Are The Colorado Avalanche Ready To Make A Statement?


The Colorado Avalanche are in the midst of their most impressive stretch of hockey this season – a six-game point streak is the result of that stretch. The Avs picked up 5/6 points on a tough Eastern Conference road trip through Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Detroit. They followed that trip up, with their best game of the season, a 5-0 shazzamboozling of the St. Louis Blues, in a pre-Christmas affair.

As an Avs fan, it’s been tough to be optimistic this season. Early on, the losses were frequent, and usually quite thorough. We as fans, had to tell ourselves, “well, it’s a long season… they will figure it out.”

That transitioned into a stretch where the Avalanche seemed to be playing better hockey, but weren’t getting the results on the ice. Every win was countered with a loss, where the Avs would blow a lead, or make a critical error to cost themselves valuable points.

After a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Nasvhille Predators, I remembered thinking to myself, “welp, there goes the season.” The Avalanche seemed to cement those thoughts a few nights later when they trailed the Winnipeg Jets on home ice 3-1 in the third period. Then, something happened. The Avs rallied from behind to tie the game against the Jets, and prevailed in the shootout. It was an exciting night, and the magic was back at Pepsi Center.

Just when I left this team for dead, and stopped nurturing the sprouts of optimism that had failed to grow into any meaningful foliage this season, the Avalanche found a patch of fertile soil, or perhaps a few extra rays of sunlight. The comeback against Winnipeg was branded as the game that could turn the season around. Sure, it sounded cheesy, but hey, the team did need a signature win. Since that point, they have gone on the above mentioned run, and have collected 10-of-12 possible points.

The question still remains though – Are the Avalanche ready to joust with the big dogs on the block? The block being the treacherous Central Division. This isn’t a Lego block, full of fun colors, and endless possibilities – bounded only by the limits of your imagination. This is a cinder block sitting on a wobbly shelf, that will fall on your foot the second you stop paying attention. That’s right. The Central Division has no mercy, and rarely takes nights off. It will smash your toes, and make your eyes water. It will make you bleed.

Points are at a premium when the “Game of Thrones” themed intro plays at Pepsi Center. Even more so when the “big dogs” from Chicago or St. Louis are in town. Might as well be the Lannister red and Bolton blue. Chicago holds the power, and St. Louis has just enough slime-bags and prominent figures to play a role in the realm. Points are even tougher when the Avalanche have to play away from their lair in the Mile High City.

The point is, these next two games are going to tell us a lot about the Colorado Avalanche. They have finally buoyed their record to the .500 mark, which has been an elusive mark all season. Their reward is a date with the Chicago Blackhawks tonight, and another meeting with the St. Louis Blues two nights later, this time in the city with the arch.

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyways. You get the feeling that these two games are going to set the tone for the Avalanche for the rest of the season. How are the Avs going to handle these clashes?

More from Avalanche News

Is this team going to rise to the occasion, and prove themselves against the Central Division’s best? Or will the flaws and shortcomings that have plagued this team all season, again surface, and re-affirm my fears that the playoffs are out of reach.

Here are my thoughts. If this team wins both games, I will fuel up the bandwagon, and lead the charge. This team is going to make the playoffs. I value the result of these games that much. This team showed us the power of momentum and confidence last season. A pair of wins heading into the new year, over two of their biggest rivals, will bring that necessary belief back to the Avalanche locker room, and launch them into a playoff run.

I’m ready to believe again, but I want the Avalanche to make a statement. I want them to show me that they are the desperate team. I want them to show me that they belong with the best in this division. In doing so, they will also show those things to themselves. For the Avalanche, the value of this can’t be understated. They need to believe in themselves, and have that confidence going forward. Three straight wins, against the big dogs… slaying the Lannisters and Boltons… this is the opportunity the Avs have upon them. Winter is here. It’s time for an Avalanche.