Colorado Avalanche: Random Observations After Loss in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 01: Matt Calvert #11 of the Colorado Avalanche checks Travis Sanheim #6 of the Philadelphia Flyers to the ice on February 1, 2020 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 01: Matt Calvert #11 of the Colorado Avalanche checks Travis Sanheim #6 of the Philadelphia Flyers to the ice on February 1, 2020 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche dropped their first game of the five-game road trip against the Philadelphia Flyers with a score of 6-3.

The Colorado Avalanche lost their game against the Philadelphia Flyers. I was afraid that would happen because of rust from the long break.

Yet that’s not what happened. The Avalanche found their own ways to lose that seemed to have nothing to do with the long break. Rather, they came out looking rested and hell bent for leather.

And then… a series of unfortunate events. A couple of bounces went against them, putting the Flyers up 2-0, and then more unfortunate events happened. In the end, after an empty net goal, Colorado lost 6-3.

Let’s start off on a positive note, and then I’ll get to my random thoughts.

Makar Sets Franchise Record

Defenseman Cale Makar didn’t have the best game of his career, at least as far as defense goes. However, he did set a franchise record for rookie defensemen. With an assist in tonight’s game, Makar now has 38 points, which is the most points for any rookie defenseman either with the Avs or the Nordiques.

Just kidding! I got through all of this just to try and embed the tweet the Avs had put out about the franchise record, and they’d deleted it. And Makar wasn’t credited with an assist on the Andre Burakovsky goal. (And by the way, what is it with Burakovsky, who also stole credit for Jost’s goal?)

Here’s the goal that Makar initially had an assist on:

Ah, well, there are 32 games left. Makar is sure to break that record after all.

Random Observations

More from Analysis

Before I get into the negatives, apparently a girls’ hockey team were practicing at Wells Fargo Center before the Avalanche’s morning skate. When they heard the Avs were going to be there, some of them got very excited at the prospect of meeting Nathan MacKinnon. He’s made the big time!

Color analyst Peter McNab, who’s infamous among the fandom for praising opponents, (He used to wish them “good luck” during intermission interviews) finally caught himself. He pointed out that Alexander Ovechkin had the opportunity to perhaps reach 700 goals when he visited Colorado in a couple weeks, saying it would be electrifying. When he realized he was advocating for Ovechkin to score against his team, he quickly added, “In a 6-1 win for the Avs.” Baby steps.

Ok, now onto my biggest bugaboo — the line making. I knew the coaches would apply their salad shooter, but they messed up what was good on the fourth line — all the lines really — and for what? It’s like they want to take what’s working on one line and apply it to another line they prefer. It doesn’t work that way.

A lot of Avs fans are also fed up with the defensive coaching. The team certainly did have some bad defensive turnovers. They also fell short a lot — I wondered about a five-man defensive approach for a run-and-gun team.

Yeah, it doesn’t work for the top line at all. My notes for what I wanted to say here are “Top line D is sh*t.” That’s a little harsh, but they were on the ice for three goals against.

The goal tending, oy vey. Philipp Grubauer had no chance on those first two goals, both of which took funny bounces. He had plenty of chances on the other three goals. But he made two huge saves… and his save percentage was still just .815. We might be shopping for a goalie come trade deadline.

The power play… they got a power play goal. They also allowed a short-handed goal. So, the power play needs work, too.

Well, at least St. Louis lost, too.

Side Note About a Hashtag

Well, there was a bit of a controversy that had nothing to do with what happened on the ice. For several years, the Twitter account for The Avs Hockey Podcast has run a game-day contest of who can name the first Avs player to score during the game. They use #AvsTwitterPsychic to follow along.

It’s been a very popular game. I played for a while, and then I got superstitious because every time I played the Avs lost (48-point season), so I stopped. But the game’s been ongoing.

Last year, the Colorado Avalanche’s official Twitter account started playing. I imagine that must have been a thrill for The Avs Hockey Podcast.

Well, tonight the Avs official Twitter did something that many fans consider beyond the pale:

I saw this picture earlier and saw the “Presented by Fan Duel,” but it didn’t click. However, apparently this picture means the official account monetized the hashtag.

This has come as a shock to the Twitter Avs fanbase. The Avs social team is highly regarded among the fans, and most of us consider them to be the best in hockey, if not in all of sports. You know we regularly love on them on this site.

Yet it’s really hard to ignore what’s happening. Obviously Fan Duel is a sponsor with the team, but the hashtag originated with someone other than the team. But it’s about the team, and I don’t think you can copyright a hashtag…

I think for the most part fans just see it as a betrayal by a social media team that’s always been interactive with them. Yet they ignored everyone’s questions and remarks about taking the hashtag.

It’s a serious misstep on their part. I hope they don’t do it again. Even our captain, Gabriel Landeskog, looks uneasy in the photo. Maybe they were ordered by higher-ups to make the image, and they felt as uneasy as Landy looks in the picture. Or maybe an intern, getting told to put the sponsor tag on images, made a mistake.

Next. Makar and Jost Getting Fit. dark

Well, we’ll see what happens about the hashtag and about all my observations from tonight when the Colorado Avalanche head over to Buffalo to play the Sabres.