Mar 29, 2014, 3:54 PM EST
The Colorado Avalanche can advance to the playoffs by getting a point against the San Jose Sharks today, but no matter what happens, this will go down as a rough afternoon for the team.
That’s because they lost leading scorer Matt Duchene to a knee injury when he crashed into teammate Jamie McGinn in the opening minute of this afternoon’s game. Duchene limped off the ice and the Avalanche have announced that he will not return today.
Going into the season, just making the playoffs would have been regarded as a huge accomplishment for the Avalanche. However, they have consistently exceeded expectations to the point where they are a legitimate threat to knock off the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in their upcoming first-round series.
Although that matchup is all but guaranteed given the current standings, the two teams are still battling for second place in the Central Division and consequently home ice advantage.
Duchene has already established a new career-high with 70 points this season.
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