Do back-to-back wins mean the Avs have escaped the doldrums?
Nov 17, 2023, 6:50 AM
(Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
That collective sigh of relief you heard swooshing around the Rocky Mountains was Avalanche fans after the team bounced back with a pair of wins after the St. Louis debacle. That 8-2 loss to the Blues was stunning and more then a little concerning.
Wins over Seattle and Anaheim help calm rattled nerves. But are the Avs completely out of the woods?
I’m not sure. I know the Avs won’t be perfect this season and slumps are to be expected. But a 7-0 blowout in Vegas and the Blues’ shellacking is just so out of character for this team. They have been so good for so long that one would think there’s a standard of expectations surrounding the Avs that would almost make them immune to these kind of runaway losses.
It certainly seemed to catch Jared Bednar off guard. His comments after the Blues game were raw, severe and meant to embarrass. It was like Bedzy was channeling his inner Michael Malone.
The good news is just like his Nuggets always seem to respond after Malone calls them out, so too did the Avalanche.
In my opinion, that is the best thing to come out of this. I’ve seen too many coaches call out their teams and it falls on deaf ears and soon after, said coach is fired. Smart coaches like Malone and Bednar know their teams well enough to know they have the permission of their best players to criticize.
Malone knows Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray have his back, so he can go hard after his team. These two games after Bednar blasted his troops prove that Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and crew have his back. That’s leadership. What Bednar said publicly was something his best players already knew.
Permission granted. Message delivered. Message heard.
I still need to see how this plays out over the next month or so to see if the Avs truly have left these dark losses behind them. My gut feeling is the worst is over and this squad with a lot of new faces will settle into a normal regular season rhythm.
Good news is if anything really embarrassing happens again, Jared Bednar can be confident he can rip into his team and they will respond the right way.