Last night was the final straw. I can't watch any more of this crap brand of hockey that masquerades as the Colorado Avalanche. The last few games have shown me something about this team. That thing? They aren't ready to return to the playoffs. Nothing I've seen in the last few games has given me any hope that there is the ability or desire to right the ship. As Thomas said in the open thread for last night's game, everybody is standing around waiting for the style of hockey they've been playing to start winning games, when all evidence points to it not happening.
My theory is that the players gave up over a month-and-a-half ago when the last of the Three Essess went down. Only the energetic play of the call-ups and Theo's Holy Grail-level quest to earn a paycheck next season kept the secret from getting out. Jibbles has a great post about this too. I'll second everything he says. The lack of commitment starts with the coaching staff and has trickled down to the guys in the press-box.
It's time for a soft reboot of this team. IMO, everybody but Lappy, Guite, Wolski, Stastny, Leopold, Finger, Jones, Hensick, and McCormick are fair game for trades. Don't gut the core of the team or sell the future, but changes have to be made. Bruno, Arny, Liles, Hejduk, McLeod, both goalies, Hannan, Clark, Skratch (please, dear god, let the Kings take him off our hands), etc. have not contributed to this team being playoff caliber.
Of course, a significant change in personnel won't mean jack squat if Mediocre Quenneville is allowed to retain his job. He and his entire staff (including the correspondence-school educated trainers) should be shown the door. He's never won anything, he makes horrible personnel decisions, he can't coach star-quality players worth a damn, and his in-game 'strategy' often blows up in his face. He's shown a lack of commitment to the players he's had for a significant stretch of his stay in Colorado, and hasn't figured out how to utilize the newer additions to the lineup. The fact that the worst PP in the history of the team (with some of the best players since the golden days) has happened under his watch is enough to have the door hit him on the way out.
I'm seriously considering not watching the remainder of the games this season. I get to see horrible hockey every Sunday night with my beer-league team. Why would I spend more time watching another group of players with more skill and less desire play WORSE than my group of guys (and that saying something as we got shelled 13-1 Sunday night!)? The Avs organization from top to bottom hasn't done ANYTHING in the last 6-8 months that tells me nothing positive about the future of this season or this team. Why should I care when it seems that nobody else does?
Fire Q. Sell some assets. Stop the mediocrity.