There was one positive to the Avalanche's just-completed season. It was short. Only 48 games instead of the usual 82. But by the end Saturday night at the Pepsi Center, it felt like an eternity for what can accurately be termed "long-suffering Avalanche fans." For the fifth time in seven seasons, the Avs fell short — in this case, well short — of a playoff berth, finishing at the bottom of the Western Conference standings and 29th overall in the NHL.
The franchise that was once the gold standard in the NHL has morphed into cubic zirconia. The Avs lost their season finale 3-1 to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday and finished 16-25-7.
Avalanche coach Joe Sacco, with one year left on his contract, completed his fourth season at the helm and was asked after Saturday's game if he thinks there will be a fifth.
"I'm going to go about business as usual, just like I always do. I thought that our staff, we (did) everything we can to prepare this team the best way we can," Sacco said. "I enjoy coaching this team. It's a young group and it's certainly headed in the right direction. As far as those decisions that will be made, those are not my decisions, so I'm not really worried about that right now."
The Avs thought this would be a season in which their young talent would produce a playoff team, but it was anything but.