SLAP SHOT

Avalanche lose focus against bad teams, but it’s now a moot point

Apr 2, 2024, 11:12 AM

The Colorado Avalanche have played three fairly mediocre games against bad team over the last 10 days.

It seems to be a lack of focus when the opponent isn’t up to their standard.

Luckily, it now appears to be a moot point.

The Avs suffered a perplexing 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on the road on Monday night. Columbus is awful. They have just 62 points in 75 games, by far the worst in the Eastern Conference. But Colorado fell down 3-0 in the second period and could never dig out against a team that will be playing golf in two weeks.

“The second period, our game kind of went away. We didn’t execute well enough in the offensive zone. The bulk of their chances in the second period came from our turnovers in the offensive zone,” head coach Jared Bednar said after the disappointing loss.

The translation of that quote is the Avalanche played sloppy. Just like they did when they got down 4-0 to Pittsburgh at home on March 24 and lost 2-1 to Montreal at Ball Arena on March 26. Yes, they rallied to beat the Penguins, but it’s that lack of focus that cause such a big deficit against a non-playoff team.

You want the good news? The Avs don’t play anyone in the Eastern Conference in their final seven games. That seems to be causing a hiccup lately. And out of those final seven, five are against Western Conference playoff teams while the other two come against Minnesota. Colorado always gets up for contests with the Wild.

So while fans will gripe on social media, here’s the truth: no one is going to remember these games once the postseason comes around. Forward Valeri Nichushkin should be back by then, a huge boost to the lineup when he’s in there, and the Avalanche will be judged by what they do while chasing another Stanley Cup.

“There’s nothing to see here” after frustrating losses isn’t what fans what to hear, but at the same time, there might actually be nothing to see here.

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Avalanche lose focus against bad teams, but it’s now a moot point