Well, we’re here. It’s the off-season. The promise that the bizarre pandemic season had brought for an immensely talented Avalanche team has been snuffed out until October, the next time a puck will drop at center ice of Ball Arena. Despite a successful season that saw the Avalanche capture the President’s Trophy for best record in the league; as well as the progression of many key young talents, there’s an acrid taste in the collective mouth of Avs faithful. Stanley Cup promises dashed, the Avalanche again eliminated in round two.
During this post elimination period, let’s call it reconciliation, every content creator will be looking back on what happened in the six game series against the Vegas Golden Knights to decipher just what went wrong.
Let’s see what the talking heads have to say as we drink our morning coffee; just before we brush our mouths and rid ourselves the taste of the end of this ultimately enjoyable season of hockey in Colorado, shall we?
The Blame Game
Many of these pundits will be looking to point a finger. Coaches, players, Joe Sakic and the entire organization will take their fair share of criticism after this elimination, fair or otherwise.
Mike Chambers of the Denver post chooses to lay blame at the feet of the players.
These two guys at “Sports Illustrated/Hockey News” blame the top line.
If you look hard enough, you can find takes that put blame on just about any target. Even “playoff hockey” has taken some shots (from myself included) in the blame game for the conclusion of the Avalanche season.
Bonus - This is a full on breakdown on “The Hockey Guy” on YouTube’s channel. Pretty knowledgeable, seems like a nice enough person, worth a watch in my opinion.
Just like the blame game, as soon as a team is eliminated, it’s time to focus on where fixes can occur. This is as reliable a tradition in the media as over-hyping NFL draft picks and ignoring baseball’s best players.
Whether it’s the Athletic, ESPN, the Denver Post... everyone has a take. Some will be insightful, most will be click bait but all of it is part of the tradition.
From Left Field
And then there was this.
lmao pic.twitter.com/ZBRu2n5oiv— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) June 11, 2021
Yeah, the post mortem of a season can do some strange things to people.
(Note - the thread below the video clip is pretty priceless as well)
Oh, the season is still continuing, despite the Avalanche’s untimely exit.
The Montreal/Vegas series will commence this evening. Seems like most of the predictions favor Vegas in five or six, there is something about this particular Canadians team that gives people pause. The semifinals are the first time we all get to see non-divisional play this season, so it will be extremely interesting to see which team comes out on top after not seeing their opponent in person since 2019.
In the other series, Matthew Barzal and the New York Islanders took game one off the Tampa Bay Lightning. This has all the makings of a classic conference final, with Barry Trotz’ Islanders looking to gum up the works for the supremely talented defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning. After getting pummeled in last season’s playoff matchup, Islanders GM shipped off key defender Devon Toews (THANK YOU LOU!!!) to Colorado and remade both the blue line and (with the unfortunate injury to captain Anders Lee) top six with this matchup in mind. This series has seven games written all over it after New York’s game one victory.
With the tedious off-season traditions out of the way, it’s time for some optimism. This Colorado Avalanche team has a bevy of young talent. Nathan MacKinnon is one of the two or three best hockey players in the world. Mikko Rantanen is top ten. Cale Makar too. Every recent Stanley Cup champion had to face their share of adversity. Next year, the Avalanche will be favorites again.
Happy Monday and Go Avs Go!