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Avalanche listless, fall 4-1 to the Jets

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Well, that...wasn’t enjoyable.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Winnipeg Jets Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Avalanche couldn’t muster much in today’s afternoon tilt with the Winnipeg Jets. Only a garbage time Jarome Iginla goal would prevent yet another shutout. The team continues its path steadily downward in the standings.

If the first period seemed a lot like the first period during the last two games, you wouldn’t be wrong. Once again the Avalanche held their opponent scoreless, but in doing so, they also played some pretty tentative hockey that didn’t offer many opportunities on the other end. Colorado would only proffer five shot attempts during five-on-five play during the period, and only two of those attempts would result in shots-on-goal. There was also a power play attempt, which again resulted in precisely zero goals for the ninth consecutive try—but, hey, they got a shot on goal! More importantly, though, is that goals were also not allowed. Calvin Pickard, making his third straight start for the injured Semyon Varlamov, stopped all 12 shots on goal to send the game into the locker room scoreless.

The second period featured better hockey, though it would result in being an equally scoreless stretch of hockey for the Avalanche. Five-on-five shot attempts would be a mere a deficit of three and the Avalanche, namely the MacKinnon line, seemed to be getting the best opportunities. That is until a puck bounced awkwardly out of the Winnipeg zone while the Avs had possession. It eventually found the stick of Mark Scheifele, who skated up ice and made a nice cross-ice pass to the rookie phenom Patrik Laine, who blasted home a beautiful one-timer past Pickard for his 18th goal on the season to put the Jets up 1-0.

If the Avalanche had any hope heading into the third period, it was soon abandoned not quite three minutes in when they lost possession of the puck in the Jets’ end and somehow gave up an odd-man rush going the other way. Mathieu Perreault slid a cross-ice pass beneath Patrick Wiercioch and Blake Wheeler tapped it in to put Winnipeg up 2-0.

Still hope, you say? Nope, not actually.

Nikolaj Ehlers scored again about a minute later after Mikhail Grigorenko coughed up the puck during an Avalanche breakout, which negated potential drama caused by Jarome Iginla’s goal on the power play with 2:01 left. Colorado would subsequently pull its goalie, but with negative results. Ehlers would score his second goal on the evening on the empty net, putting the Jets up 4-1 and sending the Avalanche to the locker room with yet another loss.

Winnipeg moves to 15-16-3 on the season and Colorado, well, is doing their best to land a top draft pick next summer. They head to Minnesota next to play the Wild on Tuesday.