The Colorado Avalanche had a disappointing performance that led to a second consecutive loss. While they’re still in a playoff position, said position is slipping.
The Colorado Avalanche dropped another game. They lost 5-3 to the New York Rangers, with the final goal being an empty-netter.
For what that’s worth. After going up 2-0 in the first seven minutes of the game, the Avs started sitting back on their heels.
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Colorado finished the road trip 1-2-0. They’re now 3-6-1 in the last 10 games. St. Louis is now seven points ahead of them in the race for the Central Division. Dallas is only two points out of Colorado’s second position with two games in hand. Both Vegas and Arizona are nipping at the Avs’ heels for second in the Western Conference.
It’s gut check time, Avs fans, because none of that is pretty. The Avalanche have managed only two wins with their roster healthy again.
Then again, we don’t need to worry about that last part right now. Joonas Donskoi took a high hit from Ryan Lindrgren, which was unpenalized. Donskoi required assistance to get up and off the ice. He did not return to the game. The official word is there is no word on what’s going on, but we can all see Lindgren laid him out with a head hit.
And on that bright note, let’s get to the observations from tonight’s disappointing game.
- That hit on Donskoi was dirty. The NBCSN announcers called it clean, but it was not. Lindgren hit him right in the face with his shoulder. The principal point of contact was Donskoi’s head — and that’s dirty.
- Don’t believe me? Well, Jared Bednar isn’t exactly known for being hot-headed or criticizing officials. However, here’s what he said about the hit:
"“Shoulder right in his jaw, right in his cheek and no call. So we had to take care of it ourselves and that’s what we did.”"
The “take care of it ourselves” will be the subject of another post, but, yeah, that hit should have been called.
- Here’s the aftermath of the hit — and that doesn’t come from keeping it clean:
- That hit and no call are not the reason Colorado lost. They looked discombobulated for most of the game. When they needed to be sharp, they were as dull as a rusty blade. Duller because at least rust can nick you a little.
- JT Compher was the best Avs player out there. He scored two goals and did his damnedest to get the Avs a win.
- Tyson Jost had a good game. Everyone said so.
- Philipp Grubauer… did not have a good game, and most people are saying that, too. He gave up four goals on 20 shots and ended up with a .857% save percentage. That’s not league-average goal tending.
- NBCSN were total homers for the Rangers. They’re supposed to be objective announcers, but they were openly cheering for the Rangers. When they hooted over the third goal, I switched over to Altitude Radio for the announcing.
- Gabriel Landeskog got crosschecked into the Rangers net late in the third — no call. Altitude radio announcer Conor McGahey screamed, “What is happening tonight?!” In a tiny, resigned voice, color analyst Peter McNab answered, “Well, it’s New York.” The Rangers are a big market, Original Six team, and the Avs can just suck it. (My words, not Peter’s.)
- On a bright note, Sam Girard became the first defenseman in franchise history to record nine assists in a five-game span.
- By the way, the game was Nathan MacKinnon’s 500th NHL game. Can you believe it?
Well, the Colorado Avalanche have two games to regroup and reset. They have an off day tomorrow, and practice on Thursday. On Friday, they host the Pittsburgh Penguins.
That game marks a five-game home stand that will take them to the All Star break. Those five games would be a perfect time for them to get back into the winning spirit.
Speaking of the All Star break, you have just a couple more games to Vote Cale In. Let’s get our stud rookie on the All Star team.