Colorado Avalanche (52-22-7) at Anaheim Ducks (52-20-8)
|Date & Time||Sunday April 13, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Anaheim Ducks / Colorado Avalanche --- Over/Under:
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The Avalanche look to wrap up the Central division with a win in Anaheim on Sunday while the home side can bask in their top seed in the West.
Colorado has been the surprise team of the year as they have gone from bottom feeders to potential division winners in less than a year and if they can gain a victory against the Ducks in Anaheim tonight they will hold off the Blues for the Central division crown. The Avs are 7-1-2 in their last 10 contests and their strong play combined with St. Louis’ freefall could push the Avs away from an inopportune first round matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks who many people are expecting to make some noise in the playoffs. While the Avs are a nice story and have won us a lot of cash this season I am still not completely sold on them and to be honest I think they are still a season away from being able to compete with the top dogs of the Western Conference, though my theory could come back to bite me if they continue to play well. Semyon Varlamov will man the crease for the Avs as he takes on Jonas Hiller for the Ducks.
Anaheim wrapped up the top seed in the Western Conference giving them home ice advantage throughout the playoffs but how far they go and utilize that advantage obviously still remains to be seen. Anaheim has coasted through the regular season and while they have Stanley Cup and Olympic Gold Medal winners on their roster I am still not sold on the depth of their team as I think there are other teams who are more complete from top to bottom. Jonas Hiller has had a career season between the Anaheim posts and while he has garnered some attention on the international stage we have yet to see Hiller perform to his abilities in the playoffs which is another concern of mine. Either way this should be a very exciting contest but it is the road team who still has a lot to play for as bypassing the Blackhawks would be incentive for anyone to succeed and I think the Avs dominate this contest.