After coming back from a wonderful Italy trip, I found the Avs three points out with two games remaining. Coincidentally, Calgary also had two games remaining, the last one being against the Avs. Both teams were scheduled to play on the same night. With any sort of Calgary win, the Avs would be eliminated. Likewise, if the Avs failed to get at least a point, their Playoff hopes would be dashed.
The night started out well, and the Avs carried a 2-1 lead into the third period. But in fitting fashion for what this season has been, the Predators tied it up. With under five minutes to go, the Avs needed to hang on until OT to get the much needed point. All of a sudden, the menace, Peter Forsberg, slipped one by Peter Budaj and ended the Avalanche Playoff run.
It's funny that Forsberg would end it on his old team. Of all the guys to eliminate us. I blame the Flyers.
What could make it worse? Calgary lost that night.
In the season finale, the Avs defeated Calgary, leaving them just one point shy of the 8th spot. Game over.
The Game I Trace It Back To
With under ten seconds to go, the Avs were beating the pitiful Kings in LA. After a scramble in front of the net, the Kings scored to send the game into Overtime, then a shootout, where the Avs eventually lost. Had the Avs hung on in regulation, they would be in the Playoffs.
-Joe Sakic records 100 points at the age of 37.
-Paul Stastny finishes with the highest rookie point total as an Av in history.
-Jose Theodore closes out the season with a win.
In Other Avs News:
-Joe Sakic signed to a 1-year 6.75 million dollar deal
-Avs secure the 14th spot in the 2007 draft.
No rant. Just sadness. The Avs were the only pro sports team to have never missed the Playoffs, and that streak has been broken. It's been a great 10 years, and I have no doubt that the Avs will be back next year. I believe the Avs would have made a deep Playoff run had they gotten in. They could have been the Edmonton Oilers of 2007.
Missing the Playoffs also means that the Avs-Wings rivalry wasn't re-created. With Todd Bertuzzi and Scott Parker, a Playoff series would have sparked new blood in the historic rivalry.
My Avalanche Awards:
MVP: Joe Sakic
Calder: Paul Stastny
Vezina: Peter Budaj
Best Free Agent Pickup: Tyler Arnason
Most Costly Injury: Jordon Leopold
Most Pleasant Suprise: Ben Guite
Best Story: Stastny 20 Game Point Streak / Sakic Gets 100
Most Disappointing Player: Marek Svatos
Most Improved Player: Milan Hejduk
Line of the Year: Sakic-Brunette-Wolski