The Colorado Avalanche need a major gut check to move on past Game 5 in the series against Dallas.
The Colorado Avalanche dropped the all-important Game 4 of the second-round series against the Dallas Stars. They’re now down 3-1 in the series.
The series ain’t over until the bubble pops in this COVID world, but… the prognosis is still pretty grim. Colorado barely looks like they’re playing to win, not for any great stretches of time anyway.
I don’t know what happened. I mean, I can tell you that almost three-quarters of the first period was finished before the Avalanche recorded their first shot on goal, and by then they were down 3-0. I can tell you that goalie Pavel Francouz recorded a .808 save percentage before getting pulled in favor of Michael Hutchinson. I can tell you the Avs gave up a total of five goals, and it’s simply too hard to win when you do that.
But why? This is a team whose motto for the playoffs is “unwavering.” Well, they’re wavering all over the place right now.
Yes, a large part of the problem is they lost their starting goalie, Philipp Grubauer. He’s spent a large part of the last two seasons injured, and I just don’t think we can count on his glass groin moving forward. Meanwhile, Francouz has finally shown himself to be the first-year player he really is.
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So, I get they’re hindered by injuries. However, they’re acting like they’ve never been there before, like they haven’t spent large parts of the season with 25% of their core out with injuries. They’re not playing a brand of Colorado Avalanche hockey I recognize.
And it’s certainly not a brand I want to come to recognize. It’s an ugly version of the worst aspects of their hockey. They’ve played loosey goosey on defense while running and gunning, all while not getting adequate goal tending or scoring.
And, yes, rookie Cale Makar made a mistake at the absolute worst time. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon made a similar gaffe back in the day. It’s hard to say either rookie cost his team the game or the series, though, when so much else was wrong with the team’s play.
Well, the Cinderella rule has to be in full effect today. They must take a long, hard look at today’s game and then a long, hard look in the mirror to examine what each of them can do better for next time.
Otherwise, we may be looking at a second-round exit for the Colorado Avalanche. And, no, I don’t intend to be particularly charmed by the upcoming Instagram posts of the players reunited with their children. I’m just not in the mood right now.