As expected, it wasn't much of a game. Sure, the Avalanche made it close late when Darcy Tucker scored to make it 3-2, but this was mostly just a going-through-the-motions game for the Avalanche. And, honestly, I don't really have an issue with that. With the Red Wings winning earlier, the Avalanche were locked in to the #8 seed no matter what happened tonight. Several key players (plus David Koci) were rested for the game, and the intensity just never developed. It was just a game. Just to drive that home, I started this recap early in the 3rd period and just adjusted the title at the top as the score changed.
The real story tonight was the "upper torso" injury that forced Matt Duchene out of the game. John-Michael Liles and Kyle Quincey also suffered injuries in the game, but both of them were able to return. Duchene did not. Hopefully, he's going to be okay...because he's kind of important to the Avalanche.
Although this game was mostly to fulfill contractual obligations, a few Avs did have solid games. Kevin Porter was one. And Darcy Tucker stood out as well. He tried to pick fights with different Blackhawk players on several occasions, and scored what would have been a huge goal had this game actually counted. His play of late has been very good, and he could be a real asset in the postseason if he keeps this up. And congratulations to Ryan Stoa on scoring his first NHL goal.
If the Blackhawks win on Sunday against Detroit or if San Jose loses in regulation on Saturday, the Avalanche and Blackhawks will face each other in the first round. While I'd like to see that happen, I have a funny feeling it's not going to work out that way. No particular logic behind it, just a feeling.