Wasn't this series at least supposed to be closer?
That thought kept ringing in my mind after Detroit took game three of their Western conference semi-final matchup up in Colorado, extending their lead to 3-0 after demolishing the Avs in Detroit for the first two games.
It's a little sad for the Avs at this point. They look beat up. They look tired. Most of all, they look like they just want to go home.
Ryan Smyth missed last night's game. Peter Forsberg and his iffy hamstring missed the first two games. Paul Stastny is now out with a knee injury. You get the point.
Between the injuries, fatigue and the fire the Red Wings are playing with, this series was over after game two, when Detroit dominated and jumped out to a 4-0 lead.
After dispatching of the Wild in round one, I had high hopes for the boys from Denver. Forsberg looked strong. Mostly everyone was back. Theodore looked like the 2002 version and not the one Montreal was so eager to dump.
Before I knew what was happening, the wheels came flying off and it's obvious that no matter what aging vet the Avs bring in, it's time to move on. Rebuild, if you will.
Forsberg needs to hang up his skates once and for all before he becomes Mark Messier. Smyth needs to heal. Then again, he might just be getting old as well (33 years old) and his body might not be able to handle the abuse any longer.
Adam Foote isn't the same guy he used to be, and the goaltending situation isn't very good with the super streaky Theodore/Peter Budaj combo. Milan Hejduk isn't that 50 goal guy he was back when during Forsberg's initial run with Colorado.
The team seems to be missing that spark plug guy; the type of player who, when the team comes out flat, does something to jolt them back to life.
The team desperately needs an infuse of speed and youth. While Paul Stastny is on his way to becoming an elite player and Wojtek Wolski is a solid young winger with room to improve, the club needs to build on that. Joe Sakic can carry this team for only so much longer before he starts to feel like he's 39.
The winds of change need to start blowing through the Rockies. As much as we all want it to be, this isn't 2001 anymore. Patrick Roy isn't there. Ray Bourque isn't there. Alex Tanguay, Rob Blake, the Old Peter Forsberg. Gone and not coming back.
It's time to find the new generation. And it's time to start now.
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