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Avs clinch first playoff berth since 2010 by beating Sharks

Mar 29, 2014, 5:56 PM EDT

Tyson Barrie, Semyon Varlamov AP

The Colorado Avalanche clinched their first playoff berth since 2010 on Saturday, and did so by winning in a way that seems very familiar: by riding Semyon Varlamov‘s great goaltending.

In the process, they delighted many fans while also emboldening critics who believe that they’re running off of luck. Varlamov stopped 47 out of 49 shots as Colorado squeezed by the San Jose Sharks by a score of 3-2 today.

Varlamov’s counterpart Alex Stalock only faced 22 shots, but allowed those three goals.

The Avalanche are already talking about ticket sales and are rolling out a “Why Not Us?” campaign:

With this loss, the Sharks have now dropped four of their last five games, making it seem that much more likely that they’ll finish second in the Pacific Division this season. As of this writing, they have one more point than Anaheim (103 to 102), yet the Ducks have three games in hand and tiebreaker advantages.

In other words, the Avalanche seem primed for a first-round series against the Chicago Blackhawks (with home-ice advantage still on the line) while the Sharks are likely to be the second-ranked Pacific team against a robust third-ranked squad in the Los Angeles Kings.

(Again, note the word “likely” as strange things can certainly happen in sports.)

Colorado currently has a one-point lead over Chicago and hold a game in hand. It should be interesting to watch, but the Avalanche know they’ll make their second playoff run in six seasons after today’s win.

Now they just need to hope that Matt Duchene‘s issue isn’t major.

  1. btlpper68 - Mar 29, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    From a neutral perspective, from the 10
    Min mark on it was all San Jose all 4 lines Getting chances but varly stood tall made some
    Huge saves and who woulda thought the AVS would be in the postseason this year

  2. hallsy86 - Mar 29, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    The Avs have a game in hand.

    • James O'Brien - Mar 29, 2014 at 6:47 PM

      Fixed, thanks.

  3. bluesdroogie - Mar 29, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    good job Avs, This coming from a Blues Fan. If it does come down to youand the hawks first round, I will be rooting for you!!!!! Patrick Roy was an amazing goalie and now to see his coaching doing a good job is awesome as well. Roy for the Jack Adams trophy!!!!!

  4. ryanoffski - Mar 29, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    Very proud of my Avs! Shaping up to be an exciting playoff.

  5. sjsharks66 - Mar 29, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    Avs/Hawks first round? Yes please! Go Avs in that series. Would be a real fun one to watch. Was not able to watch the game today. Looking at the shots it seems like Varlomov made some amazing saves.

  6. rushledger - Mar 29, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    Good for them, they fought hard in 2010 against the sharks I remember that series.

  7. crazemastercraze - Mar 29, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    What a turn around. Impressive

  8. ilikejay - Mar 30, 2014 at 4:56 AM

    As a hawks fan, I have to say the avs have a very good chance if things continue unchanged. The avs have done a great job getting better over the last couple years. Fun team to watch. And very tough challenge especially for the hawks.

  9. Gord - Mar 30, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    As an Avs fan, I don’t think I’ve ever been more interested in the results of an MRI. We won’t go far without Dutchie…

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