Swedish forward Carl Soderberg hits his stride as Colorado extends its hot streak.
Forward’s contribution since Dec. giving team big boost
The question to Carl Soderberg on Saturday night in Dallas began with the observation that “you’re” on a roll. His answer, referring to the Avalanche’s success dating back to the first of December, assumed that the “you” meant the Avalanche, not him.
“I think we’re playing pretty good right now,” he said. “We want that to keep going."
Yes, the Avalanche is 17-7-2 in that stretch.
But he was told the question actually was intended to be about the quiet Swede who led Colorado in scoring during December, has continued to play well (if unflashily) and had just scored his 10th goal of the season — and his first short-handed — as the Avalanche beat Dallas and ran its winning streak to four.
“Oh, me,” Soderberg responded. “Aw, I’m playing pretty good. I play my game. I find my game.”
Soderberg has been centering Blake Comeau and Gabe Landeskog, who also had a shorthanded goal against the Stars. That came with Soderberg serving the second two minutes of the double-minor he drew for inadvertently high-sticking the Stars’ Jason Demers as Demers got the Stars’ only goal.
With 10 goals and 34 points, he now is third on the Avalanche in scoring, behind Matt Duchene (40) and Nathan MacKinnon (39), and just ahead of Landeskog (33).
During Soderberg’s slow start — at least statistically — it wasn’t out of line to wonder if the Avalanche had overrated him when it acquired his rights from Boston just before he could have become an unrestricted free agent and signed him to a five-year, $23.75 million deal.
It was a pre-emptive strike, anticipating an imminent trade of Ryan O’Reilly, who ended up going to Buffalo and signing a sevenyear, $52.5 million extension. The year before, the Avalanche had lost Paul Stastny as an unrestricted free agent, and the acquisition and signing of Soderberg summoned comparisons of the three as heady forwards whose contributions went beyond numbers.
Colorado’s 80.4 percent penalty-killing now is 19th in the league, and Soderberg does significant work there.
Footnotes. The Avalanche returned to Denver after the game Saturday night, had Sunday completely off and is expected to practice Monday morning before leaving for San Jose. Colorado’s final two games before the all-star break are Tuesday against the Sharks and Wednesday at Los Angeles. … Forward Jack Skille, who slid and slammed into the end boards, suffering a back injury in the first period against the Stars and didn’t return, was walking around afterward and didn’t appear to be seriously hurt.
With 10 goals and 34 points, Colorado’s Carl Soderberg is third on the team in scoring, behind Matt Duchene (40) and Nathan MacKinnon (39). AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post