Colorado Avalanche (51-21-7) at San Jose Sharks (49-22-9)
|Date & Time||Friday April 11, 2014, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: San Jose Sharks / Colorado Avalanche --- Over/Under:
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Avalanche and Sharks do battle from San Jose on Friday night as two of the best in the West square off in what could be a preview of the Western Conference finals.
The Avalanche have been the league’s biggest surprise this season as they have gone from league basement dweller and drafting with the first overall pick to a Cup contender is just under a full season. The hiring of Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic have made the Avs look like geniuses and the team has really responded under the new regime and it’ll be very exciting to watch them play in the postseason. Colorado is a team many are taking for granted as they’re a talented group but very young and don’t have a ton of playoff experience but with the way they have played all season there has to be something going on in Denver. The Avs have a shot at taking down the Blues for the Central division crown which would in turn set up a first round matchup with either the Wild or the Stars and allow them to bypass the Blackhawks in the first round. Colorado will likely turn to Reto Berra as he goes up against Antii Niemi.
The Sharks will look to close out the regular season in style and build some momentum heading into their first round series with the Los Angeles Kings, which to me is a travesty to see one of those teams exiting in the first round. San Jose has stumbled of late allowing the Ducks to make enough of a push to clinch the Pacific division and an automatic matchup with a wild card team which at this rate it looks like it will be the Minnesota Wild. San Jose is a team built for the playoffs as they have a ton of depth down the middle, a nice balance of veteran leadership, and a ton of guys who can score the puck making them a very dangerous team who could make it to the Cup finals. San Jose has lost back to back games and catch an Avs team who has just one regulation loss in their last 10 games but I think the Sharks are the play here especially if Colorado stars Berra.