Colorado Avalanche California Dreaming in San Jose


The Colorado Avalanche start their road trip in San Jose to take on the Sharks. After the San Jose game, the Avs play against the other two California teams, the Anaheim Ducks and the LA Kings.

The Anaheim Ducks have clinched a playoff spot. The Kings, Sharks and Avs are all jockeying for the last wild card berth, currently held by the Winnipeg Jets.


Who’s Handling Disappointment Better?

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The San Jose Sharks thought they’d be taking care of unfinished business this season after dropping four straight to the Los Angeles Kings last post season. Instead, they’re quietly melting down. Actually, not so quietly — the team, fans and organization are acting more like a pack of piranhas than sharks.

The Colorado Avalanche, on the other hands… Well, we know where we are. However, the worst thing that came out of the downfall is that Patrick Roy stated he was disappointed in the team’s performance against the Edmonton Oilers,and both team captain Gabriel Landeskog and veteran defenseman Brad Stuart remarked that the players’ performance was “unacceptable.” It wasn’t even all that bad in Pepsi Center — fans left in droves, but they didn’t boo.

The Avs players have said they’ll keep hoping until they’re mathematically eliminated. And that “worst case scenario” they play out the season “for each other, the organization and the fans.” That’s not bad.

Keys to the Game

Who’s on First, er, in Net?

Avalanche goalie Reto Berra is going to be the starter for both the San Jose game and the following night against the Anaheim Ducks.

Now, this isn’t a concession that the season is over on April 11. Coach Roy had stated two weeks ago that Berra would start “a few games” between then and the end of the season. Plus, he backstopped the Avalanche to the win against the Vancouver Canucks. Make no mistake, though — Berra’s in job interview mode.

On the other end of the ice will be another player in job interview mode, Alex Stalock. San Jose coach Todd McLellan stated that Alex Stalock would likely get the nod in net. According to Blades of Teal, Stalock is also battling for a job in his NHL organization.

Berra can do this. On the plus side, I also noticed the Avs players perform with a lot more pep in their step when Berra’s in net.

The Streaking O’Reilly

Avalanche center Ryan O’Reilly is streaking — his seven-game points streak is currently the longest in the NHL. Indeed, O’Reilly has five goals and 19 assists in for 24 points in the last 21 games. He was the only Avalanche player to get on the board in the 4-1 loss to Edmonton.

The Avalanche are going to want O’Reilly to keep up his points streak during the upcoming road trip.

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not


The Avalanche roster is not so hot right now, with Nathan MacKinnon out the rest of the season, Daniel Briere nursing a bruised foot, Jesse Winchester and Ryan Wilson still skating in red no-contact jerseys, etc. And those are just the reported injuries.

Then there is the strange case of Erik Johnson, who is supposedly skating with a brace. Coach Roy stated that Johnson hadn’t been cleared by the medical staff to play. He didn’t make the California trip with the Avs, but he may play in the final Avs homestand.


Besides the streaking O’Reilly, Gabriel Landeskog is still out there making the plays and collecting points. He didn’t get a point on O’Reilly’s Edmonton tally, but he was instrumental in setting it up.

Tyson Barrie is playing with confidence and has three points in the last four. Alex Tanguay continues to showcase his golden hands, recording three points in the last three, including and assist on O’Reilly’s goal.

Since the game is being played on the west coast, it has a late start — 8:30 pm MDT. The game is being broadcast on NBC Sports Network. The team is hosting a watch party at Hanson’s Grill & Tavern at 1301 S Pearl Street.

Next: What to Expect on Avs' Cali Trip

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