Daily Cupcakes - Links From Around the NHL - March 30th, 2012

Mar 28, 2012; Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA; Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) during the first period against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE


A preview of the Colorado Avalanche - Calgary Flames game.

The Colorado Avalanche and Calgary Flames aren't just fading in the playoff race. They're also running out of chances to help themselves.

The Avalanche and Flames will try to earn a much-needed win Friday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Colorado (40-33-6) is 0-3-1 over its last four games and is the only playoff contender with just three contests remaining. A 1-0 defeat to Vancouver on Wednesday was also the team's third straight road loss, but the Avalanche remain hopeful.

"Anything can happen," defenseman Shane O'Brien said. "Teams that have games in hand, they could still lose. We're going to fight to the bitter end until we're mathematically done. But this (loss) definitely stings a bit."

Some names being tossed around for the Montreal Canadiens GM position.

Francois Giguere: Currently out of hockey, the former Colorado Avalanche GM and Boston Bruins scout is well-respected in hockey front-office circles and is seen by some as a darkhorse candidate in this race. Some industry sources believe he got a raw deal in Colorado and would do a good job if given another GM chance.

Vincent Damphousse: The former Habs captain has a relationship with Savard from his playing days when Savard was GM of the Habs. They won a Cup together there in 1993. Damphousse has always been a cerebral type, active as a player within the NHLPA and post-playing career as a short-lived executive within the players’ union. The knock against him is that he doesn’t have any management experience on an NHL team. If hired, he would need some sort of senior advisor or mentor to help him navigate. Did we mention his relationship with Savard? Not to be lost in Damphousse’s candidancy is also the fact that he’s good friends with Patrick Roy, whom no doubt he would consider as Habs coach.

The Sudbury Wolves were just eliminated in the playoffs.

"I think we battled back in a way we can be proud of," Sgarbossa said. "It's tough losing in double OT though. It's something I've done twice now in my career and it's not getting much better. It's emotional, for sure. I feel like, if we had come out like this at the start of the series, then it could have been different, so it's tough to swallow.

"But we had a lot of injuries, a lot of adversity, and played a lot of young players in big situations, and they'll gain a lot of experience from it."

Sgarbossa, a Colorado Avalanche prospect, will likely make the jump to the pro ranks next season and won't be around to help the Wolves improve on this season's disappointing finish.

But he has no regrets about ending his OHL career here, even though he was wooed by contenders at the OHL trade deadline.

"I stayed here for a reason," he said. "This is a team I enjoy playing on and, yeah, we came up short, but that's life. That's how it works out in hockey sometimes. These situations make you better as a person. So no, I don't have any regrets. I've enjoyed every minute."

Eric Lindros made it onto the ice recently.

And you’ve never lost that spark?
"Hockey’s a great game. I get out on the ice a lot. We’re fortunate, we have some outdoor ice facilities in Toronto, and we get out there as much as we can, get some skates in during the week."

Any of the guys give you a hard time?
"Uh, yeah. Scottie Hartnell gave me a quick little shot."

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