From Worst To First Colorado Avalanche Central Division Champs
Sunday might have been the first time Avalanche fans cheered for the Red Wings. Colorado didn’t have to win Sunday to clinch the Central Division as long as their old rival beat the Blues. Detroit shut out St. Louis 3-0, handing St. Louis its sixth straight loss. The Avs (52-22-7) are now locked into a first-round playoff matchup with the Minnesota Wild. Colorado and St. Louis are even at 111 points, but the Avalanche hold the tiebreaker based on more regulation and overtime wins.
This is Colorado’s first division title since 2003. That was head coach Patrick Roy’s final season as a player. Ironically, his final NHL game was against the Wild. Minnesota will play at Colorado on April 17 and April 19, then the Avs head to Minnesota on April 21 and 24. Games will follow on April 26, 28 and 30 if necessary.
A lot of the Avs success this season has been attributed to their new coach, Patrick Roy, because he was a great goaltender and well-liked figure. The team immediately turned around under him. They respect and trust Roy has also been a big part of the turn around.
The Avalanche were a surprise from the start, they never let up nor gave up. It was just a couple of weeks ago that they were behind the Blackhawks in the Central. They were seemingly too far behind the Blues to think about the division crown. When Matt Duchene went down with injury, the Avs were supposed to struggle. But here they are, defying the odds again and winning the division. I doing this it will only enhance the great case for Patrick Roy to win the Jack Adams as the NHL's top coach.
For several weeks, though, it had looked as if a Colorado-Chicago first-round matchup was inevitable before St. Louis' collapse and Colorado's surge changed that. The Playoffs are going to have multiple storylines though out. I have the Avalanche in 5. I will Update as the playoffs roll on.
Colorado Avalanche Correspondent
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