The Colorado Avalanche wrapped up their final road game of the season last night in Calgary in style. The Avalanche came out after the opening face-off ready and willing to control the pace of last night’s game. It was like an epic heavyweight fight with a fighter looking to throw the first fight-changing blow the way the Avs started the game. And did Colorado ever deliver scoring 2 quick goals to get a stronghold on the game and keep their dwindling playoff hopes alive defeating the Flames 4-1.
Once again, the star of the night was goaltender Semyon Varlamov. Varly has taken much criticism after the trade that brought him to Colorado cost the Avalanche so much. If Colorado does in fact make the playoffs, the play of Varlamov is a massive reason why. With a rare three game, Eastern Conference road trip late in the season on the schedule, Varlamov was the goalie that stepped up and helped the Avs defeat two red-hot teams in Buffalo and the New York Rangers.
Last night, Varlaomv was mere seconds away from yet another road shutout. Jerome Iginla ended the Flames scoreless streak and Varly’s quest for a shutout with less than a minute to play in regulation. Even though the shutout was lost, the Avalanche picked up their 41st and most important win of the season.
Now, thanks to the Women’s NCAA Final Four, the Avalanche must wait until Thursday to play again. That means that now the Avalanche must sit and watch as other teams control their playoff destiny. The agonizing wait begins tonight with all teams that are around the Avs in the standings taking the ice. With having two extra games left to play, that means teams have the chance to attain four more points than that of the Avalanche.
The television sets will be on and game parties will be in full swing these next five days as all of Avs Nation become fans of the spoilers. In order for Colorado to have any shot at the post season, teams that are fighting for the 8th and final playoff spot must slip and struggle. This is what playoff hockey is all about and hopefully, with some luck and some miracles, the Avalanche will be in the postseason when it starts in two weeks.
Games of Importance Tonight:
Los Angeles (3rd place-90 points) and Minnesota (eliminated from contention)
Anaheim (eliminated from contention) and Phoenix (8th place-89 points)
Calgary (11th place-85 points) and Vancouver (clinched playoff spot)
Dallas (7th place-89 points) and San Jose (9th place- 88 points)
Colorado sits in 10th place with 88 points
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