The Colorado Avalanche are gone. Long live the Colorado Avalanche.
It’s like Ray said that episode of Trailer Park Boys, “way she goes.” “That’s the way she goes, boys. Sometimes she goes, sometimes she doesn’t cause that’s the f******g way she goes.”
Instead of talking about blowing all your money on VLTs, I’m in my living room, hours after watching the Colorado Avalanche lose to the Dallas Stars, in the tensest of Game 7 overtimes.
The usual thoughts come into my head (“why”), after seeing a display of such promise flushed down the drain with one goal. The usual consolation. “It’s only a game.” “That’s the way she goes.” “We made it that far.”
Yes. A Colorado Avalanche team, down their two goalies, and one of their top defensemen, having brought a series back from the dead, to sudden death. We had every reason not to be here, but we went the distance. We continued to break the tie, scored multi-goal games, saw a wide range of players be key contributors. It shouldn’t have been, especially after goalie Philipp Grubauer went down, but here we are having made it to Game 7. But we lost, it happened, and the season is over.
There’s three months until the purported start of the 2020-21 season, how much changes? Vladislav Namestnikov, acquired over the deadline, becomes a free agent. Do the Avs re-sign him? With buyout Brooks Orpik, and the retained ghost of Tyson Barrie, a combined $4.25M cap hit coming off the books, there’s more than enough room to keep the center. Scoring twice in the last game, there’s no question he’s important.
Who goes? Vladislav Kamenev, acquired from Nashville in the Matt Duchene deal, departed for the KHL a few days ago. A host of RFAs, like Zadorov and Jost, both who have struggled, where do they go? Do they get shopped? Do they remain with the team, to become bait for Seattle? With rookie Martin Kaut likely to make the team, does it come at the cost of losing Jost or winger J.T. Compher before December 1st?
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What’s to say about Philipp Grubauer? Grubauer returned to Denver following his lower-body injury that cost him the rest of the season; with a goalie market foaming with names like Jarry or Murray or potentially Lehner, do the Avs take a stab at one of them?
Do the Avs scrounge up some money and sign Taylor Hall to a multi-million dollar deal?
Does Jared Bednar outlaw the fancy pass strategy that plagued the Avalanche so, so many times this round, banishing soft shots and hours of passing back and forth, only to lose it and get it out of their opponent’s zone? Does the same happen with the multiple wasted powerplays, the unneeded penalties and resulting goals?
What else is there to say?
As crushing a defeat it was, it was worth it for the good moments. The play of Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, how guys like Nazem Kadri and Andrei Burakovsky cemented themselves as key players, every time a fan posted “GRUUUUUU” on Twitter. We got to see what’s certain to be the beginning of an outstanding career in Cale Makar. We got Kadri’s 0.01 second goal, we got a number of “Brazils” (7-1 game, for those uninformed), we got to hear Arizona’s “AWOOOO” goal horn and then silence it. We came back from being eliminated and took it to the final second.
It was a hell of a playoffs, one that saw a million Avs fans hate Corey Perry and Esa Lindell, and one that came to an end too soon.
Sometimes she goes, sometimes she doesn’t. That’s the way she goes.