The Colorado Avalanche found themselves in a situation following the NHL All Star break where nearly every game was a must win. Things started off decent with a 1-1-1 record in three games against division opponents. In the last three games however the Avalanche have not performed. A record of 0-3-0 and being outscored 9-3 has the hopes of playoffs for this years Avalanche team fading fast.
Against the Detroit Red Wing
The Avalanche came out of the gates flying against the Red Wings on Thursday February 5. However after the effective first period the score remained tied at 0. This was after a Gabriel Landeskog goal was disallowed after a high stick, that some believed had changed possession, was scored by Landeskog. In the 2nd period Justin Abdelkader scored what would ultimately be the game winner and the only goal allowed with Semyon Varlamov in the net. The Red Wings would add two empty net goals in the third as the Avalanche kept with their standard of pulling the goalie very early hoping for a chance.
Against the Minnesota Wild
The Avalanche and Minnesota Wild met in the first two games of the season and have not seen each other since. Both games were victories by the Wild, both in shutout fashion. The game against the Wild on Saturday February 7 was no different. The Avalanche only managed 18 shots on goal against Wild goaltender Devan Dubynk and as a result the lone goal scored by Charlie Coyle in the first period ended up being the game winner. Matt Duchene came close to scoring after his shot beat Dubynk but was cleared from the crease by the Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin. This save came with less then five minutes remaining in a one goal game. For the second game in a row Varlamov allowed just one goal and the Avalanche lost the game in regulation.
Against the Winnipeg Jets
After playing in Minnesota on Saturday night the Avalanche were scheduled to play the Winnipeg Jets early evening on Sunday February 8. It would be a safe bet that the Avalanche were certainly tired but in the first period the Avalanche finally scored a goal and took a 1 0 lead into the intermission. After returning to the line up defenseman Tyson Barrie scored for the Avalanche. In the 2nd period however things came apart. The Jets scored four goals in the second period alone and added a fifth in the third. The Avalanche attempted a comeback scoring two goals in the third but it was too little too late.
Where They are Now
After three straight loses and no points in the standing the Avalanche find themselves in last place in the Central Division once again. To add insult to injury only the Jets have played more games so far this season then the Avalanche of all the teams inside the division. Only 28 games remain in the season for Colorado and some interesting decisions will need to be made as the March 2 trade deadline approaches. The Avalanche will need to go on a run for the ages in order to secure a playoff spot this season and it needs to start quick. The Avalanche will return to action Thursday against Eastern Conference opponent the New York Rangers.
I am a University of New Mexico journalism student who has been watching NHL hockey since 1996 and I started playing hockey myself in 2003. I have covered both college soccer and volleyball in the past and I also contribute to a NASCAR news website.