Game 82 has come and gone for the Colorado Avalanche. They finished the regular season on the road in a 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild. It wraps up an incredible regular season for the Avs as the attention turns to the playoffs.
The Avs finish the regular season with a 56-19-7 record recording 119 points which is a new franchise record. They also record the most home wins in a season, there are plenty of positives to look at as the Avs wait for their opponent in the first round.
The first period was total chaos, bandwagon hockey. It started not even a minute in when the Wild went up 1-0 thanks to this Jordan Greenway goal.
It would only get worse for the Avalanche, as it would be the former Avalanche fan-favorite Tyson Jost getting the second goal of the night for the Wild to double the lead.
Things were far from done. Hits were being thrown which led to a hefty fight between Logan O’Connor and Brain Ducharme along the benches. Kurtis MacDermid also earned himself a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for kneeing Marcus Foligno, sending him down to the dressing room.
It was all Wild in the period, who tested Pavel Francouz time and time again along with the weakened Avalanche side. Despite a late 5-on-3, the Avs hung on to only be down by two in the break.
Things went South for the Avs yet again. Francouz couldn’t find the puck behind him after stopping it. It sat on the goal line for a couple of seconds before Kirill Kaprizov finally stuffed it across the line to make it 3-0.
However, the Avs would respond nicely. Nazem Kadri would receive a nice pass from Mikko Rantanen and managed to squeeze it past the glove and shoulder of Marc-Andre Fleury to cut the deficit down to 3-1.
Things got a little chippy in the middle of the period where neither team could get anything going really. The Avs did a good job later on of putting passes together and keeping possession, even giving Fleury some action to deal with. Things were looking up as if the Avs had a chance to come back in the third period.
The Avs continued to look good heading into the first half of the period. This included a great 2-on-1 chance with Samuel Girard and O’Connor, who fanned on a great shooting chance.
After this early spurt of energy, the Avs just couldn’t get anything connected anymore. They did their best to try and get back into it but it just wasn’t happening. They pulled Francouz late on to perhaps create some drama but couldn't do so. Greenway got his second of the game into the empty net to make it a 4-1 final.
This game was pointless for the Avs, as all the games had been since clinching the Western Conference. However, it is unfortunate to not end this phenomenal regular season on a high note. Ending the regular season 4-5-1 is not ideal despite resting several high-caliber players tonight, but it is what it is.
#Avs scratches: Bowen Byram, Devon Toews, Cale Makar, Valeri Nichushkin, Ryan Murray, Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog.— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) April 30, 2022
With the win, the Wild clinch home-ice advantage in the first round over the St. Louis Blues who lost to the Vegas Golden Knights on home ice. It would’ve gone to the Wild anyways if they had lost to the Avs tonight. I don't know about you all, but I sure hope that series goes seven games and is a tough battle for both teams.
The Avs still await their first-round opponent. The Dallas Stars just beat the Anaheim Ducks to keep their WC1 hopes alive. If the Nashville Predators lose to the Arizona Coyotes tonight, the Avs would face the Predators in the first round. If the Predators win tonight against the Coyotes, it will be the Avs hosting the Stars next week. Who do you want to see next week? Let us know in the comments!
The real games begin next week when the Avs will host either the Stars or Predators. We will know the playoff schedule tomorrow morning once all the match-ups have been determined.