Colorado Avalanche: 5 Lessons from the Road Trip

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Nov 19, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins left wing David Perron (57) scores a goal against Colorado Avalanche goalie Reto Berra (20) during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche Lack Focus

I used to be a teacher, and the most infuriating students were the ones who would get behind, do a bunch of work to get back on track, and then fall behind again. At a certain point, it seemed as if the hole they had dug for themselves was too insurmountable.

Sound familiar?

How many times after a loss have we heard coach Roy and/or the players talk about how they played well for 54, 55, 56 minutes? There was just that small stretch of time that they lost focus and let two, three, four goals in. We’ve heard it enough times that we can put the record needle into that worn out groove in our sleep.

A while back I mused about whether the players might be choking at key moments during the game:

ICYMI: The Avalanche Need a Mental Heimlich Maneuver

That may still be the case. However, I think they’re becoming victims of a loser mentality. They don’t have the Stanley Cup attitude that coach Roy wants them to have. They don’t even have the fierce pride that means they’ll try at all costs.

Instead, it’s too easy to lose focus, let in all those goals, and then just shrug and say, “We played well for 54 minutes. We thought we deserved better than that.”

This is the highest, most elite level of the sport. You’re not going to win giving just 90%. You might not even win giving it 100% — but at least you played at the appropriate level.

Unfortunately, that losing mentality is fast becoming part of the Colorado Avalanche culture. A few weeks ago I celebrated Nathan MacKinnon’s disgust in saying “I’m sick of losing.” Unfortunately, after the Pittsburgh Penguins game, he was spouting the party line from above.

Hopefully that gets burned out of him and soon.

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