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Update: Shortly after this post published, the Avalanche announced that Peter Forsberg will officially retire from hockey this afternoon at the Pepsi Center. —ed
Critics of the deal that brought Peter Forsberg back to the Colorado Avalanche for the remainder of the season have been proven right so far: The Avs have lost two games since his return, extending their losing streak to a franchise-record seven games. The loss has Colorado stuck at 56 points, roughly 40 off the playoff benchmark set in the NHL’s Western Conference over the last few years. The team would have to go 20-6 in the rest of its games to have a chance at the postseason, notes the Denver Post, an unlikely scenario given the schedule’s remaining road games and tough opponents.
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The Post’s Terry Frei thinks the team’s problems start at the top, with ownership refusing to open the checkbook to acquire the necessary talent, instead relying on cheaper young players “to the point of organizational arrogance.” In some ways, expecting Forsberg to step into this morass and fix it is unfair, but at least one of his Swedish countrymen believes he deserves the scrutiny. Henrik Sedin, the captain of the Vancouver Canucks who grew up idolizing Forsberg in Sweden, tells Vancouver’s Province that back home, the reaction to Forsberg’s comeback is comparable to that of NFL quarterback Brett Favre’s–by an increasingly hostile fan base.