“Bettman has only a marginal interest in the weaker teams. He only wants the NHL to make a bigger profit as a whole.” -- Dominik Hasek

April 8, 2007

Nashville 4, Colorado 2 (The End)

Of course the Avalanche would lose at home against the Predators on the same night that the godforsaken Edmonton Oilers beat the Flames. Of course Colorado's playoff hopes were dashed one day before a final showdown with Calgary for the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Avs played super hard against Nashville but just couldn't stem the tide. It would be fitting that two former Colorado players, Peter Forsberg and Paul Kariya, would play roles in their demise. Arguably Paul Kariya doesn't count as a former Av (dismal single season played with the team), but you know what we mean.

So the magical run ends.

Let's review the lessons learned here, shall we?

1. Don't wait to become a competitive, even dominant team until game 65 of the regular season.

2. Do get to know your teammates and play together like you actually care about each other's success from day one.

3. Don't count on young sophomores (Svatos) to carry the goal-scoring weight early in the season when veterans (Hejduk) should be leading the way.

4. Do give your home-grown goalie talent (Budaj) a chance to succeed from day one, instead of shunning him for out-of-town dead weight.

5. Don't ever trade anyone for Jose Theodore. Ever. Ever ever ever ever ever.

6. Do play your hearts out every night of the season.

Next season the Avalanche have lots to look forward to. Young players continuing their development as stars, a now-proven starting goalie with success to build upon, a returning veteran captain still at the top of his game, and a coach who has shown he can motivate his players even if it all came a little too late.

The Avs should be ashamed of themselves for not making the playoffs, but proud that they worked so hard in the end and hopeful for far more success next year. And in the name of Hockey Jesus, bring back the avalanche warning siren to the Pepsi Center for every home goal scored!!

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