CENTENNIAL, Colo. - The last time the Colorado Avalanche skated at its practice facility, it was nothing but laughter and smiles on the ice. The team had just swept the season series with the defending two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. But on Thursday they were coming off an embarrassing loss at the hands of the worst team in the league. No laughter, no smiles, just work when they were one the ice.
The loss to the Arizona Coyotes was especially hard to stomach given the strength of the team’s schedule between now and February.
“If we want to be a playoff team like we think we’re capable of, we have to beat those teams” alternate captain Erik Johnson said after practice, “It’s no different than the circumstance we were in last year when teams had to have those games against us to make the playoffs, so for us to drop a game against Buffalo and [Arizona] you know, teams that are near the bottom, that’s not very good for us.”