Dear Colorado Avalanche,
I want you to know how disgusted and embarrassed I am by what I saw in the last twenty minutes of the season's opening game tonight against Minnesota. I hate the Wild, but right now, I'm finding it easier to despise you than them. You see, when you play as good an opening forty minutes as you did in this game, it's easy to become happy and hopeful about what the future might hold. Yet when you take the 4-1 lead you had going into the third and blatantly tell the Minnesota Wild, "Here, take two our points! Happy early Halloween!" I, along with my other fellow Avalanche fans become extremely angry and depressed.
I'm not exactly sure what happened in that last period, and I don't think you all do either. Frankly, I hope you don't and are able to learn what did go wrong so that it never happens again, because it was sheer misery to watch the team I put so much energy and love into take that emotion and smash it into thousands of tiny pieces.
If there is one good thing about this epic collapse, it's that it came in the first game of an eighty-two game season. You will play forty more games at Pepsi Center and forty-one others in twenty-nine different arenas across North America. I get the feeling right now though, that come April, we'll be looking back on this game and saying, "What if the Avs hadn't choked that game away?" My hope is that we ask that for something like losing home-ice advantage, playing a team we did not want to face in the first round, or something else along those lines. You guys are probably just as aware as me that this game could have devastating consequences on whether or not this team plays more games than the eighty-one that are guaranteed.
The thing is though, after that period, you all have no right to be playing playoff hockey if you're going to finish games like that. I don't care what kind of game Zach Parise had. There is no reason for a team composed of people that are supposed to be capable of playing professional hockey on the world's brightest stage to give up a 4-1 lead with fifteen minutes left to go in a game at home, and find yourselves down a goal just five minutes later.
I've experienced lots of tough losses in my time being an Avalanche fan, all eliciting different emotions. Heartbreak, optimistic hope, frustration, games so bad you just have to laugh, but this is the angriest I can ever remember being after a game. When the clock hit 00:00 in the 3rd, I took off my jersey and threw it into my bedroom corner, which is where it's still lying as I write this. I might not pick it up until tomorrow morning. If I do, for all I know, it might go in the fireplace or the garbage (trash is getting picked up tomorrow after all). I'm kidding. I won't do either of those things, but please, don't ever make me think like this again.
You are currently down two points to Minnesota, Winnipeg, Nashville, St. Louis, and Dallas, and tied for the defending champions for sixth. We all found out about how hard it is to pull yourself out of a rough start last year, and you have the toughest division in hockey to fight against. On Saturday night, you have a chance to redeem yourselves against the Dallas Stars, one of the teams in the division. Do all of the good things you did in the first two periods against Minnesota (none of which I now remember), and do something else with it. FINISH THE GAME. I'm convinced you all make up a good team, now prove it. You did not on Thursday night, and in the process embarrassed yourselves and all of those who choose to associate themselves with this team.