The Colorado Avalanche have dropped another game against a Central Division rival, losing 3-2 to the Stars in Dallas. Hopefully it’s not part of a slump.
The Colorado Avalanche are not officially in a slump, however… they’ve dropped another important division game. They faced the Stars in Dallas and ended up losing 3-2. They did get the point, but they’re in a little skid.
At the time of writing, they were still challenging the St. Louis Blues for Western Conference leaders, down six points and with no games in hand. However, they’ve gone 4-4-2 in the last 10 games. That’s no so bad, especially since it hasn’t cost them their position in the standings.
In the last seven games, though, they’ve gone 2-4-1. That’s less ok. That’s a definite trend to the down.
What’s more, last night’s game represented one in which they had a third period lead, which they then blew. That’s the fourth time in the last five games they’ve blown a third period lead and gone on to lose the game.
Now, a caveat about tonight’s game — Colorado went into the third leading 2-1 but on the penalty kill. They were there because rookie Cale Makar earned his first-ever penalty in the NHL. That bruiser got a delay of game penalty.
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Yeah, what a stupid penalty to dole out. But it’s one that’s automatic. It came late in the second period, and the Avs did a valiant job of killing eight seconds of it — no joke, those eight seconds were so eventful that I thought the Stock Show had come early and we were watching the bull riding. (They have to stay on the bull for 8 seconds — which is how long Philipp Grubauer lasted in saving the game.)
And now we get to the crux of the matter. Goalie Philipp Grubauer was solid in net. You certainly can’t blame him for the loss. He faced 40 shots! And he saved 38 of them!
It’s just that his counterpart, Ben Bishop, had the slight edge. Not only did he face a few more shots — 43, of which he made 41 saves — he was perfect in the shootout. He stopped both Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, while both Joe Pavelski and Alexander Radulov scored on Grubauer.
Last season, an embarrassing 7-1 loss in early December caused a six-week slump that saw the Colorado Avalanche go 4-7-3 in December and 3-7-0 in January.
Right now for the month of December, with just one game left in the month, Colorado is 7-4-2. So, no, we don’t want to hit the panic button yet.
But we also don’t want the Colorado Avalanche to be playing losing hockey next month. I, personally, want to see them win the Western Conference, or at least come second. I don’t want them scrabbling for a wild card spot in April.
They need to avoid the mid-season slump that plagued them last season — and has reared its ugly head periodically the last few seasons.