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Who do you want Colorado to face in the first round?

Still so many potential post-season options from the familiar to the fresh.

Dallas Stars v Colorado Avalanche - Game Seven Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

As the trade deadline has passed the next item of business on everyone’s mind is the best time of the year and that is when the postseason finally begins. In particular one point of speculation is who will the Colorado Avalanche match up against in the first round of the playoffs. With the standings hardly settled with five weeks to go there are still many possible opponents.

While a team which expects to go on a long playoff run knows that they will have to get through the top teams in their conference and league, it still is nice to grab any advantage possible on that road to the Stanley Cup. The prize for earning the top seed in the Western Conference is the “easiest” match against the weakest wild card team. On the other hand, one could argue the relatively easier round one matches the Avalanche have enjoyed over the last three year did not properly set them up for the increase in pressure and intensity of their second round series.

Unless something drastically changes the Avalanche are looking at winning the Central Division and also finishing ahead of the Pacific Division victor which means the final wild card hopefuls are staring at the summit of a mountain in knowing what challenge lies ahead of them.

The standings change daily with so many teams within mere points of each other so it is not impossible for a team such as the Minnesota Wild or LA Kings to fall down to a wild card slot or for teams on the fringe such as the Vancouver Canucks or Winnipeg Jets to execute a late surge and grab the final wild card but these teams are not the most likely first round opponents for the Avalanche. At this juncture the wild card conversation seems to revolve around the teams currently within the 82-76 point range in the standings which are the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, Vegas Golden Knights, and Dallas Stars.

Four of the five aforementioned teams are familiar playoff opponents for the Avalanche with only a series victory against the Blues in recent years. Revenge would no doubt become a factor against the Golden Knights to avenge the disappointing second round defeat last season. The Oilers would present an intriguing match for the Avalanche as they are the most unfamiliar opponent after over a two-year hiatus in playing each other and have not met in the postseason since 1998. And the Predators and Stars are the only two of three teams to beat the Avalanche twice this season and the latter was the team who accomplished the task both times in regulation.

Regardless of who the Avalanche face the team will present unique challenges but what are you hoping for?

Poll

Who do you want the Avalanche to face in the first round?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Dallas Stars
    (178 votes)
  • 23%
    Edmonton Oilers
    (224 votes)
  • 10%
    Nashville Predators
    (97 votes)
  • 14%
    St. Louis Blues
    (135 votes)
  • 33%
    Vegas Golden Knights
    (314 votes)
948 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who do you NOT want the Avalanche to face in the first round?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    Dallas Stars
    (241 votes)
  • 15%
    Edmonton Oilers
    (134 votes)
  • 18%
    Nashville Predators
    (159 votes)
  • 11%
    St. Louis Blues
    (103 votes)
  • 26%
    Vegas Golden Knights
    (234 votes)
871 votes total Vote Now