Every game counts” takes on new meaning following the Colorado Avalanche’s recent 5-4 overtime tumble against the Arizona Coyotes. This wasn’t your typical regular-season loss. It was a loud, clanging alarm for a team that’s been comfortably leading the Central Division. For Avs fans, it’s more than a stumble; it’s a moment of truth in a grueling 82-game season.
The Unexpected Turnaround
The Avalanche, known for their NHL prowess, had a comfortable 4-0 lead, but complacency crept in. Even energetic players like Val Nichushkin seemed to lose steam. Suddenly, the Coyotes struck back, turning the game on its head. Defensive errors, passive play, and a surprising lack of drive plagued the Avalanche. The game, seemingly in the bag, spiraled into a 5-4 loss, leaving fans and players alike in disbelief at the unexpected turnaround.
Alexandar Georgiev, currently 39th in NHL save percentage at .897, showed why last night. More than just a number, his struggle was evident. As a smaller goalie, his style demands constant movement and sharp reactions, factors that might be contributing to the recent increase in softer goals. It’s plausible that Georgiev might benefit from more rest as the season progresses. While keeping pucks out is a team effort, and Georgiev could certainly use more help in clearing the slot for better visibility, the pattern emerging around his performance is becoming a point of concern for the Avalanche. Coach Bednar’s post-game praise of Georgiev seemed oddly out of sync with these developing trends, prompting questions about his evaluation of the goalie’s role in these challenging moments.
The Bendar way
Coach Jared Bednar’s post-game demeanor was as stoic as ever, keeping in line with his no-nonsense reputation. Known for not being overly expressive, his reactions following the game shouldn’t be overanalyzed. Bednar is a coach who trusts his team’s leaders, sometimes allowing them to navigate through failures. This approach is part of a bigger strategy aimed at peaking as a team when it matters most – during the playoff season. However, in moments like these, when the team falters unexpectedly, this hands-off approach can appear indifferent, leading to mixed reactions from fans and commentators.
The Avalanche, a team brimming with talent and Stanley Cup aspirations, must now confront some hard truths. Last night’s game was illuminating, not just in terms of gameplay but also in what it revealed about the team’s character and tactical faults. C-Mac and the executive team are undoubtedly eyeing potential trades and upgrades, and performances like these provide crucial insights. It’s a pivotal moment for the team to regroup, reassess, and tackle these issues. As the NHL season unfolds, each game serves as a lesson. For the Avs, the challenge is to learn quickly and adapt, ensuring that future games don’t echo the disappointments of last night.
The Avalanche’s journey this season reminds us of an enduring truth in sports: ‘You never truly lose if you can learn from your failure.’ Last night’s game, while a setback, offers a wealth of lessons. It’s these moments of adversity that sharpen a team’s resolve and redefine their path to victory. For the Avs, this is an opportunity to transform a tough loss into a stepping stone for future triumphs.