Friday, March 7, 2008

Welcome Back Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche seemed to have recovered from an injury-plagued, inconsistent season and have gone 6-3-1 in their last 10, winning 5 straight to move within one point of their division lead. A surprisingly busy team at the deadline, with a surprisingly hot goaltender in Jose Theodore, the Aves went back to their roots and made the shocking signing of Peter Forsberg while adding Adam Foote at the deadline to give them depth up front and toughness in the back. Since doing so, the Avalanche have been a very difficult team to play against and despite the loss of Ryan Smyth, who was checked into the "turnbuckle" at the end of the team's bench by young defenseman Jack Johnson and is out with a concussion and separated shoulder, the Aves are soaring and climbing the standings. The Calgary Flames (79 points in 67 games) are tied with Minnesota (79 points in 68 games) for the lead in the Northwest Division, but the Avalanche are only one point behind and will face the Flames two more times and the Wild three before the end of the season. Much of Colorado's success can be attributed to the great play of Jose Theodore, and the Colorado defense to a lesser degree, who have only allowed more than 2 goals in one out of their last seven games. Peter Forsberg has yet to register a point in either one of his two games played this season, but he's been on the ice for more than 20 minutes in both games and has looked anything but rusty. The Avalanche are hopeful that Ryan Smyth will return before the end of the season, giving them just the boost they need to be a dangerous team in the playoffs. The West has only gotten more interesting since the deadline, and we may be in for the one of the greatest playoff pushes in history.

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