The Colorado Avalanche have proven me wrong.
My continued digs at the front office and the lack of direction on the ice have obviously been out of touch with reality. Folks, as I sit here writing this today, the Avs are a 5-1-0 hockey team after playing only one home game.
Get your playoff tickets now.
How have they done it? It’s simple — they’ve went on the road and dominated hockey’s best teams. After opening the season with a 3-0 home loss to Detroit (2-0 with an empty-netter), the Avalanche started their road trip with a stunning 1-0 shutout in the building of the overworked and not-yet-worried-about-it Stanley Cup champions, the Boston Bruins. Never mind that the game was one of those 1:00 p.m. games, and on a weekday no less. We all know home teams and their crowds are always intense while the sun is high in the sky…
On a side note, I’ve done nothing but praise new goaltender Semyon Varlamov. Perhaps his goodness can outweigh the franchise’s badness. Wait, no! This is a good franchise!
Since the inspiring shutout in front of a baseball crowd, the Avs have gone on to win four more roadies in a row. The opponents leave nothing to be desired either. Colorado has won shootouts over Columbus and Montreal! On top of that, they pulled off a real overtime win at Toronto last night. And somewhere in between, there was a 7-1 demolition of the… wait for it… Ottawa Senators!
What’s that you say? Those four teams are 17th, 22nd, 25th and 30th in a 30-team league in goals against per game? Get out of here with your stats and objectivity! The Colorado Avalanche are a great team, and if you don’t get that, then you just don’t know hockey!
Wait, what now? It’s only six games of an 82-game season? Now you’re just grasping at straws. You’ll say anything to avoid giving the Avs and their captain-less collection of contract-year players coached by the great Joe Sacco their due.
I say it’s division title or bust at this point. How can you live with yourself if you get off to a 5-1-0 start only to squander it over the final 76 games of the season?
Those final 76 games begin with a home-and-home against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday and Saturday. If by the end of the weekend the Avs are a 7-1-0 hockey club, I may have to reissue a more honest apology. Thank goodness they have to play a real hockey team for the next two games.