Colorado Avalanche Hope to End Losing Skid vs Panthers

SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 22: Jared McCann
SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 22: Jared McCann /

The Colorado Avalanche hope to end their losing streak when they visit the Florida Panthers in Miami tonight.

The Colorado Avalanche are finishing up their Florida trip against the Florida Panthers tonight.

The two teams are well-matched as far as their record goes. Colorado is one game under .500 with a 12-13-2 record. Florida is two games under .500 with a 11-13-4 record.

As you well know by now, the Colorado Avalanche have just lost four games in a row. For this season, that’s the longest losing skid of the year. (For last season, it would barely make top-five.) They’re 3-6-1 in their last 10 games.

The Panthers are coming in off a 6-4 beating of the Winnipeg Jets after first an overtime loss followed by a shootout loss. They’re 4-4-2 in their last 10 games.

The Colorado Avalanche have historically done well against the Florida Panthers, going 21-8-3-2(ties). Last season, though, the Panthers took both games.

How to Enjoy the Game

Game time: December 9 , 5:00 pm MT
TV Networks: Altitude TV (Avs feed), FS-F (Cats feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (AM 950)

Questions for Avalanche vs Panthers

More from Mile High Sticking

I think the biggest question for this young team is how they’ll respond to their losing skid. As we saw last season, they would get down on themselves — they sometimes entered games seemingly already on losing ground in their heads.

Related to that is whether the players can tighten up their game. At the beginning of the season they played sloppy against the New Jersey Devils and lost. They responded by tightening up their game. They went on to beat the Boston Bruins twice as well as the Anaheim Ducks once.

We’re also going to be watching to see if the Avalanche players play a full 60 minutes. They’ve been lackadaisical in game management all season long. They come out slow, they don’t play with a lead, they wait too long to mount sustained pressure when behind.

I personally am praying to the hockey gods that we at least see some consistency in lines and, especially, defensive pairings. At the bare minimum, I’m hoping to see the Gabriel LandeskogNathan MacKinnonMikko Rantanen line intact and Erik Johnson paired with Samuel Girard.

Is that so much to ask?

Favorite Avalanche vs Panthers Game

colorado avalanche
11 Jun 1996: The Colorado Avalanche celebrate after winning the Stanley Cup by defeating the Florida Panthers 1-0 in triple overtime of game four of the Stanley Cup Finals at Miami Arena in Miami, Florida. The Avalanche swept the series by four games to n /

As I mentioned above, the Colorado Avalanche have played historically well against the Florida Panthers. This is especially true in the post-season, where they met once — the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals. The Avs swept the Cats to win the Stanley Cup, and bring the first-ever sports championship to Colorado.

It should come as no surprise that my favorite Avs vs. Cats game is Game 4. This was a 0-0 game that went into three full overtime periods. In all, the two teams played 104:31 of hockey — they were just four minutes shy of playing two full games.

Like tonight’s game, the action took place in Miami. Colorado won 1-0, which means Patrick Roy threw a shutout. In fact, Patrick Roy shut out the Panthers for eight whole periods. He didn’t allow the Cats to score after the first period of Game 3.

Roy and his legendary ego had gotten sick of the rain of rats:

So he declared “No more rats” to his teammates. The rats only came down when Florida scored, so he wasn’t going to let them score.

And he didn’t. And the Colorado Avalanche won their first Stanley Cup.

Next: 3 Areas for the Avs to Work on During the Roadie

Tonight’s game isn’t going to be quite that exciting, I know. Anyway, after tonight, the two teams only meet one more time, in Colorado on December 14.