Sometimes I wonder why I even follow this team.
I don't have the memories of the glorious past - all I have is the future and the promise of what this team could be. I've held onto that for the past 3 years, excusing our blunders and poor performances with excuses like youth, injuries, and lack of talent. But what excuses do we have now?
- Our team is healthy. We only have one player on the IR right now.
- Our team has experience. This is the fourth season for most of them. Sure, we don't have vets, but the kids should know what they have to do at this point.
- Our team has talent. Two of the top 10 scorers in the West wear the Burgundy A. O'Reilly has 6 points in the past 6 games. Landeskog looks like his old self again since logically being put back with his on-ice BFF. EJ is the real deal if he's paired with someone that he can even remotely trust, and Varly has been fairly solid all year.
- Our defense sucks, but I'm sorry, you lose that excuse when you send one of your Top 3 back to f-ing Cleveland to make room for one-way contract scrubs.
Seriously, what excuse does this team have for being 15th in the West? What excuse does it have for coming out flat night after night after night? We obviously have the skill and talent to play with the best, but we're so freakin' scared of making even one tiny mistake that we instantly deflate after one iffy goal.
There is nothing and no one left to point the finger at but Sacco. Good coach, bad coach - doesn't matter. The Avs are never going to develop into a winning team under him. He is not deploying the team in a fashion that allows them to win, and he's doing nothing to help them regain confidence. Morphing them into a puck possession team is good in theory, but he has them so bundled in tight that they can't find any rhythm.
5 forwards on the power play? Putting Zanon with EJ? Refusing to put Landy and Radar back together for 8+ games even though it was his go-to last year? Sending Barrie down to Cleveland? Easily picked off drop pass zone entry? Questionable D-man usage and TOI? Not doghousing Jones? Horrendous in-division record both this year and across his entire career? If I knew more about systems, I'm sure I'd find more issues there because clearly IT'S. NOT. WORKING.
I'm so frustrated right now because I see this group's potential. This is by far the best Avs team I've ever watched talent-wise, and yet we're still on track for the worst finish we've ever have since moving to Denver. Icing a playoff team really shouldn't be that much to ask for, not with Duchene, Parenteau, O'Reilly, Landeskog, Johnson, BARRIE, and Varlamov on the roster. We have a treasure trove of talent and absolutely nothing to show for it.
I'm angry that I'm embarrassed to be an Avs fan. I'm pissed that I love an organization that is content to shoot itself in the foot with a shrug of "oh well, maybe next year". NO! Excuses are gone. I am sick and tired of the basement!
All I've ever asked from this team is progress. That's it. And yet, here we are, 4 years later, talking about high draft picks AGAIN. This time, we don't even have any way to rationalize it. I'm fine with rebuilding, but this isn't it. This is pointlessly spinning our wheels because we are unwilling to take the next step.
We need a culture change, and it starts with the coach. Ride out Sacco for the rest of this year, fine. He's already killed this season, so we might as well get a good pick out of it. But next year, HIRE SOMEONE ELSE. Preferably someone out of the system, away from this losing culture. We need a new voice, a new direction, a new hope.
I've still not given up faith in this team - not yet. The potential of what it could be is brighter than ever. However, watching this team lose like this night after night is downright painful. Please, Sherman, Lacroix, Sakic, Kroenke, ANYONE, find a way to fix it. For the fans' sake, for the players' sake, for your sake, fix it.