Avs Roundup. Games 49-58. Avs In Great Position At Olympic Break

Posted: February 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

It’s the Olympic break, and the Avs players in Sochi are representing the team well. But eventually the players will all return to Colorado, and when they do, they’ll be in prime position to make the playoffs.
McGinn goal
Colorado sits 5 points back of both Chicago and St. Louis in the central division. They have two games in hand against the Blackhawks, and give up a game to the Blues, but they’re all but assured a spot in the playoffs, if they can keep up any sort of pace that they had pre-Olympic break. They sit 15 points ahead of the 8 seed.

The team should come back well rested, and confident. The four players who are in Sochi are playing well, and are not being overworked. Not to mention all of their teams are into the quarterfinals. The most intriguing aspect for the Avs is going to be whether they make any moves before the March 5 trade deadline. There have been a lot of rumors about bringing in another defenseman into the mix. Although unlikely at this point, fans still have to wonder if Ryan O’Reilly will be traded after the one year grace period from signing an offer sheet. If not him, will Stastny go?

The Olympic break came at a perfect time for the Avs. They went on a four game road trip, and looked mediocre at best. The team walked away with 4 of a possible 8 points, but had ugly losses to Philadelphia and the Rangers. The wins were unspectacular. They got lucky against New Jersey, winning 2-1 in OT, but couldn’t generate much of anything for 57+ minutes, and almost blew a big lead against the Islanders in the last game before the break. The Islanders shrunk a 3-0 lead to 3-2 halfway through the third period, and Colorado was scrambling to kill off a couple of bad penalties, but couldn’t stop a couple of 5-3 goals from New York.

A couple of late empty netters, including a Paul Stastny goal that didn’t actually go in (but Thomas Vanek threw his stick towards Stastny and the puck with an empty net, resulting in an automatic goal call), which secured a victory.

The worst news coming from the game was that Erik Johnson has been suspended 2 games for a slash on Frans Nielsen. The slash was bad. It broke Nielsen’s hand, but it was not suspension worthy. It should have been a fine. It’s the first time a regular season slash has resulted in a suspension from Brendan Shanahan. I have seen worse slashes that have gone unpunished *cough, Mike Smith and Taylor Hall, cough*. But odd decisions have been the norm with Shanahan deciding punishments.

Colorado will return to action on Wednesday Feb. 26 at home against the Kings.

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