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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Colorado Avalanche v/ Minnesota Wild: Game 5

Three of five games have gone into overtime. Colorado has scored the first goal in every game. Four out of five games ended with a 3-2 score. The Wild’s poor showing in game 4 notwithstanding--the only game where one team has really pushed around the other, and the only game where one team has almost completely lost its composure--the series between the Wild and the Avalanche has been a tremendously even match.

And Colorado is winning the series against the higher ranked Wild by 3-2 with the next game coming up here in Denver on Saturday. For fans of hockey, this has got to be the best series going right now.

The Wild seem to have a slightly stronger, slightly faster team, and most certainly a more physical style of play. The Avs have had outstanding goaltending from Jose Theodore, they’ve shown amazing depth in talent, and a gritty resilience that has served them well when the puck isn’t going their way. The players have made big plays when they need to with Sakic, Forsberg, Wolski, and Brunett all scoring 5 points in five games--and Milan Hejduk isn’t far behind with four points in those games. The Wild are proving to be a damned good team; the Avs are proving to be just a little bit better.

And I would love to know how many shots have been blocked by Avs defensemen.

That isn’t to say that the Avs will win the series. With games this tight, it could still go Minnesota’s way. What I can say, though, is that the moves that the Avs made in the last off-season and at the trade deadline this year have paid big dividends.

Darling girl still isn’t feeling the excitement, but for me this is one of the best times of the year. Especially when the Colorado Avalanche are making a return to the post-season form that made them such a powerful team in the nineties.

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