Colorado Avalanche Experiencing a Home Ice Paradox

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche are one of four teams with a losing record on home ice, and there might be a paradox capable of explaining that lack of success.

The Colorado Avalanche and Calgary Flames have the two worst records on home ice with a 4-6-1 and 4-7 record respectively. Furthermore, the Avs are now 0-2-1 on their current five-game home stand, and that’s just unacceptable.

Remember when Gabe Landeskog said this after the first Nashville Predators game:

"Tonight, it’s got to be said that this was embarrassing, and I promise all the Avs fans out there that this is not going to happen at home again."

Well, ironically enough, they were embarrassed at home on Tuesday against the Nashville Predators yet again. They were also embarrassed by the Edmonton Oilers in the third period earlier in the home stand.

The Avs have been embarrassing all year long on home ice really, and I think I might have a way to explain the lack of success.

It’s called a paradox.

Avs with Little Fan Support

Have you been to a game recently? Seen one on TV even? The stands are empty it seems, and when they’re not, they’re filled with fans from opposing teams. Home ice is supposed to be an advantage because of fan support, and the Avs aren’t getting any.

There’s no noise, the building seems flat, and so does the team. Jared Bednar is certainly taking notice as well:

"It’s too many guys wading into the game and seeing how the game goes. We need more passion and we need more intensity for 60 minutes. It’s that simple for me."

Fans have passion and intensity, it’s why they love their teams, and it’s why they will go great lengths to show that commitment. When teams play on home ice, that passion and intensity from the fans is supposed to be an advantage.

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However, when there aren’t enough fans in the building to engender that sort of intensity — or when there are more fans from the opposing team in the building than Avs fans — it’s difficult for a team to get amped to win.

Unfortunately, therein lies the paradox.

Fans fill buildings of teams — especially small market teams — when said teams are winning consistently. This isn’t football in Colorado — the Denver Broncos would continue to sell out even if they weren’t winning.

The Avs Need to Win at Home to Bring the Fans Back

Let’s face it, the Colorado Avalanche are most definitely a small market team. Any would-be attendee has a plethora of other sports options available to them in Colorado. Heck, they even have a plethora of non-sport related options available to them as well.

More From Mile High Sticking: Gabe Landeskog’s Invaluable Intangibles

In other words, why would a fan go to a game and support a team that can’t win at home? Better yet, why would they go to a game where they will likely be outnumbered by the opposing team’s fans?

And therein lies the paradox. I believe the Avs are struggling at home — and this goes back to last season — because they don’t have fan support.

You can often hear an opposing team’s chant louder than you can hear “Go Avs Go.” You can hear the crowd yell Duuuuuuuuuubbbbbbb whenever Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk makes a save. You could even hear the same with Tuuka Rask when the Boston Bruins came to town. And, don’t even get me started on the Chicago Blackhawks.

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However, the only way to remedy that situation is if they start winning at home and giving fans a reason to attend the games. Which is why they are in a rather paradoxical situation. Because their only chance at winning more games is to get more fans in the building — it would seem — but they can only do that if they start winning more games.


If you build it, they will come. Are you listening Colorado Avalanche? DO SOMETHING! Or, as Jared Bednar said much more politely after the game against the Predators:

"We’ve been positive with guys for long enough, and for me that’s a fact. The guys have to step up. It’s us as a group coming together. We’re working through it in practice and now we have to do it in the game."

What will happen if they don’t step up? Yes….A TRADE. That will happen. What Bednar is siting right now is a lack of intensity from his players.

Next: Avs Quarter Season Review

Sound familiar? Patrick Roy had some similar comments about the team last year. A shakeup will be in order if the Avs don’t find a way to play better.

That starts against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night in the Pepsi Center at 7:00 pm MST.

Enough is enough, give the fans a reason to come home Avs.