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.