Things were going too well for the Avalanche. The NHL worst Columbus Blue Jackets came into Denver while the Avalanche were on a four game winning streak and poised to take over the eighth and final playoff spot in the west. Well the Avalanche played their worst game of the year and let the Blue Jackets walk away with two points that did Columbus no good.
The Avalanche have been known to turn in these types of performances when they get too high on themselves. Too many times the Avalanche have talked about scoring a big win, only to have a huge loss. Out on the ice, the Avalanche managed 33 harmless shots on Steve Mason. Mason’s record is only 9-22-3 this year. It’s not like he’s awful…
Captain Milan Hejduk was demoted to the fourth line tonight. He swapped spots with Peter Mueller, who added no spark to Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny’s walks around the ice. They had to be the worst two players on the ice for the Avs. The entire team was ready to get back home to their families or empty apartments though.
Still it’s tough to see the fifth greatest player in Avalanche history struggle so much this year. He has had such a hard time scoring in 2012. There’s no doubt that he will join Sakic, Forsberg, Roy and Foote in the rafters of Pepsi Center, once Foote gets up there to join Bourque. I really hope that Hejduk bounces back and continues to play, but it’s hard to say with him. He is a prideful player who does not want to overstay his welcome.
Jamie McGinn did not look good out there tonight. McGinn played his first game as an Av and had a hooking penalty. At least Steve Downie added some grit. McGinn is going to find himself on the fourth line. The only other guy trying to energize the crowd was Gabriel Landeskog, who fought Jack Johnson while wearing a visor. Landeskog was also honored with NHL Rookie of the Month honors for February
The Avalanche will play Pittsburgh at home on Saturday. It is rumored that Sidney Crosby may return, so the Penguins shouldn’t have any heart in that game. The Avalanche need to win that one after the poor performance they put in last night. The best hockey blogger in the Rant Team, Stephanie Lewark, is the beat writer for the Penguins, definitely worth a read.