The players didn’t want it to end, the fans didn’t want it to end but the 2018 season was extended farther than we could have imagined back in September. The scene that will stick with me from last night is the fans going bananas with support as the clock wound down. The Avs did many great things over the past 6 months, perhaps the biggest was working their way solidly back into the hearts of the fanbase.
No point in analyzing the game much, from early on this was a Nashville show. Looking back on the series, the Avs would fire a punch in the odd-numbered games then the Preds would counter back harder is each successive even-numbered game. They played about as good as they are capable of in Game 6 for the first time and it was too much for the good guys to handle. The vaunted Nashville defense, which hadn’t scored and looked like a bunch of jokers in the game 5 loss, finally awoke and made the difference. They’re not going to slide by with anything less than that kind of effort from now on and the Avs have given opposing coaches a blueprint for success, if they’re able to make use of it.
Along with the fans cheering as the team left the ice for the last time until October, the post-game interviews will stick with me for a long time. There was sadness but it wasn’t grief about how they had played, it was sadness that they wouldn’t be able to play any more games together. There was a little frustration but not in a negative way. I got the sense that they were frustrated with knowing what they had to do but not being able to fully implement that knowledge. Yet. The old maxim in sports is that you have to lose something first to figure out how to win it. The last two months are going to stay with everyone over the summer and through next season, they’ll be ready next time.
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And so the off-season begins…
There’s still a ton going on in the next few months of course. The Eagles are making a run at defending the Kelly Cup in their final ECHL season and building an AHL franchise soon after. At least one and as many as three Avs prospects will be in the Memorial Cup in late May. The Entry Draft and Summer Silly Season will dominate June. We’ll have our finger on the pulse for all of these for those that don’t need 4 months of decompression after what we just witnessed. The BR staff and I would like to thank all of you for supporting us as we got off the ground still much less than a year ago. We love what we do and you all make it worth it. Be well.