Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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

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Final Score: Minnesota Wild – 5 Colorado Avalanche – 4 (OT) (Wild Win Series 4-3)

*The Minnesota Wild led for 0 minutes in Game Seven.

*The Minnesota Wild won the series 4-3.

*The Colorado Avalanche had the lead four different times in game seven. Teams that had scored first had won 17 straight game sevens. The Avs hadn’t lost all season when leading after two periods, and even though they didn’t lead after two, they had the lead twice in the period.

*Yet the Wild won in overtime thanks to a Nino Niederreiter goal, his second of the game, on a two-on-one rush.

*Ilya Bryzgalov was credited with the win even though he only made one save and I’m not entirely sure the puck wasn’t going wide anyway.

*That’s right, the Avs scored four goals and Ilya Bryzgalov finished the game in place of Darcy Kuemper. Yet the Avs lost.

*Semyon Varlamov, who had been great all season, was not good in game six and was average at best in game seven. He had a clean look at three of the five Wild goals and failed to stop them. I won’t put this game all on Varly, because the defense in front of him had some breakdowns and failed to clear pucks when they needed to, but he simply needed to be better in this game and he wasn’t.

*The Avs played a strong game, but when they got the lead, they didn’t finish. That’s something they’ve had trouble with all season, but they’ve always seemed to find a way to win. They didn’t find a way in this game.

*They came out flying to start the third and got a goal from Paul Stastny to make it 3-2. Then they sat back and gave up the lead. The same thing happened after Erik Johnson‘s goal made it 4-3. The Avs failed to register a shot on goal after that and once again gave up the lead.

*This was a learning experience for the Avs and the coaches. This team got further than anyone could’ve imagined, and even though the end was disappointing, this was just the beginning of a bright future. Teams don’t just win in this league. Most of them go through growing pains. This was a huge growing pain that will hopefully make the team stronger.

*I’m not going to focus too much on the game. It was an evenly matched affair and the Wild were one shot better. In fact, I thought the Wild was better in the series. They had the lead in two games before the Avs needed late game and overtime heroics. They completely dominated the Avs in games three and four. The only game that Avs really “deserved to win” was game two. Otherwise the Wild were the better team or things were even, and when things are even, anything can happen.

*It was an amazing season and we’ll have more on this season in the coming days. This loss hurts, but things are bright in Denver and even though it’s the end of the season, it feels like just the start of something bigger.

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Tags: Colorado Avalanche

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