Well the first regular season is coming to an end under first-year Head Coach Patrick Roy, and boy what a season it was. A season that saw the Avs come from worst to damn-near first, now has the Avalanche hosting a first-round playoff series against former Northwest division foe, current Central division foe.. The Minnesota Wild. Let’s get ready.
82 games in the book tonight after the meaningless game against the Anaheim Ducks, so let’s go ahead and prep you for the series vs the Wild.
Firstly, here’s the schedule of Avs vs Wild.
Game 1 – Thursday, 7:30 pm MT – Pepsi Center
Game 2 – Saturday, 7:30 pm MT – Pepsi Center
Game 3 – Monday. 5 pm MT – Xcel Energy Center
Game 4 – Thursday, 7:30 pm MT – Xcel Energy Center
** Game 5 – Saturday, TBD – Pepsi Center
** Game 6 – Monday, TBD – Xcel Energy Center
** Game 7 – Wednesday, TBD- Pepsi Center
**= If necessary.
As you can see, a good amount of time off between Game 3 and 4. That means the possible return of Matt Duchene in between those two games, as his 4-week timetable for return falls during that time.
The addition of Duchene to an already potent line-up could prove dividends for the Avs. And they might need him against the Wild. Although the Avs won the season series 4-0-1 over the Wild, the boys from Minny are nothing to sneeze out. Despite avoiding the Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs, it’s still a tough draw against the Wild. Remember how the Avs went 8-1-1 in the last stretch of the regular season? Well the Wild went 7-2-1 in their last 10. Pretty good as well.
Both teams that are playing pretty darn good hockey. An Avs team that could be in store for a Calder, Adams, Byng, Vezina, and maybe even a Hart trophy between their teammates, taking on the team from the state of hockey that’s invested hundreds of millions in the off-season to try and revitalize hockey where hockey should always stay relevant.
But the Avs are ready for this moment. Coached by coach of the year candidate Patrick Roy who has brought the “Why Not Us” mentality to this young locker room. Made these boys believe that they can take it all. These Avs broke a couple franchise records.. Most wins overall and most road wins. Broke those records of the 2000-01 squad that went on to win the Stanley Cup. Led by a goalie who broke Roy’s single-season record for wins (41), Semyon Varlamov. And Roy’s success in this turnaround sure has been made easy by the seasons being had by guys such as Varly as mentioned, former No. 1 pick Erik Johnson, AHL-er no more Tyson Barrie, and of course from No. 1 pick Nathan MacKinnon. And those are just a few who have played much improved to send the Avs to the top.
The Avs win if they play their game. They’re better on every inch of the ice.. but the Stanley Cup Playoffs are always unpredictable. Let’s see what happens.
FOR MORE, Be sure to tune into “The KMet Sports Show” on www.KMetRadio.org this Monday and Wednesday from 3:30-5:30 pm MT as Anthony Rodriguez and company will be talking everything Avs in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.