Any hope that the Colorado Avalanche would be a different hockey club following the trade deadline quickly dissipated. Any chance that the group of guys who didn’t get traded would be excited to finish the season with the club are gone. “I’m just happy to get back to hockey” was the quote from the players on the team who were rumored to be traded. Could have fooled me.
This is the same Colorado Avalanche club that started the season. Joe Sakic failed to make any major changes off the ice on Wednesday, thus no major changes were made on the ice in a 2-1 loss against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.
The team looked asleep in the first two periods. Alex Burrows scored both goals for the Senators. The first came off a bad angle shot that hit the stick of an Avalanche defender. How many times have we heard that one this year? The second came after a steal along the boards, a pass into the slot, and a great shot.
Alex Burrows is a 35-year-old forward who was scheduled to put a free agent at the end of this season. His production has dramatically dipped over the last few years as the Canucks have gotten worse since their run to the Cup finals. He’s also not the most well-liked player in the league due to his on-ice antics. Somehow, the Canucks managed to sell his abilities to the Senators for Jonathan Dahlen, the 42nd overall pick in 2016.
That’s the difference between smart offices and the Avalanche front office. Sakic failed to get rid of guys like Blake Comeau, John Mitchell, Fedor Tyutin, Joe Colborne, Rene Bourque, Cody Goloubef, etc… and we all assume that it’s because there was no market for any of those guys. We’ve seen them play all season, we know they aren’t very good. But maybe they aren’t very good because this team isn’t very good? Maybe they just need to be in a different system with a better coach in order to thrive?
It worked for Burrows tonight. And Cody McLeod seems to be doing alright in Nashville.
It’s Sakic’s job sell other teams on his guys, no matter how poorly they’re playing, and he failed miserably at doing so.
The Avs finally showed a little life in the third period, cutting the lead in half on a goal by Bourque, but 20-minutes of slightly above average hockey doesn’t make up for 40-minutes of lifelessness. In the final minute and a half, Jared Bednar pulled Calvin Pickard for the extra attacker. The Avs failed to register a single shot on goal. They have control of the puck in the offensive zone for just under a minute and decided to pass it around the perimeter for a good thirty seconds, looking for the perfect play.
That’s been the issue for the team all year. They want to hit the perfect play, instead of going hard to the net and working for the tough goals. They want to curl instead of drive. They want to thread the needle instead of shoot. And when they do shoot, they try to be too fine and often miss the net.
If you’ve watched one Colorado Avalanche game this year, you’ve watched 90% of them. Don’t feel bad for miss
On the positive side, J.T. Compher looked good in his Avalanche debut. By “good,” I mean he looked like he cared and was excited to be there. He worked hard and battled, which is more than I can say about pretty much every other player wearing an Avalanche jersey tonight. The call-up of Compher is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, aside from him and Sven Andrighetto, who should join the team in their next game, this is the same group of guys who have failed to inspire any hope and confidence all season.
And it won’t be long until Compher and Andrighetto fall into the Avalanche of misery.