The Colorado Avalanche finally have an opponent for the Western Conference Semi-Finals, the San Jose Sharks.
I never thought I would type that sentence this year. After the up and down year the Avalanche had, I never once had the Avalanche winning a playoff series and waiting for their next opponent.
That’s just where we are in this crazy Stanley Cup Playoffs.
An even crazier statement would’ve been that the Avalanche have a legitimate chance of bringing home Lord Stanley, but that statement doesn’t seem so crazy anymore.
Before we start talking Stanley Cup, the Avalanche must beat the opponent in front of them.
The San Jose Sharks just got out of probably the toughest and most entertaining series of the entire First Round.
The Colorado Avalanche need to take full advantage of that.
The Sharks will be tired, yet they will ride adrenaline through at least the first period of game one, with them being the home team in this series. The Avalanche will be well rested and hopefully all healed up -paging Samuel Girard-. The Avalanche are a much younger team than the Sharks and play a much quicker game. If the Avalanche are able to play their game, there is no reason the Avalanche can’t steal another series.
Another very important storyline is Joe Pavelski. As most of you probably know, he was injured late in the third period, in which was actually the turning point of the game and the series, when the Sharks received a 5 minute power play. I hope Pavelski plays in this series because on the contrary, it would be terrible if we lost one of our big time players.
However, I just don’t see him coming back anytime soon.
More from Stanley Cup Playoffs
I could’ve picked any forward, because all of them will be vital in any series win by the Avalanche, but I picked the forwards that I personally think, need to step up. Compher, Kerfoot and Jost are a huge part of the future of this franchise, so what bigger stage do they need than the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Carl Soderberg was chosen because he has had such great regular season and has been an integral part of this hockey club. He needs to make much more of an impact in this series.
Compher is the fourth best forward on the Avalanche’ roster and a completely underrated hockey player.
Kerfoot receives big time minutes, therefore needs to return the favor with big time production.
Tyson Jost needs more minutes, because I think his confidence is growing every game. I don’t think he needs 18 minutes, but how about more than 6.
But, the one thing I won’t do anymore is question Jared Bednar, I questioned his ability as a coach earlier this season and he passed the test with flying colors. I think he is a great coach for this hockey club and I’m disappointed that I ever doubted him.
We have an amazing, young, up and coming defenseman by the name of Cale Makar. He is going to be an extremely crucial player if the Avalanche want to continue their run. The thing that impresses me the most about Makar is his tremendous poise with the puck. He already looks like a 10-year vet in the NHL.
All of a sudden we have a very formidable D core and it will hopefully stabilize us on the back end.
In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the goalie is the most important piece and Phillip Grubauer has been just that. He needs to keep up his play and there is no reason the Avalanche can’t beat San Jose and advance to the Western Conference Finals.
Above all, our MVP Nathan Mackinnon, needs to continue to show the world that he is the greatest player on this planet. A lot of people have opened their eyes and finally understand just how dynamic Nathan Mackinnon is. He is by far, the best remaining player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
If Mackinnon can continue to be the catalyst of our offense, our defenseman put in quality two way play, and Phillip Grubauer continues his stellar play, there is no team that can beat the Colorado Avalanche.
Avs in 6 games.