If a game between two terrible teams ends after midnight eastern time, did it really happen? Sources say yes it still does as the Colorado Avalanche added their 24th tally in the loss column against the Vancouver Canucks in a 3-2 final.
This game was closer than the recent blowouts as the back and forth affair started with a scoreless low event first period before Bo Horvat broke the deadlock at 4:48 in the second period. Mikko Rantanen responded at 6:53 shortly after, scoring on a rifle of a shot on the power play. Vancouver would close the period out at 18:15 on a Sven Baertschi goal right after their own power play expired. In the third period Tyson Barrie got the equalizer from a nice screened shot of his own. Overtime was looking likely until another Cody Goloubef penalty sent the Canucks on a power play and Baertschi struck again at 16:23. Avs got few good looks with the extra attacker but no dice and defeat once again.
Is it time for Jeremy Smith to get a start? Calvin Pickard turned in an acceptable performance, so this suggestion isn't about him. Picks has looked a bit worn out and defeated in the past couple games. He could use a break and it would be nice to reward Smith, who at 27 years old and in his 8th professional season still hasn't touched NHL ice and has played well and battled back from injury in San Antonio this season. Who knows, maybe it would inspire some improved play in front of him.
Is there a reason for the lack of roster moves as the Avalanche languish with each passing day and loss? Does that reason begin with the letter T because it is becoming more and more difficult to believe otherwise. Dumping half a dozen veterans and bringing up the same number of prospects is probably unrealistic without trades but there is absolutely zero reason to continue rolling out this lineup on a nightly basis with the goal of winning a hockey game. The minor league team exists for a reason and should be used for making roster moves, particularly when players are injured long enough for Injured Reserve or those on two-way or buriable contracts are underperforming.
Will the upcoming league mandated bye week lead to any sort of change? Mercifully the Avs will cease to play hockey for almost an entire week with no games between January 6th to 12th. This would be a good chance for reflection and to put a plan in action on how to proceed for the next three months of the season. While the hope of playoffs is long gone, that doesn't mean the Avalanche can't accomplish anything with the time they have left. Setting up the organization for the future in both roster moves and game management should be the priority. We’ll see if the Avalanche feel the same way.
Up Next: The Greatest Show on Ice stops in Calgary for a match with the Flames at 8pm mountain time on Wednesday, January 4th.