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Avalanche Game 75 Recap: Goalie'd

The Colorado Avalanche suffered a stunning road loss to the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 20 days ago 3 min read

The month of April is here. The beginning of the end is upon us.

I love the month of March because it's the last full month of the NHL season, but I really love April, because it's the beginning of the end. The final countdown. The regular season ends on April 18. The Stanley Cup Playoffs start on April 20. Seven teams are in the big dance. One of them is the Colorado Avalanche, whose ticket was punched on the penultimate day of March. For the Avs, this is the first game of a three-game road swing, and the first of the team's final eight games remaning. Our opponents: the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The goaltender matchup was Justus Annunen vs Dannii Tarasov and this was quite the period. The Avs were shooting, shooting, shooting, but Tarasov wasn't biting. Annunen, who was coming off blanking the Nashville Predators in relief, also refused to give any quarter. The first power play went to Columbus late in the period, but it became a 4-on-4 before the Avs received an abbreviated power play. All was cleaned up later, and the game was scoreless after the first 20 minutes.

In the second period, the shots were closer between the teams. The Avs' shots weren't hitting. Neither were Columbus'...until the heart of the period. Kirill Marchenko made it 1-0, but they didn't stop there. Alex Nylander would make it 2-0, and later 3-0 in the last moments of the period. 3-0 was the score after two periods, and the third period was all Avs, shot-wise. Colorado finally struck paydirt when Chris Wagner scored at 4:39. That had me thinking, "Will we do it again?" After all, we came back from this many times before. Unfortunately, we did not have that magic in this game. Some close calls, but in the end, Annunen was pulled, and despite our best efforts, we could not prevent the empty netter, which Cole Sillinger put in.

This loss continued not one, but two trends that the Avalanche tend to face. One, we tend to lose trap games a lot. A "trap game" occurs when one team faces a team who is supposedly an "easy win." We usually hear that phrase in football, a sport that has seen playoff-bound teams face supposedly easy opponents, only to falter. This was definitely a trap game, and the trap bit us. The Avs have lost a few games to teams like the eliminated Jackets, the eliminated Coyotes, and our winning streak ended against the Canadiens. As for the second trend, it's an aggravating one: getting "goalie'd" by random netminders. We will clobber goalies like Andrei Vasilevskiy, Juuse Saros, Connor Hellebuyck, and Thatcher Demko, but let a random unexpected name get in net against us. They look like Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur. Tarasov had 45 saves against the Avs. So he has a hell of a story to tell.

This loss comes at the wrong time. No one is beating Dallas. The Stars have won seven straight and are three points ahead of us in the Central Division. Now, second place means home ice in Round 1, but we need to get to the top of the Central. The Avs face Dallas on Sunday, but that's Sunday. That's Game #78. We need to focus on Game #76, and that comes on Thursday, as the Avs will head to St. Paul to face off against the Minnesota Wild.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

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  • Philip Gipson20 days ago

    You've perfectly encapsulated everything in this recap here.

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