Uncle, Uncle! Colorado Avalanche Lose 19th Game in Last 20

James CriderCorrespondent IMarch 17, 2011

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 12:  Joel Ward #29 of the Nashville Predators trips Ryan Wilson #44 of the Colorado Avalanche on March 12, 2011 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Since the NHL was founded in 1917, there have been countless teams that have shamed the great game of hockey.

The 2010-11 Colorado Avalanche (26-35-8) season will never live in as much infamy as the 1974-75 Washington Capitals, who won only eight games in an 80-game season (8-67-5).

Nor will they hold a candle to the 1992-93 San Jose Sharks, who had only 11 wins in 84 games (11-71-2).

But after a 4-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Friday—the club's 19th loss in its past 20 games—the Avalanche are quickly becoming the epitome of "suck."

They suck so bad that the only saving grace for Avs fans is to rely on the their sucking—ultimately to end up with the first overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, presumably to select Swedish defenseman Adam Larsson.

Looking for some meaningful Avalanche hockey? Tune in for the final game of the season against the Edmonton Oilers on April 10. Chances are the "loser" of the game will end up with the first overall pick.

The players, God love them, are trying their hardest.

Paul Stastny has points goals in his last 10 games; David Jones has five goals over the same span. Matt Duchene is doing what he can while playing with an injured hand, and newcomer Erik Johnson has been playing nearly 30 minutes per night while chipping in offensively.

But when a club who plays a one dimensional "run and gun" offensive style is so dealing with so many injuries that it's forced to trot out Matt Hunwick, Jonas Holos and (forgive me) Adam Foote as part of a top-six defense protecting arguably the worst goaltending tandem in the NHL (Peter Budaj and Brian Elliott), winning is nearly impossible.

As the Edmonton Oilers deal with some mammoth injuries of their own—forwards Taylor Hall, Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky have all been shutdown due to injuries in the past week alone—it's officially a race for last place in the NHL.

To the winner goes the first overall pick. To second place...well, they'll be drafting a good player, too.