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Last night’s crushing 4-0 loss to the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks is the latest blow to the Colorado Avalanche’s receding morale. The Denver Post’s recap notes the Avalanche have now been shut out three times in the past three weeks and that goalie Peter Budaj (playing in place of struggling starting goalie Craig Anderson) has now given up three or more goals in 13 straight starts. Even second-year star Matt Duchene—named to the NHL All Star game at just 19 years old—lacked contributions last night.
Mile High Hockey does some number crunching, and the results aren’t pretty. In the last 11 games, the Avs’ offense went from first in the league to fourth, their power play dropped from fourth to ninth, “and the penalty kill [dipped] from…well, it’s sucked all season, and now it sucks a little worse.” The Avs need to turn it around quickly. They’re already 12 points behind the division-leading Vancouver Canucks and sit in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.