Duchene, MattThe Colorado Avalanche played well enough to win last night in Chicago against the Blackhawks. Yet, the Avs lost the game 3-2 in a shootout after taking a 2-1 lead into the third period (via The Denver Post).

The Avs had several opportunities to pull the win out without going to a shootout, with rookie Matt Duchene (left) hitting the goal post three times in the game, twice in the final minute of regulation. An inch or two toward the goal, and we’d be talking about how the Avs are tied for the league-lead in points.

The team is still in a good spot, ranked second in the league behind the San Jose Sharks and at the top of the Northwest Division with 27 points, four ahead of the Calgary Flames (via NHL.com).

Mile High Hockey wishes the Avalanche could play the Blackhawks every game of the season because of the intensity and the shootout. Avs goalie Craig Anderson disagrees, telling the Post shootouts aren’t the way games should end: Hockey is a team game, and the shootout makes it more of an individual effort.

“It’s individual in charge of a team game,” he says. “If you want to be individuals, go play tennis or golf.”