The Avalanche have now lost four consecutive games to the Golden Knights, and “all we talk about” is next year
After losing 6-3 to the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Second Round on Thursday, the Colorado Avalanche were not interested in hearing about their positives this season or their potential for next season.
“I mean, there’s always next year, I feel like that’s all we talk about” Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon said. “I mean, I’m in my ninth year and I’ve never won anything.” I’m definitely motivated, and it just stinks to lose four games in a row to the same opponent.
“Last year felt like our first real chance to win, and I thought we were the best team in the League this year. We couldn’t get it together for whatever reason.”
The team won the Presidents’ Trophy by a tiebreaker over the Golden Knights for the best record in the NHL. They were the overall No. 1 seed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, for the third year in a row, Colorado was eliminated in the second round.
“It’s difficult to find any positives because no one wants to have a good regular season and then lose in the second round,” said Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen. “I’m sure we all wanted to win, and that’s why we worked so hard. So it’s difficult to find positives right now.”
The team won their first six games of the postseason. Which includes a four-game sweep of the St. Louis Blues in the first round and two games against the Golden Knights.
The Golden Knights Took Advantage Of An Avalanche Blunder.
The Golden Knights took advantage of an Avalanche blunder. With a 3.18 goals-against average and.901 save percentage in the second round, goaltender Philipp Grubauer struggled as well. Against the Blues, he had a 1.75 GAA and a.936 save percentage.
“We got away with a win in Game 2 (a 3-2 overtime win) where I believe they were the better team,” Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog said. All of us didn’t play well in Game 3 in particular” (a 3-2 loss). We competed hard in Game 4 (a 5-1 loss), but we made mistakes that they capitalised on. Game 5 was a strong effort from us, then we make three turnovers and they score on all three of them.
“I thought we fought and battled and worked our butts off tonight and kept coming back,” he said. However, a couple of bounces went the wrong way, and a couple of shifts where we weren’t fully engaged or focused were exploited. I’m really proud of the group that’s in there. I’m really proud of the season that we had. Obviously, you’ll never be truly satisfied or happy until that final game of the season. So, it stinks.”
Colorado had five five-game winning streaks. Which includes a season-high seven-game run from March 10 to 22, which started a stretch when they were 18-1-2. The Avalanche have lost three games in a row in regulation.
They were first in the NHL in terms of goals per game and third in terms of goals against per game.
Captain MacKinnon Nominated For The Hart Trophy.
MacKinnon was nominated for the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP. Cale Makar was nominated for the Norris Trophy as best defenseman. And Grubauer was nominated for the Vezina Trophy as best goalie.
The Avalanche, on the other hand, became the eighth team in a row to win the Presidents’ Trophy. But, not the Stanley Cup (the Chicago Blackhawks won both in 2012-13).
Coach Jared Bednar of the Colorado Avalanche said he understands if he is blamed for the Avalanche’s failure to win their first championship since 2001.
“If people want to attack someone, it’s going to be me,” he said. “I live by the motto of total ownership, and I’m the one in charge of the team, so I take full responsibility.”
“Disappointment is what’s running through my mind right now. You can tell how much our guys want it, how much they care, and how hard they’re working by the look on their faces. It’s excruciating to come up short. Guys put in a year of hard work, dedication, and commitment to the team, and you don’t get to where you want to go, which is disappointing.”
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