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I Suppose We're Spoiled

Honestly, I'm trying to figure out why I'm so irate about the game last night and the Avs' overall failure to play as the superb team they should be over the last ten or twelve games.  If I was a Kings fan, I'd pretty much expect it.  If I was a Maple Leafs fan, I'd just chalk it up to tradition and fate.

But I'm a Colorado fan, and poor play by the Avalanche makes me mad as hell.  I know for a fact I'm not alone.

I've been a fan of this team since before they moved to Denver, so I know all the history and can remember all the great seasons, all-star lineups and beautiful Stanley Cup wins.  It wasn't that long ago that the Colorado Avalanche was one of the most hated teams in the NHL, which will always be a compliment.  It means they were great---infuriatingly great to every team on the receiving end of their punishment.

Now they're just becoming a laughingstock.

Speaking of the great days of yesteryear, Keith Jones (of Jonesy), was asked in an email question what it was like to play in Colorado with the Avalanche.  He writes,

I loved playing in Colorado. Hockey was really hot when I was there. They had just won a Cup the season before; there was a great buzz. The weather was really good, always sunny. Plus, Denver had just really great hockey fans. That was a really cool place to be. You are much more appreciated when you are playing well.

The last sentence is dead-on.  Play well and you are appreciated.  Play like crap and we Avalanche fans will have no patience for you.

Perhaps our standards are too high in this Post-Lockout, "New NHL" full of salary caps, early free agency and the vicious reality of team parity.  We got spoiled by a dynasty that would now be impossible to duplicate.

But, then again, with a team filled with names like Sakic, Hejduk, Stastny, Smyth, Hannan and Liles, how could we not have high expectations?  How could we not expect no less than a new Northwest Division Champions banner to hang from the Pepsi Center rafters?

If we're spoiled, so be it.  I don't think any fan is out of line by expecting their favorite team to win on a regular basis and play to their full potential.

They can't let this season end up like last year.  It's not too late to turn things around.