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Jets vs Avalanche Live : The Avalanche hold a four point lead over the Coyotes for the second and final Wildcard spot in the West. It’s an easy scenario, a win against the Jets Thursday night gives them that playoff spot. Meanwhile, the Jets are in a fight for the Central division title with the Predators and Blues in the mix. This will be game five of the regular season for these two teams. Earlier in the year, the Jets took two straight from the Avs, outscoring them 12-6. However, in the most recent pair of games, the Avalanche have dominated the Jets winning both games and outscoring them 11-2. Three out of the four games played have gone over the posted number.
The home team in this series is an impressive 20-6 in the last 26 games, and that goes hand and hand with the Jets recent woes at the Pepsi Center. They are 0-5 in the last five games played in the Rocky Mountain state. The Jets were looking for a stop-gap Tuesday night in the second game of a back-to-back, but didn’t get it from young goaltender Eric Comrie. Comrie was on emergency recall when he draw the assignment against the Wild, and came up flat, allowing five goals on 28 shots, including three in the first period in a 5-1 loss.
Comrie wasn’t the only bad news the Jets received that night as forward Brandon Tanev was slashed on the hand by Eric Staal and left the game with an injury. The team did not have an update at press time. Of note, Blake Wheeler chipped in with an assist to give him 70 on the season along with 90 points on the year. Wheeler is just one point behind a personal career high of 91 for the season.
The Avalanche have picked a good time to catch fire in the Central division. In the middle of the season there was some talk that this team could be a lottery team, selecting a player in the first five selections. But things have changed. The Avs are an impressive 7-1-2 in their last 10 games coming off a 6-2 against the Oilers on Tuesday night. In that game, Nathan MacKinnon scored his 40th of the season, joining Joe Sakic (three times) and Milan Hejduk (two times) as the only Avalanche players to hit that mark. Also, 13 different players registered a point in that win against Edmonton.
Maybe the team’s best story of this run has been goaltender Philipp Grubauer. Since March 17, Grubauer is 6-0-2 in eight starts and has allowed only 13 goals against for a save percentage of .954. The team acquired the puck stopper from the Capitals in the off season and started off the season slow, but it’s a different story now.
All the Avalanche needs to make the Stanley Cup Playoff for the second consecutive year is earn one point in its final two games. That’s it. A win or overtime loss to the Jets on Thursday or at the Sharks on Saturday night, and the Avs are in.
Colorado’s fate rests in its own hands. Life only gets more complicated if the Avs find a way to snap their nine-game points streak and finish the season on a skid. If the Avs aren’t able to at least reach overtime in its remaining two games — a possibility given both opponents are playoff teams — then the Coyotes could poach the Western Conference’s last wild-card spot.
If Colorado (88 points) loses its remaining two games and the Coyotes (84 points) win both of their remaining games in regulation or overtime (not in a shootout), then Arizona would take the final wild-card spot. This is because despite being tied in points, the Coyotes would have 36 ROW (regulation plus overtime wins) to the Avs’ 35. Arizona plays at Vegas on Thursday and hosts Winnipeg on Saturday.
If Colorado loses its remaining two games and the Coyotes win both of their remaining games and one of those games is won via shootout, Arizona would take the final playoff spot. The teams would be tied in points and ROW in this scenario, but the Coyotes would win the tiebreaker because they had more points (three to the Avs’ two) in the two most recent head-to-head games.
If Colorado loses its remaining two games and the Coyotes win both of their remaining games, but both of those games are won via shootout, the Avs would take the final playoff spot. The teams would be tied in points but have the advantage in ROW.
If Arizona loses a game, Colorado takes the final wild-card spot.