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Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild Game Seven Preview (Stanley Cup Playoffs Round One)

Game Seven: Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild (Series Tied 3-3)

Game Seven

It all comes down to this. The Colorado Avalanche played 82 games in order to get home ice advantage for at least the first two rounds of the playoffs, just in case it came down to a game seven. The home team hasn’t lost in this series, but the Avs can’t rely on that fact. If the Wild win just one road game in the series, they’ll win the series. The Pepsi Center should be rocking and Patrick Roy will have last change, but this is still game seven, where anything can happen. And if the wrong thing happens for one team, that could end their season.

Varlamov vs. Kuemper

Most people seem to forget that Semyon Varlamov has won a game seven in his career with the Washington Capitals. Kuemper will be making his first game seven appearance. Both teams have players who have been involved in a game seven, but goaltenders are the ones who are under the microscope when it comes to game seven. Varlamov gave up a weak goal by his standards in game six and he’s shown great resolve all season, bouncing back for weak performances and goals. While no one blames him for the game six loss, you know he would’ve liked to play better. We’ll see how Kuemper, who has been solid in this series, stands up to the pressure packed situation.

60 Minutes of Matt Duchene

Despite returning to the lineup in game six, Matt Duchene wasn’t exactly in Matt Duchene form until the second period when he was reunited with Ryan O’Reilly and P.A. Parenteau. After a nearly month in the press box, Duchene’s timely was off, but now with a game under his belt, some extra practice time, and his two running mates; we can expect Duchene at his best. That’s good news for the Avs, especially with the last change. With two potent lines, they can give the Wild even more match up problems at home, who have already struggled slowing down the Nathan MacKinnon-Paul Stastny-Gabriel Landeskog trio.

The Comeback

It’s not a popular thing to say, but the Avs are a bit lucky to be in this game seven. In two of their wins, they needed a goal in the final couple of minutes to tie it before winning in overtime. They haven’t necessarily proven to be the better team in this series. They’ve just come up with timely goals. Living on the edge isn’t exactly what you want to do in a game seven. You want to take care of business and move on.

Lineup Changes

While I continue to believe that Stefan Elliott should be in the lineup and Ryan Wilson or Nate Guenin should be out, Roy is making one lineup change: Joey Hishon is in, Brad Malone is out. Malone’s psychical presence will be missed, but Hishon, who will skate with Max Talbot and Jamie McGinn, gives that line from extra offensive pop while Marc Andre Cliche, will move down to the fourth line, where he’s much more suited. I still hold out hope that Elliott is inserted in place of Wilson or Guenin, but that doesn’t seem very likely.

For information on ticket prices for this game 7, along with the other two game 7’s tonight, check out this article on TheStreet.com.

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