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Game Preview: Anaheim Ducks at Colorado Avalanche

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The final chapter of the 2015-16 season is a somber denouement.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

There's a term in musical composition called a Coda. Merriam-Webster defines it as "an ending part of a piece of music or a work of literature or drama that is separate from the earlier parts" -- that seems pretty accurate. Though the term was originally coined to describe ending passages in classical compositions, it rose to prominence again in the late 1960s and early 70s when the long-player album format began allowing for longer pieces of recorded music. Many of our more famous Codas are powerful upbeat climaxes -- think "Station to Station" by the late-great David Bowie or "The Chain" by the later-iteration Fleetwood Mac. Tonight's Avalanche game against the Ducks is a different sort of Coda.

It's "Layla" or "Racing in the Street" -- bittersweet, whimsical, a painful reminder of unrealized potential.

The Avalanche had a real shot at the playoffs this season. Three few weeks ago, they were sitting pretty against their division rival Minnesota Wild, had just made some savvy deadline moves, and looked like a team that could surprise someone in the first round. Unfortunately, we all know by now how this turned out. Elbows broke, knees were bruised, strained, and sprained, and the brutal final schedule turned out to be every bit as difficult as we predicted when it was released.

Tonight, when Matt Duchene and the Avs are skating around against the playoff-bound Ducks, I'm going to be hearing sorrowful harmonized Eric Clapton guitar licks, but we shouldn't give up hope for the future. This is still a young team with better days in front of the them -- even though many changes are still in order. Let's start getting excited about seeing Nikita Zadorov and Mikko Rantanen for a full season next year or maybe having a chance to sign a nice 3rd-line piece like Shawn Matthias this offseason. As difficult as this moment is, the team should have better talent next year.

And that's BEFORE we win the draft lottery!

So, let's have some fun watching our last Avalanche hockey until September. We'll miss it when it's gone.