The Colorado Avalanche bested the San Jose Sharks in their second of a three-game roadie to stay on pace with the St. Louis Blues for playoff standings.
The Colorado Avalanche bested the San Jose Sharks in the SAP Center tonight 4-3. The win means they maintain their pace with the St. Louis Blues, who also won tonight. They’re still two points away from Best in the West with a game in hand.
And they pull two more points ahead of the Dallas Stars for a total of eight points ahead. They have equal games.
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The race for the playoffs isn’t only about home ice advantage. The Avs thus far have been a better team on the road than at home. Rather, the playoff race is about who the Avalanche face in the first round.
If the playoffs started today, Colorado would face the Stars, whom they haven’t beaten this season. The Blues would face the Canucks, whom the Avs have beaten once and lost to once this season.
There’s also the possibility of the Minnesota Wild, whom the Avs have beaten twice in four tries this season. The Nashvolle Predators are next up. The Avalanche have bested them twice in two tries this year. The Winnipeg Jets? They’re tied at a game apiece.
So, any team but the Stars would be desirable. And with tonight’s win, Colorado is still in the race for top of the division and the entire Western Conference.
Musings on Tonight’s Win
- NBCSN announcers may know a few Colorado Avalanche players. However, not only is their pronunciation atrocious — Gabrielle Landeskog? — but they called JT Comper “TJ” for half the night. They literally have notes right in front of them with player names.
- The curse of the former Avs cut the opposite way tonight. Former Shark, Joonas Donskoi, scored the game-winning goal:
That was a career-high in goals for Donskoi.
- Nathan MacKinnon, who had three points on the night (1 goal, 2 assists) now has 93 points on the season. He’s the first player in Colorado Avalanche history to record three consecutive 90-point seasons.
- MacKinnon has 35 goals and 58 assists with 14 games remaining and that 58 assists is the third season in a row, and 35 goals and wow.
- Nikita Zadorov was the healthy scratch for the second game in a row, and I think that’s stupid. Avs still winning? Look at MacKinnon stat above.
- Number of games since Ian Cole‘s tomfoolery: 0
- Two Cole penalties, two Sharks goals.
- But, hey, Zadorov is the problem.
- The game continued despite the coronavirus scare in the county. The NHL mandated no media in the dressing rooms. The Colorado Avalanche came up with the following accommodation:
- The media definitely were in the dressing room:
Hey, as long as you’re not touching the players, that seems legit.
- Goalies are weird:
Also, Vladislav Namestnekov is limping after blocking a shot.
Tonight’s game was the first of a back-to-back — thankfully, Colorado’s last of the season. The Avalanche will be facing the Kings in LA tomorrow before heading home.