Mar 19, 2012, 12:00 PM EST
With the NHL playoff race getting down to the wire, we’ll be providing regular updates on each bubble team’s postseason push.
On the bubble: Colorado Avalanche
Where they stand: 8th in the West, one point ahead of 9th-place San Jose
Games remaining: 8
SportsClubStats.com says: 28.1% chance of making the playoffs
Why they’ll get in:
Goaltending — Semyon Varlamov has been excellent the past two months. Saturday at MSG he stopped all but one of 42 Rangers shots. Colorado won the game, 3-1, despite being outplayed by the home side.
“Since he’s come back, probably right after the all-star break, he’s been probably the best goalie in the league,” Erik Johnson told the Denver Post. “We saw what he could do earlier in the year, but now he’s doing it on a consistent basis. He’s given us a chance to win every night. He’s a heck of an athlete and he works his butt off every single practice, and he’s a good teammate.”
Why they won’t:
Games played – the Sharks have three in hand; the Kings (one point back) have two. Colorado has a relatively tough schedule left, including road games in Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver and Calgary.
“It’s a tight race. It’s competitive, it’s fun. We’re trying to enjoy it, but at the same time there is obviously some pressure that goes along with it.” – Avs coach Joe Sacco
Key game coming up:
Tuesday vs. Calgary.
- Scott suspended four games for punch that was ‘neither predictable, nor acceptable’ 22
- Sharks’ Scott has hearing for his punch to Jackman 29
- (Video) PHT Extra: Christmas wish lists from around the NHL 2
- PHT interviews Don Maloney, who knows he has a big trade chip in Vermette 7
- Backstrom to start for Wild, who need their goalies to be ‘better’ 13
- NHL on NBCSN: Avs challenge Blues after narrow losses to St. Louis 6
- Gaudreau’s first hat trick helps Flames stun Kings 7
- Fowler after Ducks’ win vs. Sharks: ‘We never give up’ 1
- Daly: Fehr’s lockout prediction ‘naive and uneducated’ 23
- Pens send Downie, Sutter, Greiss home for mumps test (Updated) 13
- Sabres aren’t happy with league’s decision regarding Bartkowski (65)
- Report: NHL won’t hold hearing for Bartkowski hit (55)
- Video: Who are the Bruins targeting in trade talks? (47)
- Video: Bartkowski delivers controversial hit to Gionta, fights Foligno (47)
- Could Malkin be the next player to be fined for diving? (42)