The quick three-game tour of Western Canada was pretty much a bust for the Colorado Avalanche. And by “bust” I mean gut-wrenching disappointment accompanied possibly by tears and probably by copious amounts of alcohol.
The Avs were outscored 13 – 3 by Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. Poor performance like this is always embarrassing, but it’s made downright humiliating by the fact that all three of those teams are in the Northwest Division and currently ahead of the Avs in the standings. Colorado has only managed to collect 27 points thus far. In the West, only Columbus (20) and Anaheim (21) are in worse shape.
Say it with me: “thank God for that early winning streak on the road through the East.”
Here are a few items of note from the road trip:
- Good Lord the Sedins are fun to watch. Even when they’re forcing a puck down your throat so you choke on it, their game is so effortless and beautiful that you can’t help but admire it.
- Matt Duchene, T.J. Galiardi, and Jay McClement were the only Avs to score over the three games. Nice job, guys.
- Holy penalties, Batman! In the game against the Canucks the teams combined for 81 penalty minutes. 42 of them were served by the Avalanche. This was also the game in which Kevin Porter made a poor decision prior to a hit on David Booth and was later suspended for four games by Shanahan.
- Why, oh why, do the Avs insist on losing to Kiprusoff? He’s now beaten them 10 times in a row! How do they not see him in net and just want to punch him square in the face? Or, you know, at least shoot pucks at it?
- The Calgary Flames are not a good team. They’re ok, they have their strengths, but they aren’t going to be challenging anyone for the Cup this season. That being said, the fact that the Avalanche haven’t been able to manage to beat them in their last 9 tilts is just sad. The Flames’ longest win streak is against the Colorado Avalanche. Let that soak in.
- Brad Malone got his first start with the Avs in Friday’s game against Edmonton. The center managed to get one shot on net and to stay even in +/- during his 10 minutes of ice time. Considering the final score of 4 – 1 Oilers, that’s not a bad debut.
- Stefan Elliott still has some learnin’ to do, but boy do I like his game. I’m glad the club is keeping him around and letting him get some NHL experience under his belt.
Not their fists, of course. It would be a shame to suffer more penalties and suspensions. But if they could swing their sticks more often and put a few more shots on goal, that would be a terrific start.