The Colorado Avalanche played in back-to-back games Thursday and Friday night, and the results were disappointing — they lost both games.
They played a broken game against the Arizona Coyotes where they gave up too many penalties to really take part in any of the game flow. They followed that performance up the next night against the New York Rangers and they played significantly better, but still could not muster more than one goal. Unfortunately they lost another one-goal game.
This team is either on the verge of a lot of wins only because they keep losing one-goal games, or their one-goal games are indicative of untapped potential and disappointing results.
I’m inclined to think the latter even though it’s the more cynical option of the two. However, option two fulfills option one to a greater degree if their potential is realized. I refuse to think that this team is close, that they are playing with dismal effort and still staying in every game to some degree. Imagine if they actually played with a serious commitment to effort.
Anyway, there’s a summary of the two games below and just some of the things I noticed will watching. They’re pretty sparse, but it’s rather brutal to analyze the same negatives game after game; unfortunately, that’s the inevitable nature of being a Colorado Avalanche fan right now.
Colorado Avalanche vs Arizona Coyotes
The Colorado Avalanche came into the game looking for their first start to consecutive wins, but they failed to string any momentum together again, losing 4-2 to Arizona.
Notes from the game:
— The Avs continued a lackluster power play on the road, going 0-5. However, their penalty kill was fantastic as they were 6-6.
— Nathan MacKinnon is the real deal, plain and simple. The kid leads the Colorado Avalanche in almost every offensive category, and he provided a nice assist on Matt Duchene’s goal late in this game.
— Speaking of Dutchy, he’s starting to get his mojo back. The Avs are definitely still missing a top six forward, but as long as they shuffle somewhat “stacked” lines throughout the game then Duchene can be counted on to contribute more often.
— Semyon Varlamov is not playing like Varly, and this Avalanche team will not win unless he gets his game together (or they might consider calling Calvin Pickard up).
It really is a bummer watching this team as of late, as fellow MHS writer Will Radke put so eloquently. I too find it hard to stick to the couch and watch 60 minutes of Colorado Avalanche hockey, but the PBR’s help the process. Nathan MacKinnon is on fire, and he is a lot of fun to watch. There are some other players with a lot of promise, but it’s always difficult to watch your team lose.
More From Mile High Sticking: Nathan MacKinnon Contract Extension Possibilities
It’s obvious that the Colorado Avalanche are playing dismal hockey when they lose to former visions of themselves like the Coyotes. The Arizona Coyotes don’t have anything to prove or fight for with low attendance while in the midst of a rebuild. However, they keep finding ways to win, and they’re sticking in the race while the Avalanche dwindle into the background.
How did the Colorado Avalanche play against the Rangers you may ask?
Colorado Avalanche vs New York Rangers
Yeah well… they lost again, but they played well, and only lost 2-1. Rangers goalie enrik Lundqvist played a good game, and there were a couple strange goals that went in against Reto Berra. The Colorado Avalanche came out strong in the third period and came close to tying it a couple times. They lost again though, which has become a recent trend.
Notes from the game:
— The Avs scored first again, but couldn’t win the game. Like I said however, the second goal scored by the Rangers was a strange one.
— Nathan MacKinnon is a fantastic hockey player, and is the future of this club down the middle. He was flying all night, and provided the only goal for Colorado last night.
— Reto Berra had another really good game, stopping 31-33 shots. He gave the Avs a good chance to win, and they just could not capitalize on some grand opportunities. Lundqvist was good.
— Nate Guenin continues to sit, and Nikita Zadorov found the press box again last night. Overall, the Avs played an alright defensive game. They gave up more shots than they took once again. But, besides their habitual mind-boggling turnovers, they actually played a strong defensive game.
— MacKinnon is sick of losing, here’s what he had to say in reference to Julie Browman’s Altitude post-game mention of their good play against a strong Rangers team:
"“There’s no moral victories. It sucks to lose.”"
It’s safe to say that this team is focused on the next game right? Sure… Well, it definitely doesn’t seem that way, it seems like a piece of each of their losses hang around like a Christmas tree in June. The leaders need to step up. Nathan MacKinnon continues to play well, and maybe he’s angry enough to get this team going.
But, the Avalanche need Matt Duchene to step up as well, and he promoted his desperate nature during last night’s Altitude post game show as well.
"“We almost have to fight for our lives right now.”"
Hopefully the Avs can get some wins rolling on the road, and maybe the nature of the two players mentioned above will permeate the team, although they’re surely not the only two speaking up.
What’s on Tap?
The Colorado Avalanche will now be accustomed to plane flights. hotels, and repacking suitcases as they will spend the next 15 days on the road in a seven-game road trip. They start Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers, and will not be back in the Pepsi Center until the day before the turkey hits the table on Thanksgiving when they play the Ottawa Senators.
What do you think Avs Nation? How can this team pull it together? Are these one goal games a symptom of a team that is close to winning, or a team misused that could and should be better? As always your opinion is valued, so voice it in the comments!