Well, that was nerve-wracking. This is the Colorado Avalanche team that left it until game 82 of the regular season to qualify for the playoffs, so of course, they waited until the final four minutes last night.
Trailing late in the game - despite an incredible performance from Andrew Hammond - it was starting to feel like this was going to be the last game of the season. That is until the Big-3 did what they’ve been doing all season. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog put the team on their back and wouldn’t let the season die.
The Avs pulled off an improbable come from behind win to force a game 6 back at the Pepsi Center Sunday afternoon. If for some reason you missed the game, here is a full recap.
To make the night even better for Avs fans, they were able to celebrate the elimination of the team’s biggest rival. The Minnesota Wild were eliminated from the playoffs after losing game 5 to the Winnipeg Jets. This one was over early as the Jets jumped out to a 4-0 first period lead.
In the lone Eastern Conference game of the night, the Philadelphia Flyers also avoided eliminated by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2. This has been a bit of a wild series, so we should welcome as many games as we can get.
Off the Ice
A big part of the news during these playoffs has been the NHL's handling of supplementary discipline. We’ve already seen more suspensions than usual - and we probably should have seen a few more. Now, in the spirit of transparency, the Department of Player Saftey has released a video explaining why some headshots result in a suspension and other do not. It’s still not enough to satisfy everyone, but it’s a start.
The NHL continues to roll our the finalists for their end of year awards. Yesterday, the league announced that William Karlsson, Sasha Barkov and Ryan O’Reilly have been nominated for the Lady Byng award. Those first two had a couple of pretty incredible seasons, I’m not sure who that third guy is.
In Montreal, the Canadiens suffered through a season that Avalanche fans can probably relate too. The team was out of playoff contention by Christmas and iced a lineup that didn’t look like they wanted to be there most nights. People are already speculating as to how the Habs can address some major holes in the roster. One name that keeps popping up is John Tavares. Eric Engles thinks that a former Avs center could also be an option [Sportsnet]
It looks like the game of coaching musical chairs has begun. Yesterday, Bill Peters opted out of his contract with the Carolina Hurricanes and reports are that he is the front-runner to take over in Calgary.
Source says the Flames called Carolina yesterday to ask permission to speak with Bill Peters. Hurricanes had no issue with it. And Peters today opted out of his Hurricanes deal anyway...— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 20, 2018
This seems like a match made in uh...somewhere. Peters is a known goalie killer, so uniting him with known hot-head and aging grumpy pants Mike Smith could be very entertaining. No announcement has been made, but all indications are that Peters will get the job.
You’ve probably noticed the drop off in the quality of the Flurries this morning. That’s because Cat is off using her running powers for good - yet again. This morning, she is taking place in the 14th Annual Pat’s Run.
Pat’s Run is the signature fundraising event to support the Pat Tillman Foundation’s Tillman Scholars program. Held annually to honor Pat’s legacy, the 4.2 mile Run held on April 21, 2018 will wind through the streets of Tempe, AZ.
Cat will be back with her kick-ass Flurries tomorrow morning, but in the meantime make sure to wish her luck in the race.