Eulogizing the 2013 Colorado Avalanche

Here lies the 2013 Colorado Avalanche. With Detroit’s victory over the Nashville Predators, Sunday night, Colorado became the first team in the NHL this season to officially be eliminated from playoff contention.

This season was supposed to be one filled with potential. One that would make the Avalanche faithful once again proud to don the burgundy and blue as the team finally would begin their march back to relevance. Sadly, the march towards the top was quickly derailed and became a mudslide of epic proportions.

Off-season Potential

The Avalanche were very active in the offseason. They made some coaching changes, added some new players, and alienated one of the best players on their roster, allowing what should have been a simple negotiation to turn into an embarrassing comedy of errors. Nonetheless, there was reason to be optimistic about the Avalanche coming into this season.

P.A. Parenteau was the most noteworthy acquisition made by the Avalanche in the off-season, and it seemed like the team might appear brilliant for pulling off the best under-the-radar signing of the off-season. Colorado also made second-year star, Gabriel Landeskog, the youngest captain in NHL history. A move that excited many as a sign that the young core of the Avalanche were finally ready to step up and take this team to the next level.

The Shortened Season Begins

P.A. Parenteau
P.A. Parenteau (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

After months of being locked out, the Avalanche were finally able to open the doors on the new season and start the climb.

The Avalanche began the season by being a dominant team on home ice, but being flat on the road. It was hard to tell exactly who this team was going to be as they hovered at, or slightly beneath, the .500 mark early on in the season.

For a while, the Avalanche began to dip. There was a road trip that saw the team lose three in a row, but also saw them begin to play decent hockey before finally putting everything together and smoking the unbeaten Chicago Blackhawks, 6-2. The Avalanche followed this game up with an exciting overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks to bring the team back to .500 once again.

Surely, after two such strong performances against two of the most dangerous teams in the NHL, the Avalanche would be able to turn things around.

Turn For the Worse

(Ashton Bode - Flickr)
J.S. Giguere (Ashton Bode/Flickr)

The Avalanche did take a turn after these games; unfortunately, the turn was for the worse. Injuries once again began to pile up and the Avalanche simply became incapable of putting together any type of effort for any sustained amount of time.

The “rock bottom” hit when Avalanche backup goaltender, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, laced into his team for their immaturity, inability to prepare themselves to play every night and seeming lack of concern for the rest of the season.

Since then, the Avalanche have played better, earning points in each of their subsequent games while looking like they finally care to play again. Too bad they chose to finally care enough to give a full effort after there was no chance for them to make the playoffs.

Laid To Rest

It’s hard to look at this season as anything other than a complete and total failure. There’s absolutely no reason that this team should have laid so many eggs so often. This Avalanche team should have made the playoffs and they blew it in every single way imaginable.

It took their backup goalie telling the how embarrassed that he was to be around this club for the team to start playing. Granted, Giguere is a Stanley Cup champion and Conn Smythe winning goaltender, but all that does is give him the right to say basically whatever he wants. He’s earned that. In the end, however, it is a clear indictment of the lack of leadership on this Avalanche team on the roster, coaching staff and front office.

If the Colorado8 Avalanche want to resurrect this team from this horrific embarrassment of a season, changes must be made.