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Avs Down, Future Up

The Colorado Avalanche are out of the playoffs, but the team busted out in a big way this season.

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Unless you were under a rock last night, you know the Colorado Avalanche lost to the Minnesota Wild in particularly heart-breaking fashion. Now, instead of preparing to play the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round of the National Hockey League playoffs, the number-two-seeded Avs will have the spring to work on their golf games.

Still, the 2013–2014 season was a success. This was a franchise plagued by ineptitude and failure in the past few seasons—you would have been hard-pressed last year to find someone on 16th Street Mall that could name three players on the team. Patrick Roy and company deserve credit for bringing life to the Pepsi Center this year (sad trombone, Nuggets’ fans), and energizing the long-dormant hockey bandwagon for the first time in a very long time.

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Still: The Avs lost, and they shouldn’t have. Up 2–0 in the series, Colorado blew several chances to put the Minnesota Wild away. Even last night, the Avs were up a goal two times in the third period. Was their loss due to inexperience among an extremely young roster? Sure. But if you’re taking the long-view on this club, that’s exactly where you’ll find some hope this morning.

Here’s what folks are saying about our state’s team:

Roy is proud, disappointed after stunning debut season

Hard-fought seven-game series brings out animosity

Avalanche experiences growing pains with loss to Minnesota Wild

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Avalanche season about discovery, not Game 7 defeat

Semyon Varlamov the goat in shocking loss

Despite the Game 7 loss, there’s hope that season one was just the prologue to coach Roy’s successful tenure. Strong goaltending and rising stars Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly, and Nathan MacKinnon have the Avs poised to be a force on the ice for years to come.

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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