Avalanche Continue Hometown Woes
The Colorado Avalanche are the most mystifying team in the NHL to right now and not in a good way. The Avs are one of the NHL’s best teams when playing on the road and are the worst team when playing at home.
Colorado got off to a hot start just over 30 seconds into the game when Paul Stastny managed to score his first goal of the year at the Pepsi Center. After such a huge scoring explosion out in Dallas, this appeared to be a sign that the Avalanche were ready to let the flood gates really open at home.
Sadly, this wasn’t the case. Just a couple of minutes later, Calgary scored the first of their two rather fluky goals when Mark Giordano took a shot from the blue line that deflected off of Ryan Wilson’s skate and past Semyon Varlamov to tie the game up at one.
In the second period, Calgary got a powerplay opportunity when Milan Hejduk was in the box for a tripping penalty. Calgary was once again the beneficiary of a funny bounce when Alex Tanguay sent a pass off of Curtis Glencross’ chest and in for their second goal of the evening.
Colorado started to control the play later in the second period and through a good deal of the third, but once again just could not get anything by Miikka Kiprusoff.
This was yet another hapless home performance where the Avalanche outshot their opponents by a significant margin (33-23), don’t get a lot of good opportunities, can’t bury the opportunities that they do get, and only manage to score one goal.
Thing to note:
Joakim Lindström was scratched for tonight’s game in favor of Kevin Porter, who had a forgettable 11:20 of ice time, one hit, and was minus one for the game. Even if Lindstrom is struggling right now, is putting Porter in giving the Avalanche a better chance of winning?
The Avalanche are now 1-5-0 at home and seem to just play a more nervous game at Pepsi Center. They know they have to be better there and they play like that is what they are worried about. They aren’t thinking about the game and that is a recipe for disaster.
The question that remains is when does this inability for the team to get a win at home become something that is pinned on the coach? Shouldn’t he be able to get his team relaxed and ready to play? If Joe Sacco is only able to get his team ready to play a game of hockey when they are on the road, then that should raise some questions.
The Avalanche still have no captain, and now is the time to name one. The guys clearly need something to light a fire under them, or somebody to look to for inspiration. A captain might be able to help with accountability outside of the coaching staff.
The Avalanche play in Detroit on Tuesday night and need a solid game against another floundering club, because they could definitely use a win right now.
What do you think?
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