I can deal with the Avs having tough seasons. I can deal with them having injuries and not having their best players in the line up. I can even deal with a "rookie" head coach. What I cannot deal with as a fan is a complete and total lack of motivation and effort by a team. I didn't watch the third period, but the first two were awful. I could call out individual players, but it looked to me like the whole team had lost its desire to play.
The only thing that brought about any emotion from the team was a big hit by the Panthers. There were several of them. Foote stood up for his team mate, but even by that point it was too little too late to win that game. Lappy's fight was ok, but again, it happened in the second period when the team had already given up.
Not a single defenseman showed up to help Budaj on the first goal. Not a single player was even there to make it tough for McClean to score that goal. What is even worse is that Tarnasky got the assist, but not a single Avalanche player was close to him, not a single player was challenging him for the puck.
I don't know if the Avs expected this to be an easy win, but the Panthers are a better team than most will give them credit for. They did upgrade their blue line over the summer, and have two solid goalies. Sure, Jokinen was traded this summer, but he wasn't the entire team as many believed. The Panthers are applying pressure for the playoffs before they get to the last 25 games of the season. They might just make it after years of an absence.
The second goal scored by Zednik was pretty. However, if Brett Clark had actually gotten in his way there might not have been a goal. Clark did nothing to stop the chance, he didn't help Budaj in the least. At least take a penalty in that situation, give your PK a chance to kill it.
Speaking of specialty teams. The power play stinks. I can't remember the last time the Avs power play looked good. The Penalty kill at the beginning of the season looked ok, but even that has turned into a mad scramble in front of the net rather than steady hard work to clear the puck, and keep the passing on the outside.
I don't know what it is going to take for management to see that this formula isn't working, but please at least give us something enjoyable to watch here. I don't mind watching a hard working team that gets garbage goals. Just please find a way to motivate these players.