After blowing a 2-0 series lead and scoring just one goal over the last 150 minutes, the Colorado Avalanche are facing their biggest challenge of the season.
Just ask Patrick Roy:
“We’re right there with them. Now it’s time, sorry about the words, to put our balls on the table.” – Avs coach Patrick Roy on Game 5
— Rob Tychkowski (@Sun_Tychkowski) April 25, 2014
Colorful phrasing aside, now really is time for the Avs to show what they’re made of. On paper, a pair of one-goal losses in Minnesota — one which came in OT — are acceptable, but those sort of mask Colorado’s alarming shot total issue.
The Avs only managed to fire 34 on Darcy Kuemper in the two games at Xcel, including a mere 12 in Thursday’s 2-1 loss. That’s the fewest from any game this postseason and the fewest in any playoff game since Calgary registered 10 against San Jose in Game 4 of the first round in 2008.
Stunningly, Colorado only produced eight shots at even strength last night.
As Brough wrote earlier this morning, Roy’s now facing his biggest challenge as an NHL head coach. Key injuries to Tyson Barrie, Matt Duchene and John Mitchell have whittled away his depth and ability to shake things up via roster moves; Thursday’s insertion of Joey Hishon on the power play had minimal impact, as the Avs continued to struggle with the man advantage (now 1-for-15 this series) and Hishon finished with just 6:31 TOI all told.
Roy’s move now, it seems, is to provide a spark with his words. We’ll see how that turns out.