Needless to say, the Colorado Avalanche have not had a November to remember thus far. While a lot of attention (or blame) has been given to the goaltenders, the real problem has not been keeping the puck out of their net; it’s been burying the biscuit in their opponents’.

In five games this month, the Avalanche only have five goals. To break things down Madden style, the key to winning games is scoring more than the other team. The Avs simply do not do that often enough. In fact, their 24 goals this season rank dead last in the NHL.

So what’s the root of the problem?

Though not by leaps and bounds, the Avalanche’s shot and possession numbers have improved since last season. In my opinion, the Avs’ offensive issues can be broken down into three main causes.

1. Lack of secondary scoring

If you were to make a list of Avalanche players that are pulling their weight offensively, it would start and end with Matt Duchene. The versatile 25-year-old is pacing the team in goals (6), assists (5) and points (11).

The Avalanche need to find a way to get consistent contributions from the rest of their lineup. Head coach Jared Bednar has mixed up his lines quite often thus far this season, trying to find the right combinations. For chemistry to develop, players need to be left together. Once this happens, the offense should improve.

If the team wants quicker results, they should consider calling up top prospects A.J. Greer and J.T. Compher, who, in addition to playing solid two-way hockey, respectively lead the San Antonio Rampage in points and goals and could offer the Avs more offensively than, say, Cody McLeod and Andreas Martinsen.

Inserting Eric Gelinas into the lineup consistently could have a similar impact on the blueline, as he possesses perhaps the best slapshot on the team.

2. Adjusting to Bednar’s system (and vice versa)

This is something that should, in theory, come with time.

I believe that, thanks to Bednar, you can see improvements in several facets of the game, including quick puck movement, physicality, possession and pursuit. That being said, how the offense runs through the system is still a work in progress.

While last year the Avalanche squandered too many scoring opportunities trying to make the perfect play, this year, they sometimes shoot for the sake of shooting when there is a better play available.

Bednar’s system is for grinders, but sometimes it can limit the impact of skilled players. The perfect embodiment of this is Carl Soderberg. A playmaker by nature, he has only one assist on the campaign. Not only does the roster still need to adjust to Bednar (read below to see the most important way they can do that), but he needs to adjust to the roster as well.

3. Failure to create (and capitalize on) second chance scoring opportunities

Ugly goals count the same as pretty ones.

Ideally, Bednar would like to see his team create offense off screens, puck movement and rebounds. Simply put, the Avalanche need to crash the net harder. They have some players that have shown that they are capable of this in the past (i.e. Joe Colborne and Jarome Iginla), but they will need a committed team effort in this area.

Creating a little havoc in front of the net could go a long way towards righting the ship.

The good news is that the Avalanche have played a league-low 12 games thus far. So, from their current place four points out of a playoff spot, they still have ample time to turn things around. They will get their first opportunity Friday night, when they face off against the Winnipeg Jets, who shut them out on Oct. 28. It’s an important game for the Avs, who are 2-4 in their division — yet another number that needs to improve.