KUSA - Nobody dreams of losing – not one player.
When Minnesota Nino Niederreiter's sharp shot ended in the back of the net there was no lower feeling for the Avalanche. The series is over, the season is over instantaneously.
"All the hopes you had come crashing down in a matter of milliseconds," Nathan MacKinnon stated. As the media crowd departed from his stall in the dressing room all the rookie could do was stare blankly ahead in front him. He was still, emotionless, reduced to nothing.
"It's definitely a very empty feeling," he said.
The Avalanche maintained a lead in the first period into the second. They then held an advantage on two separate occasions –Paul Stastny and Erik Johnson both recording what could have been game-winning goals - in the final period before allowing a goal to tie it right back up. Whenever Colorado took a lead it didn't last which is truly disheartening.
"We're definitely not happy with this. This is embarrassing for us," forward Ryan O'Reilly said with a similar hollow look. "We could have done a lot better and it sucks. It's frustrating."
The fact that there was so much promise for the team that went from last in the Western Conference to Central Division champion in a single year hurts most. Head coach Patrick Roy asserted that this 5-4 defeat stings now, but tomorrow it's going to hurt worse knowing their season is no more.
"We definitely have some regrets going into the summer," MacKinnon finished.
The Stanley Cup champion this year is not the Avalanche – not this year anyways.
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