Should that have even counted as a home loss last night, for the Colorado Avalanche against the Washington Capitals at Ball Arena? After all, weren’t there actually more fans will Caps jerseys on than the home team? Sure looked – and sounded – like it.
It’s a great compliment to the city of Denver, the state of Colorado, that so many people from other states choose to live here over their actual hometowns. Hey, I’m one of them, having moved here from back east in 1991. But, honestly, can’t Avs fans fill their own building a little better than this?
When you see the highlights on TV of opposing goals scored at Ball Arena, and you see a sea of raised hands in the first few rows lining seemingly every inch of the rink, it’s embarrassing.
Why can’t Avs fans fill up their own building? Why does it have to feel like a road game on nights like last night? We’re talking about the team with the best record in the NHL, maybe the best team in franchise history, and all the best seats in the house were purchased by Washington Capitals fans?
Yeah, I know this is part of the “buying tickets in advance on StubHub by transplants who wait all year for their team to come to town” yadda yadda. Personally, I’m tired of that excuse.
This team has been in town for 27 years. It can’t all be transplants who live here, can it? It’s time for Avs fans to show up and support this team more. The players will never say it, that it hurts their momentum/energy/whatever seeing their own building filled with rabid, loud fans in opposing jerseys, in all the best seats.
But I don’t care what they say. It does hurt the team, in lots of ways. How are you supposed to get any energy in your own building when it’s louder when the visiting team scores? (Also, we know the “I’d rather watch the team on TV than pay to go to the games” excuse doesn’t fly too well here – because the vast majority of this city can’t see the team on TV thanks to the bumbling farce that continues to be ownership’s handling of things with Comcast (Yes, I blame Comcast too, a pox on both sides). And, yes, that might be part of the blame for this too. When you can’t get your product out for your own fans to see, you no doubt kill some of the interest that might generate into people actually wanting to go buy tickets to see it. Ultimately, that’s on management).
Whatever the excuses are, the Avs and their fans need to find a way to turn Ball Arena into more of a harsh environment for visitors to play. This team has put the best product out onto the ice of any team in the league this year, but fans from other teams apparently are more interested in seeing it in person.
ABOUT LAST NIGHT…
- Jared Bednar was OK with his team’s work ethic overall, but “we didn’t have the puck enough” was one of his laments. He also hinted that the team tried to be a little too fancy, a little too deliberate, at times.
- I didn’t take anything terrible out of the loss. Look, the Avs were missing some very key players in the game. It wasn’t their real team.
- The Avs’ 39 hits equaled their season-high (also: March 15 at Los Angeles).
- Yeah, Jack Johnson gave Bednar an excuse to make him the odd-man-out in the playoffs with those turnovers last night. He’s had a fine year otherwise, and I still think the Avs will need JJ’s toughness at times in the postseason. But in an ultra-competitive environment where there are six other guys vying for D jobs, a game like that doesn’t help.
- Cale Makar on the game: “It just felt like we didn’t get much generated tonight in the O-zone. It’s also like when we were getting it up at the point, we weren’t getting shots through and they were doing a good job of staying in lanes. But for us on the backend, the forwards were doing a pretty good job of getting to the net after they got it to us and we just weren’t getting it there. So, kudos to them, they did a good job of boxing us out. Going into the third period, we knew it was going to be tough and it’s another test, another challenge that’s just going to be beneficial for us moving down the line.”