It may be the best season in their history, but I Colorado avalanche they know that there is no glory in the regular season. There may be recordings, of course. They have value and meaning. Not to be underestimated. Then only the Stanley Cup it can give that sense of completeness and accomplishment, where documents become a prestigious and authoritative overview. Colorado leads the NHL with 102 points and when they go over 100 they often make history. Like in 1996, when he won the first Stanley Cup in the first year of his move to Denver, in the days of the captain legend Joe Sakic and a legendary guardian like patrick roy. Or like in 2001, the year of the second Stanley, when he reached 118 points in the regular season and then won the cup still trailed by Sakic and his monstrous season of 54 goals and 64 assists. Today, Sakic is the general manager of a team he has 14 more games to play to close the season and that can break records. The beacon that illuminates Denver is now called Nathan MacKinnon, a concentrate of physical strength, technique and speed. the most instrumental player for his team in the entire NHL, with the sole exception of Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers). Around the two centers, MacKinnon and Nazem Kadri (one of 83 points this season so far…), the great attack of the Avalanche has an impressive amount of players producing. Mikko Rantanen above all (34 goals + 46 assists for 80 points in total), but also Nichushkin And Burakovsky which are close to 20 goals. And one of the team’s top scorers is a defender: Cale Makar (24 goals so far, a huge sum for a full-back). The missing captain Gabriel Landeskog, however, it is particularly painful. Out for knee surgery, hopefully he gets it back for the final playoff battle. We have to get there, of course.
We need a goalkeeper
In short, on the side of the field players, the Avalanche are in very good shape. After hitting rock bottom with 48 points for the 2016-17 season (a negative result since the former Quebec Nordiques team is in Denver), Colorado still qualified for the playoffs with coach Jared Bednar. He lost once in the first round and three times in a row in the second. Ambitions have grown in recent seasons in which they have established themselves as one of the greatest teams of all time. We have to go a little further. To do it, in the playoffs you also have to defend, because you will hardly travel at almost 4 goals per game on average as in the regular season. The team’s first defender is The goalkeeper. Darcy Kuemper has a season with excellent statistics: 0.924 save percentage and 2.37 goals conceded per game. Better than only Markstrom, Sorokin, Andersen and Shesterkin. At an advanced age (31) he can express the best of his potential. He remains partly unknown in the moments that matter, since his between Minnesota and Arizona career playoff experience is very modest. It is doubtful that the Avalanches should be suppressed. It’s a good year to understand.
Pittsburgh: continuity in excellence
The years pass, the power of the gods does not pass Pittsburgh Penguins reinventing itself and showing up in the spring with good reason to worry opponents. They have continuously qualified for the playoffs since 2006-07, the longest active streak in the entire NHL. This is the year when Russian Evgeny Malkin joins Sydney Crosby. They defined an era, winning the Stanley Cup three times. A team that loves continuity, also built with coach Mike Sullivan, arrived in 2015 and became the most successful in the history of the club. And also with Kris Letang, another regular presence since the 2007-08 season. The heart of the team has been beating for a long time: 34 Crosby and Letang, 35 Malkin, but we must also mention the 37 Jeff Carter (two Stanley Cups with the Kings in career) and di Brian Boyle, the one who won the toughest competition of all, the one against leukemia. People who know how to do it. Guarantee. Sure playoff intensity is a very tough test. In recent seasons the adventure of the Penguins has not lasted long, they are there legitimate doubts about their resistance and their will to resist. For this the arrival of the Swedish Rickard Rakell, arriving March 21 from Anaheim, is definitely a good idea. A winger very well suited to the speed game and who can multiply his numbers on a team with players so good at dictating the pace and delivering the right puck at the right time. A bit of Pittsburgh’s youth can also be found in goalkeeper Tristan Jarry. Above all, there can be many reasons for it. Last year it was one of the main culprits in the exit of the first round against the Islanders, giving reason to those who still considered him too inexperienced for such an important moment. A series closed with 0.888 in save percentage, which in words means it went very badly. He came out destroyed. He took it as a personal matter. The start of the season was psychological reconstruction. Successful reconstruction. Jarry’s regular season was solid. And the time is approaching that will lead him to meet his ghosts. With the desire to tame them and make them a nightmare for opponents. If he can, he could direct Crosby, Malkin and Letang’s last ice dance. It lacks a masterpiece to leave in style.
NHL on sky sport
here because Colorado-Pittsburgh this is a match not to be missed. You can see it in live at 9 p.m. on Saturday April 2 on Sky Sport Action. The Avalanche take first place in the Central Division and the Western Conference, the Penguins take third place in the Metropolitan Division (Eastern Conference). If they find themselves in the playoffs, it will only be in the last act. It will eventually be in the final.