A Wild (and Avalanche) Playoff Race


Zach Goodman, SPEAR Author

The National Hockey League’s (NHL) regular season is coming to an end, and the race to crack the playoff bracket is a nail biter. The Minnesota Wild lead the Colorado Avalanche (Avs) by five points, but have one less game left than the Avs. With a win the Avs would trail the Wild by three points going into the final two games.

In the NHL a win is worth 2 points, a loss is worth 0, and a loss in overtime or a shootout is worth 1 point.

The teams have gone neck and neck the entire season. It seems that whenever one of the teams win, the other does as well. The Wild have lost their last three games and the Avs have followed suit and could not capitalize on the Wild’s losses with two of their own. This puts the Avs in a tough spot.

In order to make the playoffs the Avalanche must win their remaining games. Not only will that be tough against three teams who have already clinched the playoffs (Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, and Anaheim Ducks), the Wild must lose their remaining two games. The Wild play a very good team in the San Jose Sharks but then play a very bad team in the Calgary Flames.

Although their hopes look very bleak the Avalanche could still make it by a miracle. This type of end of season run is familiar with Colorado fans. Just when no one thought the Colorado Rockies could make the postseason in 2007 they won 14 of their next 15 to make the playoffs. The Rockies swept the Phillies and Diamondbacks before playing the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.

The Wild have lost their last three including a bad loss to a mediocre Winnipeg Jets team 5-1 on Sunday. The “Hockey State” (Minnesota) might not see their team in the playoff if they continue to play like this. If the Wild lose their final two games it will be on the Avs to pull it together and get three wins.

Although the postseason is doubtful for the Avs, they hope to pull off another Colorado late season miracle and make the playoffs.