The Colorado Avalanche play in their final road game of the 2011-2012 season tonight in Calgary, Alberta. With the playoff race claiming yet another victim last night, the Avs hope to elude the elimination monster for one more night. The problem that Colorado faces tonight with the Flames, is that they are also fighting against elimination in the Western Conference.
The Avalanche have proven that they still have tons of fight still left in them by playing a rather good hockey game in Vancouver two nights ago. Except for one turnover and a red-hot goalie, the Avs held their own. If they played like they did in Vancouver against any other team that night, the outcome would have been in favor of the Avalanche.
In order to win tonight in Calgary the Avs need to stick to their style of play. In the previous two games, Colorado has looked like a team playing out of desperation. In other words, Colorado has played out of their element. They have tried to force too many things and have gotten too cute with the puck. By playing this way and abandoning their hard-nosed, grind it out style they have dropped the last 4 games. In order to keep their playoff chances alive, the Avs need to revert back to their style of play, relax and the game will come to them.
Tonight’s contest will not be an easy task for Colorado. The last time these two clubs met in Denver, they went into overtime as both goaltenders put on a clinic. With the stakes even greater tonight, the goals should be at more of a premium. With three games remaining in the regular schedule, the first thing the Avalanche need to focus on is taking caring of business tonight. If the Avalanche get too caught up in watching the scoreboard tonight, they will find themselves watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the comfort of their own couch.
Scenario-A Colorado win puts them at 88 points with 2 games left. That means they can only attain 92 points in the season. Ahead of the Avalanche in the standings are Dallas with 89 points and 5 games left (including tonight’s), Phoenix with 89 points and 4 games left, L.A. with 88 points and 5 games left (including tonight’s) and San Jose with 88 points and 4 games left.
Other games of interest tonight:
Los Angeles at Edmonton-with Edmonton already eliminated, they now play the role of spoiler
Dallas as Vancouver-both teams are in the top 3, but a Dallas loss and L.A. win sends Dallas to the number 8 seed
Teams eliminated from contention in the West:
Anaheim, Minnesota, Edmonton and Columbus
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