Colorado Avalanche Thoughts Following Loss to Blue Jackets


The Colorado Avalanche unsurprisingly, to me anyway, lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. It gave the previously 0-8 Blue Jackets the first win of their season and was another blown third period lead by the Avs at home. This loss, which came after being shutout by the Carolina Hurricanes a few days before, put the Avs at 2-4-1 on the young season.

I have too many thoughts going through my mind to put together a concise article with a singular point. So, instead, here are an Avalanche of Thoughts.

*As I wrote after the opening night loss to the Minnesota Wild, there’s no will to win on this team. It’s still the same team that blew game after game last year. Nothing has changed. You either want it or you don’t and right now, the Avs don’t want it. I wish I could tell you how this can be fixed, but I’m honestly not sure it’s something that’s fixable. It’s a mindset, and the Avs have the mindset of losers.

*I actually feel bad for Patrick Roy. During his career, no one had the will to win more than him. He was one of those psychopaths that no one outside, and most inside, of sports could ever come close to understanding. Yet he can do nothing but stand behind the bench looking confused as his team blows another game.

Sure, he can make adjustments, and I’m not taking all the blame off of him, but it’s still up to the players to perform. And right now the players aren’t performing. Before the 3rd period of the Blue Jackets game with the Avs leading 3-2, MacKinnon said, “we’re going to play our best period of the season.” If that was their best, there’s no point in playing the rest of the season.

*Aside from MacKinnon, Jack Skille might be the Avs best player right now. That about says it all.

*Nate Guenin is still terrible. I hope Roy finally realizes this and scratches Guenin in favor of Brandon Gormley, who has played well in two games, when Tyson Barrie returns.  But I have very little faith in Roy playing Gormley over Guenin. Make me believe again, Patrick.

*The decision to send Mikko Rantanen down to the AHL was an odd one. I don’t think he was given a fair shot with the Avs. He spent the first few games on the third line where he was painfully out of place and then only got a couple of games to gel with Matt Duchene and Jarome Iginla.

I thought he looked good against Carolina, but he was sent down following the game. Not only did Rantenen not get a fair shake, but he played on his off wing with Duchene and Iginla. He should’ve been playing right wing, his natural position, on a line with MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog.

*Speaking of that line, is Alex Tanguay washed up? It sucks to say that because he’s a big part of Avalanche history, but he just looks a step slow. Maybe it’s because he’s also playing on the wrong side and should be playing left wing on the Duchene/Iginla line, but maybe he actually has lost a step.

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*My last two points are things that have always baffled me about Roy and his line combinations. It’s like he just pulls the names out of a hat and hopes that it works. Tanguay and Iginla have a history of being very good to great when playing together, yet for some reason they’re split up and one is playing on the wrong side. And don’t even get me started on Blake Comeau playing a top six role.

*If Carl Soderberg was supposed to replace Ryan O’Reilly, then we should’ve just paid O’Reilly. Instead we’re paying $4.75 million to a third line center who has been invisible in every game this year.

*Better yet, maybe we should’ve traded Duchene instead of O’Reilly. Alright, I know that’s harsh, but I’m really afraid that Duchene has already peaked, and his ceiling is a 50 point player. That’s not to say he’s bad, but he’s also not worth $6 million right now.

*Has Semyon Varlamov made a timely save this season? The Avs have over-relied on Varlamov for years now, and most of the time he’s bailed them out, but this year it’s just not happening. Maybe he’s hoping the team will bail him out for once, but there’s no evidence to suggest that they’re ever going to do that for him.

*The power play that was so good in the first couple of games is now crashing back down to earth. A second PP unit with Duchene/Mitchell/Soderberg is basically killing the penalty for the opponent.

*I hope the Avs can somehow turn it around. Being a fan of sports is much better when your team is good. I just don’t see it this year. I hope I’m wrong.

Next: Patrick Roy and Advanced Stats

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