none of them coming in the playoffs. Brossoit, however, has 149 combined games under his belt.

The Avalanche can outscore the Jets if it comes down to it. And they can hold their own defensively if need be. However, Colorado cannot rely on goaltending to save the day at this time. If they do, it'll result in another disappointing elimination in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.