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Super Bowl Flurries: Avalanche stay on top

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Minnesota Wild v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche won’t play their next NHL game until Sunday, February 14th.

By the time they next hit the ice, some teams will have already played in as many as 18 games — leaving the Avalanche, who have only played 11 games, to eventually scramble to catch up.

But for now, at least, they’re still sitting pretty. They remain in first in the Honda West Division as North America heads into Super Bowl Sunday, boasting a 7-3-1 record that’s only beat in points percentage by eight other teams. Considering that four of those teams have only played in eight games due to extra pauses for their own covid-related precautionary game postponements, and two of those teams played in the final round for the Stanley Cup in August, that’s a pretty good sign for the Avalanche despite their impending chance to be overtaken in the standings by one of the handful of other Honda West teams creeping up on them.

The most intriguing to watch out for is the St. Louis Blues — they were set to overtake the Avalanche in the standings on Saturday thanks to an extra game against the Arizona Coyotes, but ended up losing their second straight contest to the finally-vibing desert dogs:

Arizona and St. Louis play one more time the day after the Super Bowl before getting a five-day break, but then they’re back at it again for two more contests in what’s become a best-of-six series smack dab in the middle of the season. And it’s hard to see the Blues dropping three straight contests to an Arizona team that got shut out in back to back games right at the start of the year — so for the Avalanche, it could put them scrambling to catch back up; with the prospect of a jam-packed back half of the schedule for the Avalanche due to their covid outbreak, they’ll want to sit as far ahead of the pack as they can early on in order to make things easier on themselves come spring.

Speaking of updated schedules, the NHL did some additional shimmying in the East — and it’s a doozy. Essentially, the entire MassMutual East Division got their schedule redone, which should make things even more fun for Flyers fans — who it appears are having a bit of a tough time watching their team stay consistent this year as it is:

If you want to peruse the new schedule, the NHL put out an official release.

In some fun news, let’s give a congrats to Patrick Marleau for continuing to be an absolute workhorse:

In one last note on the schedule alterations — in case you missed it, here’s a look at how this break could be good news for Philipp Grubauer as he shoulders an unprecedented workload early on this year. [Mile High Hockey]

Finally, it’s hard to know whether or not Tom Brady will put his name among the conversation for American-born greats later today. But at the very least, one set of prophets think it’s a possibility: