Murphy's Law

It figures, ya know? You get in the shortest line at the bank/store/movie theater and, inevitably, it will be the line that takes the longest. Sadly, this is what happens when you write about your favorite team, too. To whit, I was on the Avs jock in October because they were off to such a fast start, and since then, well, it hasn't been as easy. As you may recall my first post was about the lack of respect the Avalanche had been getting early in the hockey season and I felt it was unjustified. Oops. Well, not necessarily oops, but you know. I was just excited that this young team had been playing lights-out hockey so soon when most of the national media wonks had them pegged for last place - not just in their division but the entire Western Conference. Well, there's a reason those guys (national media) get paid to do what they do and why I sit alone at an uncomfortable desk blindly pressing keys on a six-year-old laptop for free.

Before we get to what's happened to the Avs, let me say this: I still think they'll challenge for a playoff spot when all is said and done, and I think that all teams go through a slump of sorts in an 82-game season. Hell, the Detroit Red Wings were all but left for dead after three weeks and now they're within striking distance of first place. God, it hurts to say that. Moving on. So what's happened in the last couple of weeks? Let's take a quick look.

Goaltending. Since the calendar flipped to November, the Avalanche are 4-6 and have been outscored 30-13 in those six losses, so it's not as if they were close games. One of those games was a rare off-night for Craig Anderson where he gave up four goals in 22 shots to Vancouver before being "relieved" by backup Peter Budaj who promptly gave up four goals in eight shots. Woof. Budaj was given a chance to redeem himself a couple games later, but he laid another egg instead allowing five goals to the Edmonton Oilers. Anderson won 10 games in October and two games thus far in November. The Avs have been riding him hard this season, and maybe he's burning out a little early because of that.

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