Bittersweet End To A Bizarre Season For The Avalanche


The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Chicago Blackhawks tonight 3-2, thanks to a pair of goals from Jarome Iginla, including the game winner with just 34 seconds remaining.

The win means that the Avalanche reach 90 points, yet still somehow finished last in the Central Division. It also caps off a perfect 3-game homestand for the team heading into their summer vacation.

For the Avalanche, it’s all bittersweet. I think that the team fought hard this season, after a rough first month. They never quite could get back into the playoff picture legitimately. They were always close, but not quite. 90 points is by no means a bad season, but they were 9 points short of the Winnipeg Jets, who occupy the final wild-card slot.

The Central seems to be loaded. The playoff pace was ridiculous this season, and Dallas seems to be on the rise, just like the Avalanche. Going to need to see the maturation this team hopefully gained from this season take foot, as well as a few key tangible personnel moves for this team to jump over at least 2 teams in their division next season. I’m hopeful!

It’s bittersweet that Jarome Iginla just missed continuing his 30-goal streak. He entered this season with 12 straight 30-goal non-lockout seasons. Matt Duchene and company tried to get him that empty netter, but it wasn’t to be. Another oh so close, but not quite this season.

On the bright side, Iggy had 29 and 28 goals with the Flames the two years prior to his 30-goal streak starting. He extended his streak of 28 or more goals to 15 seasons! Still pretty amazing stuff from the legendary Iginla. Many thought he might slow down a beat, and I guess technically they were right. I’ll take 30 goals to 29 goals as a “decline” all day. Proud to have number 12 on my side.

Also of note tonight, is what the Avalanche did to their draft position. Entering today, the Avalanche could have finished anywhere from 8th to 11th depending on what happened. The Sharks lost early in the day, meaning an Avalanche win would jump them over San Jose. The Panthers won, so they were guaranteed to finish ahead of the Avalanche. The Blue Jackets also took care of business, and at one point, were ahead of the Avs by one point.

The lights go out on Pepsi Center for a while tonight. Let’s hope next year, this team’s light burns brighter than ever

When the third period started, we knew, an Avalanche win and they hold the 10th pick. A loss, and they would hold the 8th pick. Draft odds for those spots are 3.5% and 6%, respectively.

Of course, the Avalanche went on to win the game, in dramatic fashion. Many fans had their sites set on the draft. The Avalanche winning 3 straight games to end the season was certainly ironic. With nothing to play for, many were secretly (others not so secretly) crossing their fingers for a few losses to cinch up the best draft position possible.

All I’ll say, it is what it is.

I think it’s common sense, that picking higher is going to be optimal. The Avalanche still have a small chance at winning the lottery, a slim chance of falling to 11th if a team behind them wins the lottery, and a great chance of coming away with a really nice prospect at 10th overall.

In the end, it may or may not matter. I’m not gonna worry about it. Maybe there were a few kids in the building tonight, who are going to be Avalanche fans for life now because of that Iginla goal to win the game. If so, then I think that’s pretty darn cool. It’s all a matter of perspective.

The lights go out on Pepsi Center for a while tonight. Let’s hope next year, this team’s light burns brighter than ever. Go Avs Go!

Next: Everberg Will Spend His Summer Rehabbing

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