As the man who is about to main event WrestleMania 40 would say, "We have a lot to talk about."
This...this isn't good. So the Colorado Avalanche entered this game having lost three straight, and while the OT loss to the New York Rangers wasn't too bad, the losses to the New Jersey Devils and the Carolina Hurricanes were terrible. For the fourth game of this six game road swing, it's a trip to Sunrise to face the Florida Panthers. The last time we faced Florida, it was embarrassing. An 8-2 drubbing on our ice. The Avs needed to win out to salvage a winning road trip, and I figured that this would be the game where things get back on track.
Then the puck dropped.
The goalie matchup was Alexandar Georgiev vs Sergei Bobrovsky. Avs had an early power play, and I was looking for this to cash in and end our problems with the man advantage. Sadly, it was killed off, but the shots were there. So I figured, "We'll definitely get on the next power play." We would not get another power play. The Panthers would get their first, and it was successful. Carter Verhaeghe, statistically the most clutch player in Panthers history, made it 1-0, and it was way too easy for my liking. The Avs did press, but Florida would get another power play, and just like that, it was 2-0. Sam Reinhart scored his 39th of the season; again, no one is talking about him. They really should be.
You know that very early episode of The Simpsons, where Homer sees one family being so perfect, well-behaved, and well-adjusted, while his own family can't act right to save their lives, and it's killing him? I (and other Avs fans) was Homer Simpson in that exact moment. Here are the Avs, who can't score on the power play lately, yet the Panthers put up two on the PP right in front of us. Even more infuriating, a puck was right at the line for us to score, and none of our players got to it. All we had to do, as the recently late, forever great Carl Weathers once said in a film, was "tap it in."
It was 2-0 after 20, but the second period saw the Avs in the beginning process of checking out. The Panthers took the shots lead and wouldn't look back. Eetu Luostarinen made it 3-0 late in the game. The third period saw Aleksandar Barkov make it 4-0. Nothing was getting past Bobrovsky. Nathan MacKinnon left after his chin hit the ice. It was a disaster.
So that's that. Now to start ranting.
What the hell happened to Ryan Johansen?! I remember how excited I was when he was traded to us during the offseason. We got him and we later got Jonathan Drouin, and I was elated. Now, I remember that Drouin drew concern from me because the numbers hadn't been their consistently. Earlier in the season, Johansen was getting the points, while Drouin got what he could get. I never thought I'd see Drouin totally out play Johansen. Johansen has been invisible for over a month, and Avs fans are noticing. I really don't get it. Johansen needs to wake up fast.
I will hear no Alexandar Georgiev slander. This is a goalie who should have won the Vezina last year, and he still has that form. Now after a few hiccups, everyone's making him out to be another Mike Smith. Gorgeous George has the touch. The offense hasn't been there lately. MacKinnon is now pointless in three straight, the longest stretch of this season. Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar haven't been putting them in, either.
And for the love of all that is good in the world, fellow Avs fans, do not panic! It is not the end of the world and it is not the end of the season. If I recall, we had a February lull two years ago. What happened at the end? Look at the back of MacKinnon's jersey. That's how many games we have left. The Colorado Avalanche will be fine.
The Avalanche's road trip will continue in Washington, DC on Tuesday, as we'll face off against the Washington Capitals--one of two teams to be on the receiving end of a four-goal MacKinnon performance. The road trip ends on Thursday in a place near and dear to us: Amalie Arena. We all know why.
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