The Colorado Avalanche have lost four consecutive games, and I’m sure it’s been like a feather in the cap of national pundits who don’t fully believe in the Avalanche. I’m not one of the fans that think the sky is falling right now, but, I have a few concerns about how the regular season is ending and what that could mean going into round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
What I don’t like
My only concern with this specific losing streak is its timing. Given Colorado’s current injury list and playoff status, I know timing may have everything to do with it, but it doesn’t feel good to slide this late in the regular season. The teams that see the most playoff success are often, at times, the ones riding the momentum of winning their way into the tournament.
Confidence is incredibly crucial in hockey, and if the Avalanche lose out, they won’t be riding very high. They must find a way to win a couple of these last few games to roll in with a bit of steam. We all saw what happened to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2019 when they dominated the regular season and then got swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round. I don’t want to see history repeat itself in that regard.
Losing in general just sucks. I don’t think I have to explain that to Avalanche fans. We’ve been incredibly spoiled this season and expect the boys to win every game. I genuinely appreciate that standard because it breeds champions, and Colorado sports fans are the best, but I don’t think now is the time to react. If this trend continues in the playoffs, no one should be pulling punches.
HISTORY!— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 17, 2019
The Blue Jackets sweep the Lightning after Tampa Bay had a historic 62-win regular season! pic.twitter.com/EvupjuOvXi
Why I’m not worried
There are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic despite the Avalanche losing four straight for the first time this season. They will still be the Central Division champions and Western Conference number one, no matter how these last three games go. I think seventy-five games offer a much larger sample for assessing this squad than the previous four. To be overly concerned now would be to disacknowledge a historically successful and record-breaking season.
Seeing the return of Gabriel Landeskog will be huge for this Avalanche team. He is a true captain and is stalworth in all situations for his brothers in Burgandy. If all goes to plan, he, Devon Toews, Mikko Rantanen, and Ryan Murray will all be active come playoff time. That means the return of Colorado’s captain, their leading scorer, and top-pairing defender. They will add Ryan Murray to bolster the defensive depth, and the Avalanche are poised for a deep Stanley Cup run.