The Colorado Avalanche dropped a devastating 4-0 home loss to the Minnesota Wild. This likely spells the end of their playoff chances.
The Colorado Avalanche played their biggest game of the season against the Minnesota Wild at home. We all went into the game with such high hopes. Like Charlie Brown kicking a football held by Lucy, we though this time would be different.
And like Charlie Brown, we fell on our backs with a collective “oomph” as the air flew out of us yet again. The Colorado Avalanche dropped a devastating — and embarrassing — 4-0 loss.
Technically, Colorado can still beat Minnesota for the playoffs. I don’t think many of us expect them to do that. This is a fragile hockey team.
Why did everything go so awry? A lot of the problem has to do with the horrible start to the season. We also need to factor in the loss of our top two scorers, Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon. The rest of the blame? Well, everyone has their opinion, don’t they?
Let’s look at some of the keys of this horrendous loss.
More from Mile High Sticking
- Could Colorado Avalanche move on from Pavel Francouz next offseason?
- 4 goalies to replace Pavel Francouz if he has to miss time
- Colorado Avalanche make sneaky signing with Tatar
- Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog could return in 2023-24 playoffs
- Colorado Avalanche rookie face-off tournament roster
I was at the Avalanche-Wild game. I didn’t have high hopes coming in because those green uniforms seem to be our kryptonite, but I wanted to be there to cheer my team on. That’s all a fan can do to effect the outcome of games.
I didn’t see a team that let up on the gas. During post-game press conferences, both Blake Comeau and John Mitchell said the team seemed to lose some steam when the Minnesota Wild scored their first goal.
I didn’t see a team that gave up, though. They made mistakes, especially when it comes to turnovers. However, I also saw them struggling to win faceoffs — which shouldn’t be surprising for a team missing its top two centers.
I did see a team that got undisciplined. There were so many turnovers and such weak defense.
For some people, when they see a team playing badly on the ice, their first instinct is to blame the coach. I’m guessing these are the same people who blame teachers when their kids fail and managers when employees fall short.
A coach has many jobs. He has to develop systems and teach players how to implement them. (There’s a whole coaching staff for that part of the game, obviously.) He has to direct the team during the game, making adjustments as they come up. And he has to motivate his players.
Hopefully by now people realize my reverence for Patrick Roy as a coach has nothing to do with his brilliance as a goalie. If not, here are a couple articles detailing why:
I want to make something perfectly clear, though: Yes, I do think that a Hall of Fame player who has been hired (at a multi-million dollar contract) to coach an NHL team and who is infamous for focusing all his energy on his job knows hockey better than a journalist.
According to Adrian Dater, who’s covered the Colorado Avalanche for 20 years, Patrick Roy did his best to motivate the team:
As coach Roy said in an interview with The Fan, though, fragile teams don’t deserve to make the playoffs. The Colorado Avalanche let their mental fragility take over even after that tirade. That’s not on Patrick Roy
At this point some people point out that the coach has lost the locker room, and that’s on him. I disagree heartily. There is no one on the Colorado Avalanche team who has the right to block out Patrick Roy, a man who’s not only a hero in this town but a coach who’s always had his players’ backs. Any player who has the audacity to block out such a man should be traded immediately — he’s locker room poison with such arrogance.
I can’t imagine there’s much of that going on, though. I think that’s left for fans who want answers. The cold, hard truth comes from something else coach Roy said on The Fan — fragile teams don’t deserve to make the playoffs.
The Colorado Avalanche have proven themselves to be a fragile team. They can’t play with a lead, and they can’t get over a devastating loss. This happens despite inspirational coaching.
The Avalanche have seven games left in the 2015-16 season. Let’s enjoy Colorado hockey while we can.