I never like it when my team plays a short-handed opponent. I worry too much that my players will think it’ll be an easier night, drop their effort level a commensurate amount and bad things will happen. That’s just me.

But that’s the kind of performance the Avalanche gave tonight against a Washington Capitals team missing its starting goalie (Braden Holtby), its leading scorer (Evgeny Kuznetsov) and fifth-leading scorer (T.J. Oshie). The Avs seemed to think the Caps would just phone one in, based on their sluggish effort, which finished in a 3-2 overtime loss to Washington.

I thought the Avs essentially just gave this one away through a lack of effort. They were second to too many loose pucks and made too many casual passes that resulted in giveaways. Was it nice to get a point, thanks to a late Colin Wilson goal? Yes it was. They at least came away with something. But the fact is, the Avs deserved to lose.

MORE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE LOSS

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Adrian Dater
Author

Adrian Dater has been covering the Avs since their inception. In 2015, he became the lead NHL national columnist with Bleacher Report, where he worked until 2017 before joining BSN Denver.

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