Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/09/14 at 11:31 AM ET
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
So maybe we've been just a bit hasty in ceding first place in the Central Division to the St. Louis Blues.
The Colorado Avalanche continue to exceed even the wildest preseason expectations, moving to within two points of the division-leading Blues with a 4-1 win over the sad-sack Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. Both Colorado and St. Louis have three games remaining, and the Avs have three more regulation/overtime victories, giving them the advantage in a tiebreaker.
What does this mean? Well, for weeks we've been talking about an assumed first-round matchup between Chicago and Colorado. But with the Blues slumping badly -- three straight losses, including a disappointing 4-1 loss to Washington at home on Tuesday -- we could be seeing a Blues/Blackhawks matchup earlier than anticipated, with the Avs looking to secure home ice through at least the first two rounds.
What's more impressive is that the Avs continue to pile up wins without top center Matt Duchene. Tuesday's win also came with rarely called upon backup J.S. Giguere in goal. Oh yeah, the Avs are also just a point behind Anaheim in case you're thinking about the top seed in the conference.
read on for Custance on the Blue Jackets and LeBrun on the Leafs....
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