There have been a few familiar postgame statements from the Avalanche this season, and they were trotted out once again following Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to the Preds.
“The lack of focus or a lack of intensity, we’re giving other teams easy goals,” head coach Jared Bednar said, per the Denver Post. “I didn’t feel like they had to work for their goals.
“Too many guys wading into the game, seeing how the game goes. We need more passion. We need more intensity for 60 minutes. It’s that simple for me.”
These remarks are not much different from what was said following a 5-1 loss to those same Preds back in early November. Bednar said the Avs “didn’t find the intensity needed for the game,” while captain Gabriel Landeskog said “the work boots and hard hats weren’t on.”
One week later — after another 5-1 loss, this time to the Blues — veteran d-man Francois Beauchemin said “we’ve got to look at each other and ourselves in the mirror,” adding that all the players needed to “step up their game.”
Tuesday’s loss moved the Avs to 9-11-1 on the year, and seventh in the Central Division. So it’s easy to see why Bednar is upset — the Post said his presser following the Nashville game was his most animated of the year — and it’s easy to see why players are upset, too.
There doesn’t seem to be much of a change from the Patrick Roy era, at least in terms of consistent effort. It was one of Roy’s big complaints about the club prior to his abrupt departure in August — that the group’s core players didn’t have the type of character and leadership qualities to take the team where Roy wanted it to go.
The question now is, what can GM Joe Sakic do about it? He’s been loathe to shake up his roster (another reported reason why Roy eventually stepped down) and could always fall back on the “it’s still early” mantra.
But if things don’t get turned around soon in Colorado, Sakic and the crew will be firmly planted outside the playoff picture — like they have been for the last two seasons.