Originally written April 10, 2013 on Around The Rink:
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Jean-Sebastien Giguere is “embarrassed” by the Avalanche. Image Credit: AP The lockout-shortened season has not been kind to the Colorado Avalanche. Captain Gabriel Landeskog was concussed and missed 12 games. There was the whole Ryan O’Reilly holdout situation, which kept one of their best players off the roster for the first 19 games of the season. And oh yeah, they’re dead last in the NHL standings. And their backup goalie isn’t taking it anymore. Jean-Sebastien Giguere, a former Conn Smythe Trophy winner and Stanley Cup champion, is sick of his team losing and players not caring. Via the Denver Post, he claimed that players are “more concerned about their trip to Vegas at the end of the season” than winning (the end-of-season NHL Awards are held in Las Vegas every year). His rant continued with statements like “I don’t know why we seem like we don’t care at points….it’s not how you’re going to win any games in this league….every day is the same story. I don’t know what to say. I’m beyond words….it’s embarrassing. I’m embarrassed to be here.” That last one is probably the most telling. Colorado has lots of  good young talent with guys like Landeskog, O’Reilly, Matt Duchene, Tyson Barrie and Semyon Varlamov. But a sputtering offense and an incredible inability to succeed on the road- 90 goals scored and a 2-15-3 are both league worsts- have doomed the Avalanche in a season when many expected them to compete for a playoff spot. A change in a locker room mentality helps, and at least Giguere is trying to facilitate a change in that by making his team accountable. This season is over, but it’s not too late for the Avalanche to take the lessons of this year and use them to succeed in 2013-14.
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