At this point, it still looks highly possible that the Avs will make the playoffs in the eighth seed. If they do, then their first opponent would be the Detroit Red Wings, a team that absolutely dominated them during the regular season.
Oh, and there's some kind of history between the two. Really? I had no idea.
Am I worried? At this point, I don't think it matters who the Avs play in the first round---they're probably going to lose. I hate to be pessimistic, but be honest, this team doesn't exactly scream "capable" right now, does it? Well, capable of losing maybe, but whatev.
The Wings' diehards are not afraid of the Avs. In fact, they want this matchup bad:
Yes, laying waste to the Dive sounds like a glorious way to begin the Spring. Fun, most likely violent, and most certainly satisfying. From our narrow-minded fan’s perspective, it is the matchup of choice. More than that though, Denver’s the team we want to start with because they offer the best chance for a quick series.
Why? Jose Theodore has to prove to me that he’s ready for the playoff pressure of a series between Denver and Detroit. His second-half surge means little to me, just as his pre-Dive record and existence mean little. Scared of Forsberg? Don’t be. In fact, his presence may actually benefit whichever opponent the Dive play first round patsy to.
Good ol' Bill---also known as IwoCPO, the editor of Abel To Yzerman (and a MHH member, no joke)---then cites Dater's recent blog criticizing the "Steve McQueen" tendencies of Peter Forsberg.
Are the Wings' fans right, that Colorado would make for an easy first-round whipping boy? At this point, I can't argue. I wish it wasn't so, but let's not kid ourselves. The Avs have to somehow overcome constant injuries, uncoordinated defense, a complete lack of forward chemistry and consistently terrible coaching just to stay in the playoff hunt, let alone win a series against the best team in the NHL.
SIDE NOTE: If the Avs do end up facing the Wings in the first round, I highly recommend that every time a Wings fan throws an octopus on the ice, an Avs fan throws a kitten.
ADDENDUM: Here is Coach Q's favorite web game (my high score is 977 feet).