Stinkers happen.

They may not feel as terrible following a perfect 6-0-0 start, but they often serve as a reminder that perfection is nearly impossible in today’s NHL. There’s no question the Avalanche have issues that need to be corrected, something head coach Jared Bednar made very clear to me when I applauded him for the undefeated record. The 4-0 loss Thursday at Pittsburgh at the hands of Sidney Crosby and the Penguins served as a clear reminder.

The three issues I feel we learned most from Colorado’s first loss of the season:

1. Alexandar Georgiev needs a break

The Avs had no choice but to ride their red-hot starting goalie in the second half of last season. They were 20-17-3 through 40 games and in jeopardy of missing the playoffs. But after stringing together a few wins, the focus shifted to home-ice advantage, then to winning the division. They accomplished all of those feats, but the result was a seven-game series loss against an upstart Seattle team which saw Georgiev struggle at times with the volume of shots he faced.

Things shouldn’t be the same this season. Georgiev has manned the crease for each of the first seven games. And outside of backup Ivan Prosvetov’s late third-period appearance, he has played every other minute of action for the 6-1-0 Avalanche. And it’s puzzling.

The Avs aren’t in jeopardy of missing out on a playoff spot. They were one of three teams to start with a perfect record through six games and shouldn’t be riding their top goalie to fatigue. It’s time to give Prosvetov an opportunity. And if he fails, give Justus Annunen a shot. And if he fails, it’s fine. Hit the goaltending market for another option and use those lost points as validity that the team needs a stronger backup goalie. They don’t know what they currently have behind Georgiev because they haven’t given them a chance yet.

2. Defensive structure

What looked like a solid defensive structure through four games has suddenly looked like an obvious blunder. It’s an easy fix given the pieces playing on the Avalanche’s stacked blueline, but it’s still worth mentioning. Colorado surrendered just four goals through the first four games. It shut out the Chicago Blackhawks in its home opener and gave up just two goals to the L.A. Kings in the season opener. San Jose and Seattle each only got one puck past Georgiev.

But since then, the Avs have allowed four goals in each game. They won two of them before being blanked by the Penguins, but it’s a clear sign that Georgiev needs help, and it starts with the team’s support. Bowen Byram was a bright spot the past two games, which is great given his slower start. Once the other top blueliners bounce back, you’ll see more of the Avs we saw in the first four contests.

3. Nathan MacKinnon has yet to dominate

To be one of the best in the league means a point-per-game pace through seven games isn’t enough. And MacKinnon would likely agree.

The Avalanche’s top forward is coming off a spectacular 111-point season despite missing 11 regular season games. While Mikko Rantanen is already up to 12 points — and has two four-point efforts — MacKinnon has yet to reach that level of dominance. Am I worried about him getting there? Absolutely not. Not even remotely worried. But there is still another level for him to get to — for him to dominate games in a way only he can in this league.

Once that begins, the dominant Avalanche will only be more dangerous.