The Avs lost 2-0 to Minnesota on Tuesday night — the sixth time this year they’ve been shut out — which put them at 11-19-1 on the year.
That’s the worst record in the NHL. Colorado is mired in the league basement, four points back of the 29th-place Coyotes, with the fewest goals scored (65) and the eighth-most goals allowed (99).
As Brough wrote two days ago, nothing is going right for this team.
“We’re still losing games, which is frustrating,” goaltender Semyon Varlamov said after the Wild loss, per the Denver Post. “We’ve lost four in a row. It’s embarrassing.”
Varlamov’s quote was telling, but hardly the only negative one. Matt Duchene said the Avs’ power play, which went 0-for-5 against Minnesota, was “awful.” Head coach Jared Bednar said it was just another example of a season-long issue — “we’ve been struggling all year to create offense.”
It’s really been a season of lowlights:
— The Avs’ longest winning streak of the season is two. It happened twice. Once at the start of the year (season-opening victories against the Stars and Penguins), and once in mid-November (wins over Minnesota and Columbus).
— They suffered one of the worst losses in franchise history two weeks ago, a 10-1 drubbing in Montreal that captain Gabriel Landeskog accurately summed up as an “ass-whooping.”
— Injuries haven’t helped. Landeskog missed a bunch of time with a lower-body ailment, and Erik Johnson is sidelined with a broken fibula.
— This isn’t the first time Duchene and Bednar have called out the group. The former said his team was “awful” in a shutout loss to Dallas on Dec. 3, and the latter has constantly harped on the Avs’ lack of intensity.
With a points percentage of 0.74, the Avs are in serious danger of eclipsing one of the worst teams in franchise history — Joe Sacco’s 2010-11 side, which finished with just 30 wins and 68 points. Colorado finished 29th in the league that year.
That finish, of course, netted the Avs the No. 2 overall pick, which they used to select Landeskog. And after winning the Calder trophy, Landeskog was named team captain, cementing him as a franchise cornerstone.
Now, though, Landeskog is the leader of a core group that’s come under heavy scrutiny (most notably by former head coach Patrick Roy). There have been rumblings of a potential shakeup for a while, though GM Joe Sakic has remained defiant, saying he has faith in the group.
“It’s not a core thing,” Sakic said. “It’s a team thing.”
Of course, Sakic said that back on Dec. 1, when the Avs were 9-11-1. Since then they’ve won just two of 10 games, and suffered that humiliating defeat in Montreal.
Which begs the question — how much longer can this go on without some kind of change?