The Colorado Avalanche have the talent and skill. They proved this with impressive wins against Chicago and San Jose. They showed that they are indeed a good, young team with impressive talent and a promising core of young players such as Matt Duchene, Semyon Varlamov, Erik Johnson, and Gabe Landeskog. They knew the standings heading into last weekend and they knew that a few wins could propel them right back into the playoff picture. As it stands today, they are still only four points out of the eighth and final playoff position in the West.
The two victories over the weekend were very promising and certainly could have been used as a building block to start a streak of wins. Unfortunately, they simply did not show up last night against the Oilers.
So how can a team that comes out and plays so well against the NHL’s best and then follows it up with last second heroics in overtime against the Sharks, come out so flat against a division rival? You can point to the Avs being a young and inexperienced team but we’ve been hearing for quite a while now. Can you point the finger at the coaching staff? Absolutely and believe me, many people are. #FireSacco has been trending on Twitter for years now and with the recent news that the head coaching job at Boston University, head coach Joe Sacco’s alma matter, is becoming available and it could draw interest from Sacco himself or assistant coaches David Quinn and Tim Army. If Sacco shows interest, I’m sure many Avs fans will offer to help him pack his bags and move back to Boston.
Honestly, I don’t have one. The inconsistencies with this team are maddening. Last Friday and Sunday, the Avalanche absolutely looked like a playoff team. Against Chicago, they played a complete, full 60-minute game in all three zones and dominated the powerhouse of the league. Sunday, they got off to a great start and despite giving up a two-goal lead, they found a way to win. Last night and several other occasions on the year, they’ve looked like a team destined to get a top draft pick in June.
There is still plenty of time left. The Avs have 23 games left to leapfrog at least six teams to get themselves into a playoff spot. It’s not impossible, but they will need to play like they did on Friday night much more often and consistently than the way they played last night.