This column about the Avalanche was going to be pretty negative originally. That’s why I’m going to include what I had written before Carl Soderberg tied the game up with just 1:50 left in regulation, a goal that got the Avalanche a point on New Year’s Eve against the Los Angeles Kings.

I was soooooooooo looking forward to erasing the whole damn thing and writing that this was the most inspirational comeback win since the 1991 Buffalo Bills against the Houston Oilers, and Happy New Year Avs fans and let’s party.

And then overtime happened. And then that story of feelgood inspiration went right out the damn window, and I’m left to try and make sense of what not only just happened with the Avs and what has been happening for a couple weeks ago.

So, I’m going to accentuate the positive here, because I’ve been accused of being a little too negative again lately and haven’t always expressed things the way I wanted and, hey, it’s New Year’s Eve and who wants to be Debbie Downer on New Year’s Eve?

I thought the Avs got a big point in this thing in their 3-2 OT loss to the team with the fewest points in the league coming in, the Kings. Soderberg made a great deflection of a Tyson Barrie shot, everybody wearing an Avs sweater played really desperate hockey in the final minutes and they rightfully set the fans rockin’ into the New Year there for a few minutes anyway.

And then came overtime.

The Avs are 1-8 this year in OT. One and eight. A bad line change was the culprit in this one. Mikko Rantanen was a bit too late making a change, Gabe Landeskog therefore couldn’t get out on the ice in a good defensive position and Dustin Brown slipped in behind him, Erik Johnson and Carl Soderberg for a breakaway and that was that.

But again, I thought it was a big point. That point they got might make the difference in them making the playoffs. I thought it was a bad point the other night against the last-place team in the Central Division, the Chicago Blackhawks, but this was a good point.

If that makes any sense.

Jared Bednar tried to make sense of another botched OT, and seemed to have trouble doing so. But, he said it mostly all comes down to his team making too many mental mistakes in these five-minute stretches (and, heck, most of these OT games have been over fast, just like this one).

Bednar was really exasperated-looking in trying to explain why a team that should be much better than this in a 3-on-3 situation, a team with young legs and a lot of skill, has left EIGHT points on the table so far in OTs.

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Adrian Dater
Author

Adrian Dater, was born in Vermont and lived as a tot in New York City before living most of his first 25 years in New Hampshire. Education:  Went to Keene State College and received a degree in journalism in 1988. I wrote sports for the college paper, called "The Equinox." Career: After a two-year stint out of college working as a proofreader and part--time sports writer for The Concord Monitor (N.H)., I moved to Denver in May of 1991, with no job, no connections and no car, but a lot of hope. After doing some odd jobs (including working as a bill collector for a trash company), I found some odd writing jobs for local periodicals and then latched on with The Denver Post in December of 1991 as a score-taker for the high-school sports department. That led to more writing jobs, such as covering DU hockey, lots of high-school coverage and various minor-pro sports. In March of 1995, I got a scoop that would change my life: I broke the story of the Quebec Nordiques moving to Denver to become the Avalanche, and for the next 19 years I covered the team every day. In 2015, I became the lead NHL national columnist with Bleacher Report, where I worked until 2017 before joining BSN Denver. I have also been a main hockey writer with Sports Illustrated, The Hockey News, The Sporting News, Hockey Digest, Versus.com and have written seven books on sports, including the 2006 best-selling "Blood Feud", a book about the famous Avs-Red Wings rivalry. Most memorable sports moment: As a fan, when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. Also, when the Celtics beat the Lakers in the 1984 NBA Finals. The finest sports book I’ve ever read: It would probably be a book called "Game Misconduct", by Russ Conway. It's the story of how a small-town sports reporter (Conway) in Massachusetts exposed the corruption and brought down one of the most powerful figures in the NHL at the time, Alan Eagleson. The book is a primer on how to report and investigate powerful entities. One sports movie that I can’t live without: I loved "Rocky III", and I loved a 1977 basketball movie starring Robby Benson called "One on One." And, of course, "Slap Shot." Most memorable experience as a reporter: I've gotten to interview some of my boyhood heroes, including Larry Bird, Fred Lynn and Luis Tiant. But probably the most memorable of them all was writing the story of Ray Bourque's one and only Stanley Cup in his 22 years, his final game as a pro with the Avs in 2001. The sport that started it all: As a guy who eventually grew to become 6-foot-6, I could hoop it up some. I was the starting center on my high-school team that made the N.H. state semifinals in 1983. While I never played competitive hockey, I played a lot on the many frozen ponds of New Hampshire and had a pretty good slap shot.