The Avalanche were in the second leg of their three-game road trip last night as they took on the Vancouver Canucks. The Avs are fighting for their playoff lives right now and were looking to win the final four games of the season in order to help themselves out in the standings. However, despite throwing 43 shots on net last net, the Avs failed to get on the board and dropped another vital game last night.
The only scoring of the night came from a bobbled puck-handling attempt from Avs defenseman Matt Hunwick that led to a short-handed opportunity for the Canucks. Beating Avalanche net minder Semyon Varlamov, Vancouver forward Chris Higgins netted the only goal in last night’s contest.
In a 1-0 game, the focus tends to shift towards the men between the pipes, and last night was no exception. Varlamov and Corey Schneider both played some amazing hockey last night. Even though Varlamov saw almost half of the shots his counterpart faced, Varly made some crucial saves in some crucial moments. However it was Vancouver goalie Corey Schneider that stole the show stopping all 43 shots he faced.
The Avalanche had some great offensive pressure last night, but once again came across an even hotter goalie. Clearly the frustration of not being able to solve Schneider and the pressure of the playoffs was on the sleeves of Colorado’s jerseys last night. As the game progressed the desperation from the players and coaches seemed ever so greater. The Avs will not win games playing like that. They need to relax and play their type of hockey and let the rest take of care of itself.
Mathematically the Avalanche are not out of the playoffs at this point. In fact, the only Western Conference teams officially eliminated from contention are Columbus, Edmonton and Minnesota. The Avs are still in the thick of things at the bottom of the playoff bracket. A lot of fans are closing the door on the season right now, but if Colorado gets a win in Calgary tomorrow, their chances are still alive. An Avalanche win all but seals the fate of the Flames making a bid for the playoffs. Conversely, a Flames win pretty much guarantees the fate of the Avs as well. So needless to say, Friday’s game is yet another “must-win” game for Colorado. With only three games remaining in the regular season the Avalanche need a miracle in the “Mile High” city to reach the 2012 postseason and the first step towards that miracle starts with Calgary tomorrow night.
Game of importance tonight:
San Jose at Phoenix-If San Jose wins they reclaim the number 3 playoff spot and if Phoenix wins they move up to the number 7 playoff spot.
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