On the heels of a game the Colorado Avalanche should have won, the Avs drop a crucial must-win game in San Jose to the Sharks Monday night. The Avalanche were up 2-0 over Vancouver when they saw that lead evaporate from their sight and eventually fade into a win for the Canucks. Colorado hoped to turn their fortunes around Monday night at HP Pavillion, but the Sharks had other plans.
Looking like a club desperate to make the playoffs, the Avs came out with all the intensity of a postseason team. They constantly applied pressure in the offensive zone, finished their checks and were obviously playing with a chip on their shoulder. They even made it through the first period which opposing teams say is the toughest to get through in San Jose. After the first period though, the wheels came off the bus.
The Avs found themselves down 2 goals midway through the second before finally getting on the board. Obviously angry and frustrated, the Avalanche were throwing the puck toward the Shark net, but were not getting any breaks. The breaks seemed to be tilted in favor of San Jose. Breaks and defensive breakdowns from Colorado were all San Jose needed to put this game away early and bury the Avs in this game.
The Avalanche came out last night looking poised to make the playoffs, however as the game progressed that will seemed to slowly leave the club. Head coach Joe Sacco even seemed to lose the will when he pulled goalie Semyon Varlamov with more than four minutes left in the third. Now, Sacco had pure intentions of firing up his team by doing this, but all it showed was that he was waiving the white flag and surrendering.
Many fans have already written off the Avs from making the playoffs, but mathematically there is still an outside chance for Colorado to make it in. One thing is for sure, the Avs are no longer in control of their own fate. The Vancouver game can be the game critics look back on as the breaking point in Colorado’s season. The Avalanche clearly had the momentum and the win in that game, but failed to seize the opportunity. That game will, unfortunately, sum up the Avalanche’s season. They played with great heart, but failed to seal the deal.
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