Perspective has a funny way of playing with one's mind. Had the Avalanche not stopped playing after 20 wonderful minutes on Saturday, the Avalanche would be just 3 points out of the playoffs and I'd be writing a happy story today. Instead, our boys will be fighting to stay out of last place tomorrow night - an Avalanche loss and a St Louis win will put us in sole possession of last place in the Western Conference. Adrian Dater painted a pretty grim picture of the Avalanche dressing room on Saturday, and that's not to far off from the way I'm moping around.
I know people are saying the Avs need to blow it up. Fire Giguere and Granato! Trade everyone for draft picks! Tank for Tavares! I'm not quite there...yet. The Avalanche have really been stung in the standings with their inability to get to overtime. They have just one overtime / shootout loss, lowest in the league. Conversely, the Avs have 11 one-goal losses, 2nd most in the league. That's not a new trend. Post-lockout, the Avalanche have 24 OT losses. Only Pheonix has less, with 23. The league average is 34. Colorado also is tops in 1-goal losses with 47 (average is 36).
A goal post here and a big save there and the Avs would be right there in the massive cluster fuck that is the Western Conference, where just 9 points separates the bottom 11 teams. In one sense, that doesn't matter much; the Avs are where they are and there's little chance that this squad is going to pass 6 teams between now and the end of the year. But the fact that they are just slightly off the pace (unlike, say, the New York Islanders) tells me we're being just a little too hard on this team.
Regardless, there's little chance anyone is going to blow this team up at the deadline. As you may have noticed, there are a lot of seats missing tushes lately. The average attendance on that recent home stand was 14,947 - 83% of capacity - and just 6 home games this year have been sellouts. There won't be a fire sale. Giguere will tweak at the deadline, but I don't expect anything earth-shattering. And so, the Avs will play out the rest of the season as they are playing now: giving us hope one day and dashing it against the rocks on the next.