When the Colorado Avalanche came out of the All-Star break, they were presented with a four-game home stand and a great chance to build an even bigger playoff cushion.
Last night, that home stand ended with a 3-1 loss to Vancouver. In the four games, the only point they managed came in a 4-3 OT loss to Dallas. Colorado’s still in a playoff spot, but only by two points over Minnesota, which has played three fewer games.
“Unfortunately for us, we had four games at home (and) a good opportunity to pick up some big wins, and we didn’t do it,” head coach Patrick Roy told the Denver Post.
The loss to Vancouver was painful for a number of reasons. First, the Canucks are one of the teams chasing Colorado for a wild-card spot; they’re now just four points back of Colorado, with three games in hand. Second, the Avs couldn’t convert on a pair of 5-on-3 power plays, which always hurts. Third, the Avs trailed 2-1 going into the third and couldn’t muster much of a push. In fact, it was Vancouver that scored the only goal in the final 20 minutes. And the Canucks had to play the period without two key players, Alex Edler and Brandon Sutter.
“I’m looking around the league, and everybody goes through tough times,” said Roy. “It’s not a period of time when you feel sorry for yourself. You have to find solutions and ways to bounce back.”
The Avs kick off a three-game road trip Thursday in Ottawa, with stops in Detroit and Buffalo on Friday and Sunday, respectively.