Green with...Disappointment

BY: Stacey Gerhart

After watching several NHL games over the past few days, where arenas were packed with fans sporting green, I became more excited that I was actually going to the Avalanche game on St. Patrick’s Day. I noticed that fans were given green hats during the Blackhawks vs. Capitals game over the weekend, and St. Louis fans were sporting green t-shirts on Tuesday night – I was honestly expecting to get something festive when I entered the Pepsi Center on Wednesday night – but the night would turn out to be a big disappointment all around.
My husband and I were fully prepared for the game (both of us sporting our out-of-date jerseys, of course) – I had shamrock bobbles on my head and green beads around my neck, while my husband stole the show with his massive green sunglasses and shamrock hat. But when we entered the Pepsi Center, it was a major let down. Aside from a few specks of green here and there – it looked like the beginning of any other Avalanche game and there was no green Avs memorabilia being handed out. It seemed odd to me that other franchises had planned so far in advance to hand out St. Patties Day themed sportswear for games that were up to five days prior to the actual holiday and here we were on March 17th with nothing.
As the game went on it started to dawn on me that maybe the Pepsi Center management actually forgot they were hosting a game that night. In the entire upper level (where most of the fans crowd in) there were only two concessions open and they were not even fully stocked on items that were listed out on their menus. The usually massive number of staff and crew were few and far between. It seemed that everyone but the fans had forgotten there was a game to be played – including the Avs players themselves.
The entire lineup looked completely drained from playing against St. Louis the previous night. The team that everyone always says is so fast was lagging behind and flailing all over the ice. Perhaps they, like myself, thought that the game against St. Louis would be easy – when in actuality, it turned out to be a pretty tough match-up.
During a game that both teams needed to win – it was very clear that the Flames wanted the points more and they played hard to get them. The Avs on the other hand fell short on the effort they put forth – it was embarrassing to watch.
A couple of tips for the Avs coaching staff: you still need to work on getting the athletes to play a full 60 minute game, and you really need to practice keeping the puck in the zone – between this game and the Red Wings game the effort there was severely lacking.
The playoffs are fast approaching and yes, the Avs are in the running – for now. But the other teams surrounding us in the conference continue to win games and play harder. It wouldn’t be a big surprise if the Red Wings and the Flames made there way into the playoffs while the Avs began their off-season all too soon.

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