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Avalanche clinch playoff birth; questions abound about possible playoff opponents

Posted By Igor Henriques On Apr 7 2010 @ 5:46 pm In Colorado Avalanche | No Comments

The Colorado Avalanche are heading to the playoffs thanks to the San Jose Sharks victory over the Calgary Flames last night.

After a terrible year last year, the redemption of making the playoffs in a tough Western Conference may make the Avs a real player in the Western Conference playoffs.

With three games remaining, the Avs could finish as high as fifth in the Western Conference but the seventh seed seems to be the most attainable goal considering they hold the tie-breaker over Detroit. With Detroit holding a three point advantage and playing back-to-back games against Columbus, the Avs need some significant help to move up.

If the Avs remain in the eighth seed they will take on either the San Jose Sharks or the Chicago Blackhawks.

Though both teams have strong points, they have significant questions heading into the playoffs.

Will Chicago’s goaltending hold-up in the playoffs?

Can Chicago’s defense handle the strains of the playoffs considering they may be without Brian Campbell and Kim Johnsson?

Will Joe Thornton fade into obscurity in the playoffs once again?

Can San Jose handle the playoff pressure or will they underachieve once again?

The Avs have their own question marks, especially in goal. Craig Anderson has no playoff experience and back-up Peter Budaj failed to win a playoff game in three opportunities in 2007.

Colorado really has nothing to lose though heading into the playoffs if you consider the fact that not many expected them to be where they are right now.

The role of underdog is one that the young Avs could flourish in and makes them a very dangerous proposition for whichever team they draw heading into the playoffs.

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