Avalanche Opponent Could be Locked in Tonight - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Avalanche Opponent Could be Locked in Tonight

It's feel like it's been a long wait to find out who the Avalanche's first-round playoff opponent will be but a decision could be made tonight. That decision, however, relies on the faltering Vancouver Canucks defeating the Calgary Flames in their final - meaningless - game of the season. Given that Vancouver couldn't even manage 2 goals against a depleted Edmonton line up two nights ago to keep their playoff hopes alive, I'm not holding my breath.

It seems fairly likely that the Flames will win tonight, leapfrogging Colorado into 6th place - hopefully temporarily. An Avalanche W or OTL against Minnesota would then give Colorado a first-round matchup against the Wild. A regulation loss means a date with the Sharks.

Who are the players hoping for?
As reported in the RMN, the players are expectedly not choosing favorites.

"Either one at this point," goalie Jose Theodore said Friday. "We saw how tough it was just to get into the playoffs so, obviously, all the teams that made it are really good."
"I don't mind either matchup," forward Milan Hejduk said. "If you want to win the Stanley Cup, you have to beat good teams anyway."
Milan Hejduk put it best right there. The old mantra of "To be the man, you gotta beat the man...WHOOO!" holds true. If the Avalanche are going into the playoffs to win the Cup - and why wouldn't they be - they can't be concerning themselves with who they will play. That needs to be left to the fans to fret and fritter over!

Who's the best matchup?
I honestly don't know. With Minnesota you're going to get a hungry team who is fired up after winning the division and plays a frustrating defensive game complemented by some explosive offensive players. With San Jose you're getting the top team in the league over the last quarter of the season complemented with a dark horse Vezina candidate in Evgeni Nabokov. And some Thornton guy that everyone is talking about.

Heck, given the somber attitude over at A2Y, I almost wish the Avs had drawn the 8th seed so they could have a shot at wiping out the Wings. Then I remember the season series being decidedly in favor of the Wings this year.

In the end, I'll just be hoping that the Avalanche put in a solid showing against either opponent and don't go out with a whimper.

Related Links
Avalanche Report: Waiting for San Jose or Minnesota
Practice Report: Playoff Chatter
ITCS: Minnesota or San Jose?
Terry Frei: Oh Canada, my home away from home
NHL finally figures out new media?


Draft Dodger said...

Vancouver doesn't seem to be helping...

Shane Giroux said...

That was a tough game to watch. Classy show by the Flames to stay out there and help send off Linden. Though some Flames - Phaneuf included - had to be dragged back out of the lockerroom.