The Colorado Avalanche lost 3-2 to the Winnipeg Jets last night in a disappointing game.The Avs held a lead going into the third period, but ultimately could not hold on, a trend that could lead to the Avs missing the playoffs. The Minnesota Wild won their game against the Montreal Canadians, putting them at a tie for the final wild card game. The Wild have one more game remaining than the Avalanche.
In the second period, Erik Johnson started the scoring off for the Avalanche with his 10th goal, putting one five hole on the Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec. Matt Duchene assisted on the goal. Duchene would then come down and score his own goal, his 29th of the season, on Pavelec, a power play goal that was assisted by Jerome Iginla and Blake Comeau.
With a 2-0 lead in the second period, you could almost feel the Avs put on the brakes and take the pressure off. Giving the momentum over to the Jets, the Avs allowed three power play chances, and finally gave up a goal on the third chance. Mark Sceifele would score the goal on the power play.
The Avs came out in the 3rd with some energy, but could not score again. Some great chances were missed and even with having 15 shots in the period, a 2-1 lead, and going against a team that hasn’t come back from a third period deficit yet this season, the Avalanche couldn’t hold on. Drew Stafford would score a goal for the Jets to tie the game up and Adam Lowry would score only 1:35 later to put Winnipeg up for good.
For the Colorado Avalanche, giving up third period leads has been the bane of their season. This was their sixth lead given up, a league high statistic. That is not a leader board you want to be a part of and it leaves a lot of questions of what the Avs are doing wrong. The Avalanche have the offense and goal tending (most of the time) to finish these games out, but far too often do they lack energy to close games out. The Avalanche are not a good defensive team, this is just a fact. The possession numbers aren’t there and the amount of shots they give up each game are far too great for the goal tenders to consistently put up the saves needed to win games. That is why the Avalanche need to keep putting pressure on the other team. Instead of trying to rely on their defense and goal tenders to shut the game down, they need to keep putting the pressure on and try and score to increase the leads. This does mean the defensemen jumping into the play as often as they do when they’re down. This may lead to offensive chances on the other end, but as this season has shown, those chances are probably going to come anyway.
The Avalanche have a few days off now and coach Patrick Roy has some work to do getting this team on the right track to close games out. The Avs play the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday continuing their Canadian road trip.