||8:30 MT / 10:30 ET / 3:30 GMT
Los Angeles Kings
|40-25-6||March 22nd, 2010
|86 pts||Staples Center
7th in West
||Los Angeles, CA||
6th in West
Okay, enough of this. It wasn't too long ago that the Avalanche were in contention for the division title. As that slipped away, it became a fight for the 4th or 5th seed in the playoffs. All of a sudden, the Avalanche aren't a lock to make the playoffs and if they DO make the playoffs, they look like easy pickings for whomever they'd have the face. The Avs are 5-5 since the Olympic break, but to call them a .500 team is an overstatement. This team has looked terrible lately, in just about every facet of the game.
That entire paragraph can be turned around in the next two games, both of which are against the Los Angeles Kings. This is a huge home-and-home series. If the Avs win both, they'll move back ahead of the Kings while regaining a more comfortable playoff cushion. Lose both and the Avs would be in real trouble and could potentially be out of the top 8 by next weekend. That's putting the fail cart ahead of the horse a tad, but the bottom line is clear: the Avalanche need to play much better than they have been, and they need to start tonight.
Only one other Western team is in action this evening. Detroit hosts the Penguins in a game that will be over long before the Kings and Avalanche drop the puck. Seriously, 10:30 PM start time? WTF? At any rate, a Red Wings win would place Detroit just one point behind the Avalanche.
Derek has the recap tonight.
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