What is it going to take for the Colorado Avalanche to get out of this losing slump? Belief in themselves and their ability to play great hockey!
Wow! What a change for the Colorado Avalanche. They were on that great season-opening winning streak, including those amazing games on the road and all of a sudden everything has turned around.
It all started after the back-to-back we played on home ice, against the Ducks. I went into that game confident they could win that one, quite easily, given the Ducks record up till that point.
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There was talk that it was the back-to-back games that took their toll on the team, after the loss. Yes, that may have been a little of what happened and I’m not so sure it was the main reason for the loss.
The next six games showed that something different is up with the team.
I chatted with Adrian Dater on Saturday night at the Coyotes game and he was saying how hockey isn’t an easy game to play. We talked about how chemistry and the connection of the lines in the team makes a big impact on how the team plays.
We’ve lost that winning chemistry, at the moment.
It’s a big loss when you have two of your key top-line players out with injury, and another third-line player in Colin Wilson out too.
The chemistry with the lines was gelling since the opening games. Then the connections between the players were broken.
I’ve watched Nathan MacKinnon become more and more frustrated with the lack of spark and winning drive that the Avalanche had early on in the season.
He slammed his stick on the ice, during the last game when Nazim Kadri was pulled out of the draw for the sixth or seventh time in a row. His frustration was very evident at that moment.
So, what’s it going to take to turn this losing streak around?
I think that mentally the players have done two things:-
Firstly, they had themselves comfortable mentally with the lines as they were, before the injuries. That meant that as soon as those lines were tampered with, their confidence in their own abilities to play great hockey disappeared.
And secondly, they are now in the mental space of thinking they are unable to win games without Landy, Mikko and Colin. Landy and Mikko especially.
It’s amazing how the mind works to turn what is positive and uplifting, lots of wins, to down, sad and lacking in confidence.
The Colorado Avalanche have an amazing group of players with lots of skills and experience.
If they can stop and go back to basics and look at working with the players they are on a line with, in a way that says “Hey, great to meet you, let’s play winning hockey” maybe the ‘chemistry’ will change.
The coaching staff woke up that putting Nazim Kadri on the wing on the top line wasn’t working. He is a natural center and needed to be in that place.
As for the players who are ‘taking Mikko and Landy’s places’ on the top line, that’s creating a mental problem in itself, because if they go into the game with that mindset they will see themselves as not good enough to fill their shoes.
Wrong approach Avalanche. Use your best skills and ability, and the opportunity you have been given, to show what you’ve got when you are playing against the Top Line of your opposing team.
Sure, I’ve been one to say no one has the skills and abilities of either Gabe, nor Mikko, and that’s true, they don’t. They aren’t them.
Time for the Colorado Avalanche players to believe in their own individual talents and abilities to end this losing streak.
Let’s go Avs, you can do it!