In Game 7 against the Minnesota Wild, the Colorado Avalanche looked primed to win their first playoff series since the 2007-08 season. They held a one-goal lead late in the third period and Darcy Kuemper left the Wild net with an injury. Instead, the Avalanche squandered that margin and ended up falling to Minnesota in overtime.
From the sound of things in this NHL.com story, that defeat still stings.
“It was a nightmare for all of us, especially for me,” Semyon Varlamov said.
Judging from their offseason moves as well as their perspective about that letdown, it sounds like the Avalanche are taking the “you need to learn how to lose before you learn how to win” approach.
“I would certainly like to have [2:27] at the end of Game 7,” Head coach Patrick Roy said. “Up by one goal, it would have been a great experience for our players to go on against Chicago, but at the same time maybe it just wasn’t our time yet. I think everybody was talking to the players and they were all disappointed. I think it hurt us a lot. I think we learned a lot from it.”
Roy went on to speak about handling pressure and expectations while Joe Sakic believes that the team accomplished everything it needed to during the offseason.
If this Avalanche team is as strong as its regular season record indicates, then that defeat serves mainly as a bump in the road. That certainly seems to be the franchise’s approach.