There are a few cardinal sins in hockey – things every mini mite learn not to do in their first year.

The Avalanche committed a few of those sins in Game 1 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the San Jose Sharks. Saying this makes it sound like Colorado played as bad as 6-year-olds, which they didn’t. They played well for the first half of the game.

“I thought we played really well in the first 30 minutes,” captain Gabe Landeskog said after the game. “I thought we were creating chances.”

When Colorado plays fast and uses their speed to apply pressure to opposing teams’ defenseman, they control games. They controlled much of the first period doing exactly that.

“When we’re skating and getting in there first and getting our F2 in there quick, that’s when we’re at our best,” Landeskog continued. “We got away from that a little bit after the halfway mark in the second period after they killed off our 4-minute power play.”

The difference from the first half of the game to the second was Colorado’s mistakes in their defensive zone. This is not a new weakness to the Avalanche. It seems to have been an issue that has plagued the team all season.

Failure to exit their defensive zone has been an issue for the Avalanche most of the season and is one of those dreadful sins Colorado committed. Part of that is the failure to skate the puck and becoming too fancy. When the Avalanche stopped skating and playing a physical game, the Sharks capitalized.

“It’s the 10 minutes at the end of the second that I didn’t like,” Coach Jared Bednar said. “We lost too many races, we didn’t get our numbers to the puck, they started skating in the offensive zone, and we just were committed enough to stay with it.”

San Jose makes teams pay with their hard forecheck and then shooting absolutely everything to the net, which is why if the Avalanche get caught in their zone, it is tough to get out and get a line change or offensive zone pressure.

This game felt very similar to Game 1 against Calgary. The Avalanche played well and controlled the beginning of the game. The difference was that Calgary, and on Friday San Jose, capitalized on the mistakes and lack of speed from the Avalanche.

“We’re going to come out strong for Game 2,” Bednar said, “There’s no question. I think we did enough good things in this game that we can look at and some things that we shot ourselves in the foot and it ended up costing us the game.”

Opening games are always a feeling out of a team. How fresh are they going to be? How fast are they going to play? How physical is this series going to be?

The Avalanche have a chance to make corrections to their game just as they did after Game 1 in the first round. To be successful Sunday night in Game 2, Colorado needs to utilize its speed all game and make sure they are smart in their defensive zone.

Puck drop for Game 2 is set for 5:30 PM PST from San Jose. The Avalanche currently trail in this series, 1-0.