As a guy who played minor league hockey, I can assure you of one thing: the constant uncertainty sucks.
I left the University of Alaska Anchorage after playing out my four seasons there, locked in with guys I had played with for years, and promptly wore five jerseys in three years (and that’s if you discount the tryouts with the Isles and the Hershey Bears, which would run the total to seven). The fear of having your life uprooted at any moment is something you try to get used to, but you never really get there. It can wear you down.
From the sounds of things, the Colorado Avalanche’s dressing room feels a bit too much like a minor league team these days.
Here’s a quote from Kyle Quincey, now of the Detroit Red Wings, courtesy one Craig Custance:
Interesting scrum w/Kyle Quincey who said uncertainty isn’t helping Avs: “There’s a lot of guys whose bags are packed outside their door.”
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) February 23, 2012
Well thaaaat oughtta help them gobble up the two points they need to vault into eighth.
The good news for you Avalanche fans right now: every team goes through something comparable at this time of the year. Maybe the Avs are more aware of the coming shake-ups (tends to happen with bubble teams versus the top end ones), but it shouldn’t affect their play on the ice, as much as their stress levels off it.
And if it does affect their play (sure didn’t last night), this roller coaster is almost over. On Tuesday the 28th, every player in Denver can take a deep breath, exhale, and sleep like a baby that night.