clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Twitter Tuesday: Stadium Series madness, third-period meltdowns and woe-is-me

New, comments

It’s been a rough week for the Colorado Avalanche

2020 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series - Los Angeles Kings v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s been a rough week for the Colorado Avalanche.

A blown third-period lead against the Caps on national television, then another last-minute loss at a poorly-executed Stadium Series and Mikko Rantanen is likely out for the rest of the regular season. Ouch.

Let’s talk about it, shall we?

That’s a great question. With the hype of the pre-game festivities and the brightness of the national spotlight on them, the Avs came out flying against the Kings at the Stadium Series. They outshot L.A. 13-1 in the first 11 minutes of the game and looked like the team that won seven of eight before the blown game against the Capitals.

The soft goal by the Kings to open the Stadium Series scoring was a bit of a buzzkill and it was kind of all downhill from there. The Avalanche started to look more like the team that just came from sea level in California to playing a game at almost 7,000 feet in elevation more so than the Kings did. Colorado just looked sluggish after the first 10 minutes of the game while they allowed L.A. to control the pace.

The Avalanche didn’t look like the energetic team they usually are when they were at Falcon Stadium on Saturday, which is strange given the hype you think there would be of playing in front 35,000-40,000 of your own fans.

I’m not sure you can really pinpoint one thing about the reason for this. The ice conditions were great, according to the Avalanche. After the game, the guys in the locker room said the ice wasn’t an issue, although the puck appeared to be bouncing around quite a bit out there.

Plain and simple, the Avs were just out-worked by a lesser team. The Kings looked faster, more energetic and just played better. Jonathan Quick was also playing out of his mind like vintage Jonny Quick which didn’t help.

Unfortunately this isn’t going to happen.

Although some people missed half the game and even some of the third period because they we're still stuck in traffic getting into the Air Force Academy, the NHL will sweep this under the rug, look the other way and wait for enough time to pass before people forget about it.

The NHL, the Avalanche, the Kings and the Academy would all lose gross amounts of money by issuing refunds — so they won’t.

It’s sad the way things worked out on Saturday. What was supposed to be a fun event quickly turned nightmarish. While the blame is not all on the league on this one — can’t blame them for muddy, mountain-snow-melted parking lots — the lack of facilities and the fact that there was no one directed traffic was a huge overlooking on part of the NHL.

I feel so sorry for those that made it in late in the second period or early in the third to watch that disaster of a game. I even know some people just turned around and bailed and never went inside because it was so late in the game and they were still stuck at the entrance or in the parking lots. Just an absolute disaster by the event planning staff, both NHL and AFA.

Another tough question. I’m not sure there’s any one umbrella answer as to why the Avs have struggled later in games.

For some stats to back up Avid Guru’s question: The Avalanche are tied for the league lead in first-period goals with 64. And they’re actually the top team in second-period goals, too, with a whopping 82. And then there’s the third period. Colorado sits way down at 20th in third-period markers with just 57. That’s a pretty steep drop-off.

The Avs also allow the ninth-fewest goals in the third frame (57) and are third in the league in second-period goals allowed (49).

So statistically speaking, the Avs aren’t necessarily “bad” when it comes down their game later in the contest. I think recently, they’ve just been getting out-worked. We’re in the dog days of the season and there are some tired bodies out there. Maybe conditioning needs some work. Against the Capitals last week and the Kings on Saturday at Air Force, the Avs came out as the slower team, especially in the third period. They were out-hustled and the opposition took advantage of that. Last night against Tampa Bay was the first time in a week or so that the Avs came out swinging in the third and showed signs of life late in the game. And they were awarded with a point.

Hockey is a team game and the blame can never be put on just certain players or the coaches. They ride together and they go down together.

I agree with your point that overall the team is doing just fine. But that’s one of the issues with sports is the inherent “plan the championship parade when we win and burn it all to the ground if we lose.” Before Thursday of last week, the Avs won seven of eight and looked to be back to the dominate team we saw to start the season. Then they blew third-period lead and lost and were outworked by the second-worst team in the league in the national spotlight of the Stadium Series. Now, people are asking for the heads of coaches and to sell the farm and trade for anything with a heartbeat to make this team better.

Relax.

There are some positives. Since Feb. 1, the Avs are tied for the league’s sixth-best power play; they’ve scored the fifth-most goals and have allowed the sixth-fewest. They’re third-best in the NHL in team face-off win percentage (53.5 percent) and they’re tied for the fourth-most wins in that span.

Yes, the Avs have dropped a few duds in the last week, but that’s to be expected in the dog days of the season. The team is without now three of its top-nine forwards and it’s starting goaltender, who was just starting to hit his stride. Those are some tough breaks.

As far as passing blame goes, I don’t think there’s anyone that needs to our should be blamed for any of this. That’s the NHL. If anything, the team needs to work on conditioning, which is on the coaches and the players. They need to find a way to skate as hard as they do in the game’s first 10 minutes as they do in the game’s final 10 minutes. That’s what they were doing early in the season — they were quick, relentless and rolling all four lines. Now, injuries are starting to add up and they need to figure out a way to get through it.

There’s no time for any “woe is me” at this point in the year.

Chill out.

Bonus Question:

Coach Gordon Bombay: Jared Bednar

Charlie Conway: Gabe Landeskog

Fulton Reed: Cody McLeod

Greg Goldberg: Patrick Roy

Lester Averman: based on looks/nerdiness, I’m going with the Harvard man Alex Kerfoot

Mike Modano cameo: Joe Sakic

As far as the Avs’ version of the “The Flying V,” I’d call it the “The Avalanche Rescue Team,” or something like that. It would look the same as the “The Flying V” but Roy would join the rush in the middle so as to form what would look like an “A” — you know, like the Avs logo.

We all know Roy loved to leave the net, and let’s pretend it’s a world where the goalies are be allowed to take it past center ice, he’d get the puck last in the zone, while the other five protect him and he’d finish the play by roofing one.

I mean, he’s got some solid stick-handling.


More questions, comments or concerns? Feel free to hit me up on Twitter anytime @0ffScottFree.