Avalanche moving a bit closer to missing playoffs | VailDaily.com

Avalanche moving a bit closer to missing playoffs

Rick Sadowski
Rocky Mountain News
Denver, CO Colorado

DENVER, Colorado “-These are trying times for an Avalanche team that is in serious danger of falling out of playoff contention.

With four consecutive losses at home and seven defeats in the past eight games overall, the Avalanche has skidded into 13th place in the Western Conference – six points out of the eighth and final postseason position and only three points ahead of last-place St. Louis.

It doesn’t get any easier tonight with the Northwest Division-leading Calgary Flames visiting the Pepsi Center.

“When you lose, it hurts,” coach Tony Granato said after practice Sunday. “Let’s face it, we’re not an organization that’s used to going through stretches like this, so it’s difficult. The only thing we can do is find a way to get out of it. To find a way to get out of it, you dig down and you give everything you’ve got to make sure we stop this thing.

“That’s the way I’m looking at it, and I’m sure the players are in the same boat. You’re not going to be dancing and going out and celebrating when you’re playing like this.”

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With 47 points in 50 games, the Avalanche needs 48 points in the remaining 32 games to match the 95 points it earned in each of the past three seasons, a daunting task.

The Avalanche had 56 points at this stage a year ago, 54 points in 2006-07 when it missed the playoffs and 59 points in 2005-06.

“I’d say we’re upset with the way we’ve played in the last little while given the circumstan- ces that we’re in,” forward Darcy Tucker said. “We were so close to the playoffs coming out of the All-Star break. Our time is now. We have to have some desperation in our game.

“It doesn’t matter how many guys are out of our lineup or how many young guys we have, we have to play a certain way to win hockey games. We have to find ways to get points.”

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