And when I say destroyed, I mean destroyed. It was like the Chicago scene from Transformers 3. The Detroit Red Wings made the Colorado Avalanche look like tiny, tiny girls. The Red Wings seemed to literally skate circles around the Avs, working their will at every turn.
Needless to say, it was a tad frustrating.
In true masochistic form, allow me to summarize the awful pile of fail that was last night’s game.
- Nicklas Lidstrom looked like Nicklas Lidstrom and put an early unassisted goal up for Detroit. No cause for panic, the man is good at his job. The Avs can do this.
- Johan Franzen scores on a power play goal early in the second. I’m starting to feel uncomfortable. The Avs aren’t moving well and don’t seem to be clicking at all. Uh oh.
- Jay McClement goes to the box for boarding and Johan Franzen gets yet another power play goal (a tip-in, really). Now I have a feeling in my stomach like I’ve been riding in a stagecoach over a washboard dirt road. To top it all off, I have a sneaking suspicion the wheels are coming off. Sacco pulls Varlamov, which only serves to reinforce the panic.
- DETROIT PENALTY! Ok, the Avs have a decent power play, maybe this will help. Sure enough, Gabriel Landeskog steps up and makes his presence known. 3 – 1 Wings. Things still look hazy, but I am no longer looking for a cliff.
- Danny Cleary puts in an easy wrister at the beginning of the third. Sigh.
- Pavel Datsyuk is called for holding and Milan Hejduk puts a beauty past Jimmy Howard. Avs cut the lead to two goals: 4 – 2 Wings. Do you believe in miracles?
- Giguere is pulled. There is nothing scarier than an empty net behind lackluster forwards and a hole-y defense. Yup, there he goes, Franzen gets the empty netter and therefore the hat trick. Avs are definitely losing this one. There’s the buzzer.
- 5 – 2 Red Wings, and the only conclusion to make about this Avs team is that the early road win streak was a fluke. This team, the less-than-mediocre, less-than-the-sum-of-its-parts group of players, is the true Avalanche identity. Ok, now I’m angry.
The Exes: There weren’t any ex-Avs on the Detroit roster and Todd Bertuzzi was out sick. Pretty quiet on the exes front.
Make My Night: It is safe to say that the Avs did not even come close to making my night. In 6 of the 7 Detroit games leading up to last night the Red Wings scored at most two goals. One of my wishes was that Detroit would experience a resurrection of their offensive struggles against the Avs. Clearly, that was not to be. The Avs did manage to overcome their inconsistent play…but they accomplished this by proving that they are consistently slow, timid, and simply sub-par. They put up 26 shots to Detroit’s 30, but rebounds were pretty tough to come by and the Avs were just completely outplayed at every turn.
My Predictions: As usual, these were completely incorrect. Oddly the total goals was correct (I predicted 4 – 3 and the final was 2 – 5), but that isn’t exactly earth-shattering. It’s just strange.
The boys need to pull their heads and hearts out of whatever small, dark place they currently occupy and remember how to play hockey. Sooner would be better. Poor performance creates all sorts of talk about coaching and personnel changes, which just make me uncomfortable. I dislike discussing them because a) I have absolutely no more information than any other fan, and b) my opinion matters exactly zero to anyone in charge. I would much rather the team just start winning and negate the chatter.
So come on, boys…for the sake of all of your jobs, WIN. You can start by defeating the Islanders Thursday night for the first time in quite a while.