Like a dead skunk in the middle of the road, stinkin' to high heaven, so lies the Avalanche penalty kill right now. You don't need to search any more past Loudon Wainright's classic 1970s tune for the right metaphor for the Avs' PK, which was by far the most guilty party of Colorado's desultory 4-1 loss at home Monday night to the New York Islanders.
If the Avs aren't getting scored on the normal way on the PK, they're serving up heaping platters of golden chances on their own power play. An Islanders' PP unit that was 2-for-34 coming in vivisected the Avs with round-the-horn passing and easy goals in front, and that was enough to beat an Avs team that seemed to mostly just shrug their way through this thing.
So much for building a bigger cushion against playoff chasers, against a team they should beat at home. The Avs are going the wrong way again, folks. That 6-4 win over Dallas the other night is looking more and more like a quick splash of concealer on a face that's breaking out in hives, or something like that.
The Avs are now 1-3-1 in the last five games. Sure, teams are going to go through tough patches, but what's becoming more of a bigger concern is the goaltending - with Semyon Varlamov having another spotty outing - and a PK unit that is flat out costing them games.