At the beginning of the 2009-10 NHL season, few NHL pundits gave the rebuilding Colorado Avalanche much hope of contending for a playoff spot in a stacked Western Conference, but with just six games remaining that is exactly what they are doing.
After a disastrous season last year, the Avs are currently sitting with 89 points and are holding on to the last playoff spot in the West.
So how have they done it?
With Ryan Smyth traded to LA, Paul Stastny has taken over the reigns as the club’s star and is having a career year with 74 points through 76 games so far.
The emergence of Chris Stewart and much heralded rookie Matt Duchene has sparked the Avs offense and it seems the sky is the limit for Duchene.
Goaltender Craig Anderson’ marvellous displays through the first half of the season were unexpected and it caused more than a few eyes to be opened.
Like many young teams, there are going to be trying times and that has what has hit the Avs lately. Having lost six of their last seven, the Avs are slumping at the wrong time of the season and tonight’s contest against the Calgary Flames is a crucial one.
Sitting only two points ahead of the Flames with a game in hand, the Avs must find a way to break out of their funk if they hope to retain their playoff position.
After hosting the Flames tonight, Colorado hosts games against San Jose, Chicago, Los Angeles while going on the road to face Edmonton and Vancouver. A very daunting schedule even if they should cast aside the last place Oilers. Calgary face many of the same teams the Avs do, finishing of the season hosting San Jose and Minnesota and going on the road to take on Chicago and Vancouver.
The Avs hold their fate in their own hands but is the slipper coming off their magical season at the wrong time?
I guess we will find out tonight.
About the Author
Written by Igor Henriques
A sports enthusiast with a passion for hockey,soccer,basketball,football, and baseball