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Avalanche and their fans can’t give up now



Avs lose Game 3

This has been a lousy few days. As people who watch and care about the Colorado Avalanche, it was a lousy feeling watching last night’s Vegas-Montreal game.

I’m sure a lot of you felt this way too, but I was like: “This should be the Avs playing Montreal right now, at Ball Arena. It should be a full house. The Avs should be wearing their Quebec Nordiques reverse retro jerseys, and this should be a ball to watch.”

It still doesn’t seem quite real to me that the Avs lost four straight to Vegas and are done playing any game that counts for four long months. This team had everything, or so it seemed to me. It was barely more than a week ago when the Avs had a 2-0 series lead, and a lead with 5:16 to go in the third period of Game 3 in Vegas. It was just one week ago today that the Avs had a 2-0 lead entering the third period of Game 5 at home, after having played what I thought was their best period of the postseason.

But it’s now Tuesday, the Avs are done and Vegas has a 1-0 series lead on Montreal. Hockey will break your heart, bottom line.

A lot of people want to point fingers of blame right now, and that’s just life in pro sports. Fire the coach, trade this guy, trade that guy, bring this guy in, etc. etc. etc.

I just don’t see where there is one big area of blame. Can anyone say Jared Bednar didn’t work his butt off for this team? Did he ever seem complacent or lazy to you? Not to me he didn’t.

Joe Sakic has made a ton of great moves to get this team back to a position of strength. We can’t blame him. The ownership by the Kroenkes? They spent right to the cap on this team. They are good owners. OK, they’re not the most visible owners, which lends itself to people making judgments about them, but they are good owners, period.

It’s just…the Avs didn’t play well enough at the crucial times. And, Vegas was a good enough team not to beat themselves, and to take advantage of Avs mistakes in those crucial times.

One thing I have been consistent about, if I have any criticism of the team as it’s currently composed, is that players somehow just let up a bit whenever there is some prosperity. It was evident in Game 3 of the Vegas series. The Avs just didn’t seem to come to play and Vegas seized on that. I’m sure their players might have thought, “Hey, maybe these guys think it’s going to be easy against us. Let’s show them.” And, they did.

I don’t know what the solution to that problem is, if it exists at all. But, every team has to have a killer instinct. Every championship team has to feel like “We haven’t done anything yet” until that trophy is hoisted. I remember Patrick Roy looking at me like I had three heads when I asked if the 1996 season was already a success, after beating Detroit in the Western finals. Of course not, he scoffed. There’s still the Cup.

It’ll be a long, tough summer, no question about it. It’s easy to feel down and depressed right now, even about the future.

But, chins up. It’s still a good situation around here. Let’s count some blessings and keep living life.

A couple of shoutouts here:

Thanks to everybody who comes here to read my scribbling.


Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Evan Rawal, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

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