Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Avs: coughing up losses like furballs

Just listened to the Avalanche blow yet another game in the third period. I listen to the games while I’m working and it doesn’t make me feel any better that I can’t actually see them lose. It still feels the same. It’s almost worse because I’m left to imagine just how they looked while blowing it.

The Avs played Dallas and got off to a great start with Marek Svatos netting two goals in what seemed like the first couple of minutes. I actually missed the first goal because I was loading my equipment in for work. By the time I put on my headphones (ipod earbuds, so really by the time I put “in” my headphones) Svatos got his second goal.

I thought “oooh sweet” this could be an ass kicking, but I knew better. Dallas is a pretty good team in a tough division and I figured the Avs would do everything in their power to let them back in it. Well, as sure as I was standing there, they let them back in it.

Not even the fact that Marty Turco was pulled after Svatos’ second goal seemed to bring them down. Brenden Morrow got the next two goals and then both teams were off to the races. Dallas eventually took the lead 5-4 and that was it; leaving the Avs to wonder how they let another third period lead evaporate yet again.

I despise all teams from Texas (and Florida) so hating the Stars is pretty damn easy. What’s not easy is sitting through what sounded like a good game only to have the Avs pee down their leg when it came time to put the clamps on.

So, I’m kind of used to this by now. It seems like this team will give up a tying goal, at a crucial time, and then just fold up the tent, letting in the winning goal shortly after. It’s like they get a lead and can’t for the life of them figure out how to keep it. Then when the other team scores a goal, it’s almost as if they completely forget how to play hockey and the floodgates open. Early in the season I was watching a game where this happened. TV announcer Mike Haynes made a comment after the opposing team (can’t remember who they were playing) scored a goal to put them within two. As he said, “now it’s 4-2” or whatever the score was, his voice betrayed a sinking feeling that they were about to cough it up like furballs at crazy cat lady’s house. And sure enough, they did.

They’ve already got shaky goaltending, so the very shaky defensive play doesn’t help this situation at all.

If the Avalanche can’t shore up the defense, the 5 Million Dollar a Year Man is not going to bail them out. He’s just not that good. To be fair, Peter Budaj was in net on this night, and while he might be a little bit better than number 60 right now, he’s not superman when he’s got Liles and Brisebois dicking around in front of him.

They’ve got a lot of games to play so I’m not going to pronounce them dead just yet. But if something doesn’t shake loose soon, the Avs are going to have to get their golf clubs ready a little sooner this year than they’re used to. And by golf clubs I mean they’re not going to make the playoffs.

JR

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