Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Avs Gain Tough Point, Still In Division Hunt

In a game where the Wild could have knocked Colorado out of the Northwest Division race, the Avalanche responded to two early first period goals by getting a point in a losing effort in OT.

The Avs played a very undisciplined first period, racking up four straight penalties, including one on Joel Quenville for "abuse of referees." The Wild were able to cash in on one of these chances and took a 2-0 lead into the second.

The Avs managed to respond, first by a goal from Jeff Finger, assisted by Joe Sakic and Wojtek Wolski and then from Ruslan Salei, assisted by Finger and once again, Wolski. The Avs owned the rest of the period, outshooting the Wild 9-3.

After a scoreless third, both teams got a point in overtime before two Avalanche killers, Pavol Demitra and Marian Gaborik secured the extra point for the Wild.

The OT loss kept the Avs in the race and vaulted them ahead of Calgary for sixth in the conference.

Notes

Peter Forsberg was not in the lineup. After two straight three-assist games, Forsberg missed the entire overtime against Edmonton and as always, is considered "questionable" for tonight's critical game against Edmonton. Jaroslav Hlinka was dressed in his place.

Adam Foote was back in the lineup playing a team high 23 minutes. He had three shots and a -1 rating in his return.

The Avalanche can clinch a playoff spot with a win against the Canucks tonight.

Three Stars of the Game

1. Wojtek Wolski (Two assists, +2 rating, playing much better since his healthy scratches)
2. Jeff Finger (Two points, played well defensively)
3. N/A

Next Up

The Avs can clinch a playoff spot TONIGHT against the Vancouver Canucks. The game is set for 10 PM EST and will most likely be a rematch between Roberto Luongo and Jose Theodore. The Avs have beaten the Canucks five straight times in regular season action and 6-3 on March 26th.

On the Bubble

With just two games to go, this race is going to go down to the wire.

5. Dallas - 93 Points (3 Games Remaining)
6. COLORADO - 91 POINTS (2 Games Remaining)
7. Calgary - 90 Points (3 Games Remaining)
8. Vancouver - 88 Points (3 Games Remaining)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
9. Nashville - 87 Points (3 Games Remaining)
10. Edmonton - 86 Points (2 Games Remaining)
11. Chicago - 84 Points (3 Games Remaining)
Northwest Division Leader: Minnesota Wild - 95 Points - 2 Games Remaining

Every team listed technically has a shot at making the playoffs. Chicago would need to win out and then hope Edmonton, Nashville, and Vancouver all suffer historical collapses. A lot may be decided tonight because of...

Tonight's Key Games

Nashville vs St. Louis

The Predators need to make sure they at least get a point in this game. If they can't get two, there is the possiblity that they would lose considerable ground due to a Vancouver win so that point will be incredibly important.

Calgary vs Edmonton

A loss virtually eliminates Edmonton from contention while Calgary risks falling three points behind Colorado with a loss.

My Predictions

Nashville vs St. Louis

The Predators have been struggling lately but they know that this is as close as you get to a must win game. Look for the Predators to take this one 5-2.

Calgary vs Edmonton

Edmonton is 6-3-1 in their last ten and they're virtually eliminated if they lose this game. I like the Oilers to win 4-3.

Video Fix


For all you Jose Theodore critics, at least he has never done this:

BallHyped.com - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

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