Living with the aftershock

I'm not doing a recap for last night's game. Every game in the series was pretty much the same - decent play by the Avs for a stretch peppered with back-breaking mistakes. In 3 of the 4 games, the Wings scored two goals in under two minutes and Detroit had a 4-1 lead in every single game. You're not going to win very many playoff games trying to climb from a 3-goal deficit. Johan Franzen scored as many goals (9) as the entire Avalanche team. Jose Theodore was brilliant in round one and atrocious in round two; even playing behind a shockingly porous defense, an 823 save percentage isn't going to get it done. And you can talk all you want about the guys who weren't in the lineup, but the guys who were there took 24 freaking minor penalties in 4 games (as Joel Quenneville shouted to Jeff Finger in game 2: "What the fuck are you doing?"), resulting in 7 powerplay goals. The Avalanche scored 4 pp goals - 5 if you count the McLeod game 3 goal with an extra attacker on the ice - but gave up 2 shorthanded goals. All in all, just an ugly series from a team that, quite frankly, should have been better.

At any rate, here's what folks are saying about game 4 and the series:

In a week's time, the Avalanche went from being a happy, mostly healthy hockey team — one that was picked by several national hockey analysts to beat Detroit in the Western Conference semifinal — to an utterly banged-up, demoralized and, ultimately, beaten squad. - Adrian Dater, Denver Post

Getting swept by the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference semifinals was bad enough - this really isn't much of a rivalry anymore - but Thursday night's 8-2 shellacking at the Pepsi Center was a humiliating way to head into the offseason. - Rick Sadowski, Rocky Mountain News

If there is any good thing to come out of getting swept, it’s that the Red Wings did not get to celebrate at home. And as far as I can see, that’s the only thing. - Tapeleg, Jerseys and Hockey Love

I knew this team had given up a couple games ago, but I didn't think they would just drop their shorts and take a dump on the ice like this. - Thomas, Riding the Avalanche

Good on Babcock for reigning the guys in as the third period went on. And kudos to the Avs for not turning to goonery as a result of the spanking they received. - Matt Saler, On the Wings

Going younger is an approach the Avs have haltingly tried to adopt, and if any optimism can come out of it, the play of rookies David Jones, T.J. Hensick and Cody McLeod has been encouraging. - Bernie Lincicome in yet another completely ridiculous piece for the Rocky Mountain News

Colorado coach Joel Quenneville resorted to playing seven defensemen and 11 forwards instead of the usual 6-12 setup. With so many of his stars turned spectators, it looked more like he had a lineup of the Lake Erie Monsters, the Avalanche's top minor league team. - Associated Press

The Avalanche defense, which was so amazing against Minnesota, looked completely lost against the Red Wings. Slow, out of position, and out-played in every aspect of the game. Adam Foote had no answer for Pavel Datsyuk. Kurt Sauer got embarrassed repeatedly by Henrik Zetterberg. And Johan Franzen made everybody look stupid. - Joe, Mile High Hockey

Theodore made big saves against the Wild. He did not make any saves against the Wings. Blame the defence as much as you want but Theodore was not good enough this series. - Shane, Colorado Avalanche Talk

Hard to believe it was less than two weeks ago Jose Theodore could convince himself, with a certain level of confidence, he was squarely playing his way into the Avalanche's future plans. - Pat Rooney, Rocky Mountain News

The dagger - a mercy shot as much as anything - was when Detroit scored two goals in 47 seconds near the end of the first period to build up an insurmountable 3-1 lead and chase Jose Theodore from the net. The series was so thoroughly dominated by Detroit that even the one minor controversy - should Joel Quenneville start Budaj in place of a sick/ineffective Theodore - was definitively answered by the Wings as they put 5 pucks past Budaj in less than 30 minutes. - Dave, Gorilla Crouch

A thorough spanking
The Avs never blew their cool
Here come the finals - Brennan, Gloveside

The Detroit Red Wings took advantage of an injured and nearly-eliminated Colorado Avalanche Thursday night, scoring eight goals en route to an 8-2 victory to finish off a four-game sweep. - Clark Rasmussen, Detroit Hockey

The loss for the Avs marked their second playoff 0-fer since moving to Denver for the 1995-96 season. Their previous sweep came at the hands of the Ducks in the 2006 conference semis. They were outscored in that series 18-4. This time? Try 21-9. . . . - Jim Armstrong, Denver Post

Rivalry? Hardly. It's total domination by the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit ended Colorado's season tonight with an 8-2 win and a four game sweep. Now the evaluations begin and Francois Giguere and his staff will have some tough decisions to make. - Angelique, Colorado Avalanche Prospects

Captain Joe Sakic, goalie Jose Theodore and forward Andrew Brunette are among the 13 Avalanche players who will be unrestricted free agents this summer.Also in that group are defenseman Adam Foote and forward Peter Forsberg - two of the most popular players in franchise history - and homegrown defenseman John-Michael Liles. After a second-round sweep at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings, Avalanche general manager Francois Giguere will have several decisions to make as he works with at least $21 million in salary-cap space. - Aaron J Lopez, Rocky Mountain News

I’m going to take my time, think about it over the summer. It’s something obviously I need to make a decision on. Discuss it with my family and see where we go. But right now, just take some time. - Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche

For as great a player as Peter Forsberg has been in his career, it just seemed he demoralized them when he said he couldn't play in Game 1. That just set an ugly tone for the Avs the rest of the series. Joe Sakic looked old. - Ted Kulfan, Wings Blog

Peter Forsberg almost certainly is done. I chatted a bit with Forsberg after the game, and the look of resignation was in his eyes. The mind is willing, but the body just hasn’t for Foppa, for a couple years now. - Adrian Dater, All Things Avs

Forsberg plans to remain in Denver for treatment. Should he return to the NHL next season, expect to see him in an Avalanche sweater. - Aaron Lopez and Rick Sadowski, Rocky Mountain News

I think this is the year Avs fans look back on as the Transition Season. The season the old guard (Foote, Sakic, Forsberg) was here, but the season the next generation started to take over. Stastny, Wolski, Jones, Finger (hopefully, they better f'ing resign him), Svats Machine, McCormick, and even McLeod all had excellent seasons and Hensik, Budaj and Cumisky had flashes. This team is ready for the future. Sometimes a young team, like the Avs, need a butt-kicking to show them the way. - Jibblescribbits

Johan Franzen's nine goals in this series sets an NHL record for goals in a four-game series. This was just the ninth time in league history that a player has scored at least nine goals in a series ... the other eight were all in series that went five games or longer. - Bruce MacLeod, Red Wings Corner

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