Eagles fall short once again; losing home ice


After the loss to the Tucson Runners last night, the Colorado Eagles had to win tonight. In order to gain some ground in the standings and get home ice back, Colorado needed the extra fight. But it would not come tonight. The Eagles would fall short and luckily not below them in the standings were playing. Although the Arizona Coyotes have been out of the fight a long time ago this season, that is not the case for their AHL affiliate. The Roadrunners have consistently been at the top of the Pacific Division all season. They have also been a thorn in the side of the Eagles. Here are my takeaways from the 2–1 loss to Tucson.


— Defense was tighter and played more to their position tonight. Despite the loss of Sam Malinski to an upper-body injury last night, the defense overall were giving up fewer chances. They were forcing the Roadrunners out past the faceoff dots and taking away quality shots. This made the job for Ivan Prosvetov a lot easier than he could shut down the posts. And because of this, Prosvetov looked calmer in the net compared to last night, where he looked panicked.

— The Eagles have now scored one or fewer goals in 20 of 68 of their games this season. It is not just the power play that is a problem; it is even strength, too. Colorado cannot consistently put the puck into the net. You can say that injuries have been an enormous factor to this. Jean-Luc Foudy missed over half of the season with multiple injuries. Right as he was getting hot, Oskar Olausson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury that sidelined him. Joel Kiviranta had a hot stick and then Artturi Lehkonen got hurt and the Eagles have not seen him since. Their big guns can’t get into a rhythm, unfortunately.

— The team’s failure to follow up with shots to the net could also be attributed to the lack of offense. In both last night’s game and tonight, Matthew Villalta was horrible at holding onto the puck. He was constantly giving secondary chances that the Eagles were not taking advantage of. Colorado was not following their own shots to the net and getting the secondary chances.


The Eagles now are on a gradual slide in the wrong direction. They have lost four of their last six games, all have been key games to keeping the playoff position. With only four games remaining in the schedule, Colorado MUST win all of them in order to get home ice back. That success may depend on how quickly Malinski, Matthew Stienburg, Jason Polin and Tanner Kero all can come back to the lineup. The Eagles will come home to Loveland on Tuesday to play the San Diego Gulls and hopefully pull a win out.

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