15 February 2011
A 9-1 drubbing at a random point in a season is tough, but can be shaken off relatively quickly. A 9-1 drubbing at the tail end (hopefully) of an 8-game losing streak is something altogether different. If Avs fans had an illusion of bouncing back and making the playoffs, this loss quickly obliterated that hope.
But out of something bad comes something good. Last time the Avs were this bad, they got Duchene. This Avs team is headed for the draft lottery again, and have a chance at a pretty good pick. Last season’s magical run had the negative side effect of hiding a lot of the flaws of this team. Those flaws are now on full display, and can be addressed.
One thing Avs management has always annoyingly done is overvalue their own prospects and their own players. We’ve been saying all season this defense is not talented enough and too small to compete night in and night out. Fans said that in the offseason when we advocated going after Paul Martin or Anton Volchenkov, two stay at home defenders capable of eating big minutes against top tier competition without being embarrassed and two defenders that are unlike anything the Avs have in their farm system. Last night, and this whole losing streak, was a bucket of cold water to the face of anyone who may have thought otherwise.
This team is still young, still learning, and still rebuilding. We, as fans, got our hopes up that the rebuild was going to be quick. That Duchene and Forsberg would come save us and that the Avs would return to glory. Management did too. But rebuilds take time. Pittsburgh and Chicago were miserable for many years before enjoying success. The Avs have a way to go, and have some good pieces to do so.
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