Colorado Avalanche: Expectation and a Proper Start; A Rant


The Colorado Avalanche look disjointed, stagnant, and hopeless to begin their season. They have now dropped the last 4 contests and are quickly digging a hole that they are unlikely to get out of. The light at the top is beginning to dwindle, and if they don’t start clawing for every step on the climb back up, then it will be another early summer, and maybe even the No. 1 overall pick.

Too soon for the Auston Matthews sweepstakes? I hate that the only solace I’m finding in this dismal start is the possible acquisition of a generational talent such as Matthews, but hey what else is there to look forward to?

Ok, maybe I’m being a bit harsh on this early start, but there is a clear lack of a winning attitude on this Colorado Avalanche team, and if this doesn’t change then the losses will continue to roll in, like an unprepared gambler in Vegas.

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Good news though folks, the Colorado Avalanche play the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight — last year’s Eastern Conference Champions. I’m already resigned to a loss, but I guess Nathan MacKinnon could have another hat trick and we might win. Nonetheless, a loss will still give them a front-row seat to watching a team who knows how to win. This is the state of my current belief in the Avalanche.

It’s a depressing sort of cynical existence surely, but they have given me no other choice. Wait! I have one shred of optimism to offer. What do they have to lose? Seriously, they have nothing left to lose (except a whole bunch of games), but this start does leave them with plenty to prove I suppose. Unless… there were no expectations, like the 2013-14 season.

I’m on to something here, Patrick Roy was a new — unproven — coach, and the players latched on and played with nothing to lose and nothing to prove. What resulted is that they proved a whole bunch and hit the national scene. With recognition comes exposure, with exposure comes expectation, and with expectation comes results, or disappointment.

That’s the vicious circle of expectation see? In 2013-14 the Colorado Avalanche had no expectations, but their performance that season created expectations. Now, that 2013-14 season becomes the expectation, but was only created by the lack of it. A vicious cycle, you see?

Well — since last season — Colorado Avalanche fans have been subjected to a whole bunch of disappointment, glimmers of hope surely, but they are overshadowed by a continued inability to reach “expectation” which is mostly playoff-caliber performance.

Expectation is tumultuous and unstable, it can lead to a euphoria when the expectation is reached (Stanley Cup), or result in continued disappointment when not reached (a team failing to play to the level that they expect from themselves).

The Colorado Avalanche took on the expectations of reaching the playoffs consistently after the spectacular showing they gave in 2013-14, but have been unable to live up. These are treacherous waters, how can a team play with no expectations — with nothing to lose — while also attempting to reach those expectations?

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Here’s mostly what I’m saying. Last year, the Colorado Avalanche began the season with an awful start and I believe that was a direct symptom of expecting the same results to occur as the season prior. Once they realized that wins don’t just magically appear out of thin air, they started earning more of them.

Some may say that this was a result of the team taking on a winning attitude, a willingness to fight for every battle. However, I posit something else. The Colorado Avalanche played with more fervor and desperation during the second half of the season because they had nothing left to lose. They were already well out of the playoffs, and getting enough wins to get back in the fold was somewhat of an impossibility.

So, why not play all-out every night without a regard for the results? They didn’t have anything left to lose, and the only direction was forward. The early season expectations were already lost, and the only thing they had left to their name was desperation and pride.

Once again, the Colorado Avalanche started this season with playoff expectations as any team should, but stumbled out the gate in embarrassing fashion against the Minnesota Wild, and the tone of the season was set. Call it misplaced trust, but I’m finding more and more importance in the first game of the season, at least for a young team like the Colorado Avalanche.

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In other words, where does that first game take them if they win 4-1, or tack on another goal for 5-1 against their hated rivals? I attribute much of — not the entirety of — the 2013-14 season’s success to that first game against the Anaheim Ducks. The Colorado Avalanche came out and won in dominating fashion, and Patrick Roy set the tone early with his antics at the end of the game.

Last season, the Colorado Avalanche were easily outplayed in their first game. Which, set the tone for the early season, only remedied when the team realized that they had nothing left to lose.

This season, the Colorado Avalanche blew a three goal lead in the third and didn’t even make it to overtime. Since, their third periods have been absolutely awful, with the Dallas Stars game standing out as the only outlier. Call them trends, call them misguided expressions, call them whatever you want, but the Colorado Avalanche are living day-to-day with a deadly illness, that of apathy.

A malaise of apathetic nature is infecting this team, and if they don’t find the remedy of not giving a damn soon, then we can expect another bottom finishing in the Western Conference.

I know I should be sporting a certain level of optimism, but I just can’t find it, and it’s got to be voiced, hence the rant.

In finality, I propose they play loose, play without expectation, and play like they have nothing left to lose. That’s all she wrote.

What do you think Avs Nation? What is ailing the Colorado Avalanche? What can be done? Is there hope? As always, your opinion is valued so voice it in the comments!

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