Monday, March 24, 2008

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Here we go again...

After the last three non-winning contests I'm once again left to wonder just what I'm looking at when it comes to the Avalanche. Is this a team that can come together before the end of the regular season, or are we looking at yet another management derived grand experiment, doomed to crash in the first round of the playoffs?

For the entire season before the arrivals of Foote, Salei, and Forsberg the Avalanche found a way to win despite major, simultaneous injuries to their star players. They came together as a team, and were fighting for one another. But as the story goes with this club, it is a new year, and yet another set of players are being shoehorned into the lineup just as the team should be fine tuning for the postseason.

At this point I have no question that long term injuries and the arrival of new (old) blood, has killed whatever chemistry the Avs had that kept them battling earlier. This is evidenced easily in their pathetic power play output, and with a bit more complication, in their lack of a consistent backcheck.

As we all know, if a team has any problems with cohesiveness, the tight nature of the playoffs and even the playoff chase can and will expose all weaknesses. This is not baseball, or football people. The NHL playoffs go beyond a historic silver trophy.

The Stanley Cup is a symbol of the sacrifices that are made by each and every man involved in the most physically and mentally taxing tournament of any sport. Soldiers don't go into war without knowing every man around him is battling with him, and neither should a team going into the playoffs.

So what is wrong? Is the significant lack of star power fueled ice time hindering the Av's production? Is it finally time for Joel Quenneville to stop rotating players on different lines? Does he even know how to stop meddling?

Two weeks ago the sky was the limit for the Colorado Avalanche. Now this is a team that looks lost at a time when everything should be certain.

I'm done trying to predict what will happen with the Avs this year. The job has become too taxing. All I know is that for far too long, dating back to last year this is a team that is lacking in all flash and dash. A team that is content to circulate the puck around on power plays rather than shooting it. A team that takes chances at the wrong times. And finally, lamentably, a team in which I have little confidence.

I am reminded of a phrase my Mom would use whenever she took a carload of unruly children to the mall every fall for school clothes. At this point I have to say it.

Dear Colorado Avalanche, in the event that you somehow land in the postseason, lacking in all spirit and cohesiveness, please do me a favor and...

"Don't embarass me!"


Jay Veaner said...

"Don't embarass me!"

Amen Aaron, I hear you on that one.

Jibblescribbits said...

I think you summed up almost every Avs fan's feelings right now.

We all feel like mindless zombies just kind of cruising along, no excitement for the playoffs, just hoping they hit a hot streak long enough to not embarrass the rest of us.