The NHL playoffs start tonight and this is what the teams have been playing for all season long. Nothing else matters now, it’s all about getting to the next round and finally get a crack at the Lord Stanley. One thing I always want to see every year is a 8th seed team knocking off a number 1 seed team. Now, do I think that the Canadians can actually win against the Capitals….no. Do I think that the Avs can actually win against the Sharks…yes!
The Avs have almost no pressure in these series. They are not expected to win and they shouldn’t win. Maybe this is the perfect situation for them. They can go in there and play with ease and play the game they want. All the pressure is on the Sharks. Let’s not forget that the Sharks don’t have the best playoff streak going. They haven’t gotten past the second round in over 4 years even though they were one of the top teams in the West every year. If you ask me, the Sharks have one good line and that accounts for almost 40% of their goals. If the Avs can contain that line, they’re going to do just fine. Also, they split the series this season with the Sharks 2-2.
Now, I’m saying they can win if, and only if, the players get and stay healthy. Matt Duchene said he’s going to play tonight, I hope that if he’s not 100%, that he’s pretty close. They really need his scoring touch, Stewart and Hedjuk can’t score all the goals. He had really good chemistry with Hedjuk and Mueller so hopefully thing will stay the same. Speaking of Mueller, he has been a more than welcomed surprise since joining the team. He’s been great on the power play with Liles so losing him is huge at this point. When you talk about an injury like a concussion, it’s always a bit tricky. He didn’t make the trip to San Jose which already has me worried a little bit but I really hope that he'll make an appearance when they come back to play in Denver. David Jones has been skating, it would be good if he could play and contribute but over 5 months off the ice is a long time. I hope Sacco knows exactly when to use him. As for the top line, they need to keep playing the way they have been, no excuses. At last of all, Anderson needs to bring his A game. We need the Anderson that showed up at the start of the season.
The Avs have a chance to reach the second round; I’m just hoping they make it happen. For a team that every body had finishing dead last in the West, getting to the second round would be quite the accomplishment.