Tonight will certainly tell the tale of whether or not the Colorado Avalanche make the playoffs. The first thing the Avs must do tonight is win. The second is to root for the Los Angeles Kings to take care of the Sharks in regulation. If either of those two things does not take place, the Avalanche can kiss the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs goodbye.
With the Sharks win over Dallas on Tuesday night, it only made their chances at making the post season that much easier. All the Sharks need to do tonight is win or force overtime to eliminate the Avalanche from the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Sharks play after the Avalanche, which means all of the pressure lies directly on the shoulders of the Avalanche.
San Jose is in a position where they can afford some wiggle room. They are not in a “must-win” mentality mode yet. Colorado is in just the opposite boat. If the Avalanche want any part of the playoffs they must win tonight. Luckily, the Blue Jackets are in town tonight to take on the Avs. Columbus boosts the league’s worst record and the Avalanche could not have dreamed of facing a better opponent in a “must-win” game.
With two games left in the regular season, tonight is chalked full of great games. The races in both conferences have proven that hockey is steadily reclaiming the national spotlight as one of the four major sports in America. Even though hockey still does not get the coverage it deserves on major sports channels, many local entities are benefitting from the battles taking place for the final playoff spot in each conference.
Tonight will spell out the fate of the Avalanche and their playoff future. Sure, we can look back and pick out a handful of games that the Avs should have won so they were not faced with this situation, but the fact is that they are faced a “must-win” situation tonight. In order for Colorado to keep their hold in the race in the West two things must happen: (1) the Avalanche win, and (2) the Sharks lose IN regulation. If either of those DO NOT happen, the Avalanche can bid farewell to their playoff hopes.
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