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And Down The Stretch They Come

Well, this is it. It all comes down to the final eight nine games of the season, just like we all figured it probably would. The Avs are in the thick of the playoff battle, and have just eight games to play, all against division rivals.

Three teams in the Northwest Division are tied with 84 points: Colorado, Minnesota and Calgary. Vancouver is just two points behind, and Edmonton has won eight of their last ten, and trail the leaders by just seven points. It's conceivable, if a little unlikely, that they are still in the playoff fight as well. So you've got four definite contenders and one maybe---no doubt the toughest division in the league.

Can the Avs do it?

What if they don't? I won't even entertain that thought at all.

The Avs' remaining schedule, starting with tonight's game against the Wild:

Monday, March 17: @ Minnesota
Thursday, March 20: @ Calgary
Saturday, March 22: @ Edmonton
Monday, March 24: Calgary
Wednesday, March 26: Vancouver
Friday, March 28: Edmonton
Sunday, March 30: @ Minnesota
Tuesday, April 1: @ Vancouver
Sunday, April 6: Minnesota

How insane would it be to clinch the Northwest Division title with a win over Minnesota in the final game of the season? It could happen. And just think of the insanity of having to wait five days after the second-to-last game before it's all settled.

Or the Avs could lose the next three or four games and be out of it.

Either way, it probably won't get more exciting (see also: vomit inducing) than the next three weeks. Hold on to your butts.

ADDENDUM: What would this post be without a playoff poll?

UPDATE: The poll question does not include tonight's game, which the Avs will win. They don't have a choice.