What's the word concerning the Colorado Avalanche around the web? Our weekly collection (with a scoop of The Denver Post's Adrian Dater) will fill you in and then some.
Can it be? Have the Avs finally graced NHL.com's prestigious "Super 16"? And that whole lotta love for Varly from last week's rankings? You guessed it -- still there. Pierre LeBrun (ESPN) and Scott Cullen (TSN) seem to agree that the Avs are surprising the league with their recent surge. Although, close followers of the boys in burgundy and blue might say that the only thing surprising is that, well, they are surprised.
|Outlet||Ranking||Last Week||What They're Saying|
|18||21||Even though he hasn't been having the best season, Matt Duchene is still an extremely talented player and losing him probably isn't going to help their playoff push.|
|16||16||Ah, the mysterious Avs. They surprised at the trade deadline. Now they're surprising with a playoff run.|
|15||17||Semyon Varlamov's .942 save percentage since the end of January has lifted the Avs into the thick of the Western Conference's playoff battle. Steve Downie had 10 points in his first seven games with Colorado but has been held pointless with a minus-3 rating in the two games since.|
|17||16||Benefitted from matchups with Wild and Oilers last week. The Semyon Varlamov trade doesn't look so bad at the moment, does it?|
|14||-||Semyon Varlamov is 6-2-0 in his last eight starts, with a 1.24 GAA, .956 save percentage and two shutouts. As a team, the Avs are 19-2 in their last 21 shootouts.|
|13||17||They lost Matt Duchene (ankle), possibly for the rest of the regular season, last week. But newcomers such as Jamie McGinn (five goals since coming from San Jose) are helping them stay alive for the playoffs. Goalie Semyon Varlamov has been outstanding during the last month, silencing the critics who said the Avs were fleeced in trading two high draft picks to get him from Washington. He's 7-2 in his last nine starts, with a .955 saves percentage.|
|16||16||Perhaps somewhat surprisingly in the playoff hunt, the Avalanche have won three of four and are likely going to be missing Matt Duchene for the next month. Fortunately, they are getting contributions from a healthy Peter Mueller and newcomer Jamie McGinn, who have combined for 11 points in those four games.|
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And there's your tall glass of Wednesday milk to go with Sandie's Cupcakes. Sorry guys and gals, only one serving per week.