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Avs to ‘punish’ defenseman... by playing him at forward

Carolina Hurricanes v Colorado Avalanche

Carolina Hurricanes v Colorado Avalanche

NHLI via Getty Images

Looks like Patrick Roy has dug deep into the motivational handbook:

#Avs will move Nick Holden to a forward spot vs Calgary -- in part because they have only 11, in part as punishment, he said.

— Nick Groke (@nickgroke) December 3, 2014

#Avs Holden to forward for a while. Says “embarrassed” by his play on D #Avalanche

— Rick Sadowski (@RickS7) December 3, 2014

Holden, 27, was one of the biggest surprises in Colorado last year, making the team out of training camp before appearing in a career-high 52 games, scoring 10 goals and 25 points (Holden also had three goals and four points in seven playoff games.)

But this year... yikes. Just one goal through 25 contests with a team-worst minus-16 rating (41.2 percent Corsi For.)

As the above tweets suggest, Colorado is all sorts of banged up right now. Forwards Dennis Everberg, Jamie McGinn and Jesse Winchester are all on IR, as too are blueliners Brad Stuart and Ryan Wilson. That’s led to some major ice time for certain guys, like Tyson Barrie -- he played a season-high 24:59 in Monday’s 4-3 loss to Montreal -- and Alex Tanguay, who played 21:28 against the Habs, way above his season average of 17:29.

As mentioned above, the Avs are Calgary on Thursday for a date with the streaking Flames. After that, Colorado will become well acquainted with the Jets and Blues -- from Dec. 5-23, the Avs play the Jets twice and the Blues three times (in the span of 10 total games).