Last night the Colorado Avalanche fell short in the game against the Phoenix Coyotes as well as in the standings. The game at Jobing.com Arena was extremely painful to watch as an Avs fan, but looking at the standings later in the night was even more horrific than watching the game.
From the opening face-off, the defense of the Avalanche looked lost on the ice. Only three minutes into the game, the defense let an onslaught of Coyotes get to goaltender Semyon Varlamov. As the Coyotes threw the puck on net, the defense of the Avalanche broke down and allowed Phoenix to barrel into Varly resulting in the game’s first goal.
The second goal of the game came on another defensive meltdown from Colorado. While trying to push the puck up ice, the defense turned over the puck at their blue line. Thanks to this turnover, Coyote forward Raffi Torres capitalized on the miscue and gave Phoenix a 2-0 lead going into the first intermission.
Phoenix got another goal in the second period and many Avs fans cashed in on the game as the horn sounded to end the second period. The Avalanche, however, did not give up so easily. In fact, the Avs made the third period most enjoyable for their fans. Two days after getting his nose broken, Ryan O’Reilly got the Avs on the board four minutes into the third. Paul Stastny followed suit about ten minutes later and Avs fans got renewed hope. However, out of the barrage of shots Coyotes goalie Mike Smith faced, none of them found the back of the net and the three goals Phoenix scored in the first two periods was insurmountable for Colorado.
Now Colorado must regroup as they welcome the division leading Canucks into Pepsi Center Saturday evening. The loss to the Coyotes last night really put a damper on the playoff spirits of Avalanche fans, but the club is ready to make the push. Colorado fell from 7th to 9th with the loss, but that was not the biggest move in the West. The Kings, who were in 8th place at the start of the night, jumped all the way to 3rd place with their win against the Blues and the Stars losing to Vancouver. Calgary did not improve their position in the standings, getting beat in a shootout by Minnesota while San Jose gained two points with their win over Boston.
The Avs are still in the hunt, no question about it. Last night’s loss is not the end of the world nor the end of their playoff hopes. Now the team must buckle down, come together and play the type of hockey they know how. If the Avalanche can accomplish those things as a team, their playoff chance will come to them. The main key right now for Colorado is to not lose hope or sight of what they are playing for.
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