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 Stanley Cup Playoffs - 2nd Round - Colorado Avalanche 
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Modmin Dude
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Post Stanley Cup Playoffs - 2nd Round - Colorado Avalanche
Here we go, on to round 2 and the Avs. Will this be a rekindling of an old rivalry? only time will tell!!!

The series start tomorrow (Thursday, April 24) at 7:30 EDT.

Go Wings!!!!

Detroit Red Wings Playoff Central

ESPN.com wrote:
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Updated: April 23, 3:05 AM ET
Second-round breakdown: Red Wings vs. Avalanche

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Scott Burnside
ESPN.com

Do you hear the theme from Happy Days playing in the background? Holy back to the future, McFly. Not only do the Avalanche advance to the second round on the backs of oldies-but-goodies like Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote, they get Jose Theodore to channel himself circa 2000 to draw old arch-nemesis Detroit in the second round.

The Red Wings breathed a huge sigh of relief when Nicklas Lidstrom's long, bouncing slap shot jumped over Dan Ellis' shoulder in Game 6 against Nashville, allowing them to avoid the embarrassment of losing to an eighth seed for the second time in three seasons. While the Red Wings wobbled a bit against Nashville, they do boast a balanced attack that is hard to defend. Nine Red Wings players have at least three points in these playoffs, although none has more than five.

The Avs, meanwhile, won three straight to knock of the Northwest Division-champion Minnesota and hit the second round with perhaps the hottest goaltender left in the playoffs in Theodore. Eleven different Avs have scored in this postseason. The last time these two teams met was in the 2002 Western Conference finals. The Wings erased a 3-2 series deficit to win in seven en route to a Stanley Cup. With guys like Forsberg, Sakic, Foote, Kris Draper, Darren McCarty and Kirk Maltby still around from those bloody playoff wars during the late 1990s, this promises to be a good one.

Five Points to Series
1. Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie. Chris Osgood has drawn the nod as the second-round starter for the Red Wings after he came on in relief of Dominik Hasek, who imploded in Games 3 and 4 against Nashville. Osgood has had a renaissance season in Detroit with a 2.09 GAA and .914 save percentage, but he lagged a bit during the latter stages of the regular season. He'll face a much more talented offensive team in Colorado and will have to put up with guys like Ryan Smyth invading his space in close. Given Hasek's pedigree, we're guessing it won't take much of a wobble from Osgood for coach Mike Babcock to go back to Hasek.

2. Jose, can you stop 'em? Speaking of the Avs' netminder, has there been a more dramatic reversal of fortunes for one player than the one experienced by Theodore this season? The former Hart and Vezina winner turned his game around when he was named the starter in the second half of the season, relegating Peter Budaj to mop-up duties. Then, against a Minnesota team that entered the playoffs with the seventh-best power-play unit in the NHL, Theodore was outstanding. The Montreal native stopped 188 of 200 shots and almost single-handedly denied the Wild victories in Games 4 and 5. Of course, with a player like Theodore, who has shown to be somewhat inconsistent over recent seasons, the question is whether he can keep it going. If he can, the Avs stand a good chance of upsetting the Wings.

3. The Foote factor. Adam Foote was on the ice most of the time against Marian Gaborik during the first round, and the Wild star finished the series with one lonely assist. Foote will likely see a lot of ice time against the Wings' top duo of Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. Foote isn't getting any younger (he's 36), but if he can disrupt the play-making abilities of the talented Red Wings forwards, it will make life easier for Theodore.

4. The Kron-Wall. We're referring to Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who entered the NHL with great expectations, but has suffered a series of grisly injuries that has slowed his evolution as an impact player. He is healthy now and made his presence known in the first round against Nashville. Kronwall has been likened to legendary Detroit hitter Vladimir Konstantinov and his efforts at disrupting the Avs' flow through the neutral zone, especially with young forwards like Paul Stastny and Wojtek Wolski, will be interesting to watch.

5. Breaking down is hard to do. No discussion of the Avs is complete without the open-ended question of "How long can they keep it up?" We're referring to the play and overall health of the Avs' aging core of veterans. Foote limped into the playoffs, Sakic missed 38 games this season, Forsberg took a long time to get into game shape after joining the Avs at the trade deadline, and then there's Smyth, who will go through a brick wall to make a play and often looks like he has. Through the first round, Smyth, Forsberg and Sakic had 14 points and will have to maintain that level of production to keep pace with a deeper, more talented Red Wings team.

Key Matchup
Tomas Holmstrom vs. Jose Theodore and Ryan Smyth vs. Chris Osgood/Dominik Hasek: Both teams have their designated crease-crasher and both teams' success depends in large part on these players' ability to play havoc with opposing goaltenders and defensemen. This isn't always about scoring goals (although that's nice), but rather drawing penalties and upsetting the focus of the opposing goaltender. Watch for the winner of this battle to help his team take a giant step toward advancing.


Hot and Not
Red Wings: Jiri Hudler has five points and is tied for the team lead in postseason points. Daniel Cleary and Mikael Samuelsson have combined for zero goals and two assists.

Avalanche: Ruslan Salei, an under-the-radar acquisition at the trade deadline, has three points, is plus-4 and has provided a stabilizing influence along the Colorado blue line. Stastny, who had 71 points to lead the Avs in scoring during the regular season, has but one playoff goal.

Prediction
This one should be a minor classic, and we think Theodore is for real, so look for a long one. But, in the end, the Wings' depth makes the difference and Osgood stands tall as the Wings move on. Red Wings in seven.

Scott Burnside is the NHL writer for ESPN.com.

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April 23rd, 2008, 10:53 am
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Even though the Wings swept the Avs during the regular season, I can't see it happening during the playoffs. I'm not that impressed with Colorado, but they could win a game or two with some hot goaltending. Therefore, I'm going to say the Red Wings in 6.

On a side note, some Wings fan edited the Colorado Avalanche Wiki page today and they were talking about it on FM 97.1. It's been fixed now, but they added stuff like the Avs were a semi-pro women's hockey team and that Joe Sakic wishes he was Steve Yzerman and stuff like that. It was hilarious.

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April 23rd, 2008, 5:00 pm
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Thought this was a funny note from game 1:

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Lions C Dominic Raiola was at the game and was booed when he was shown on the videoboards


April 25th, 2008, 3:06 am
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inheritedlionsfan wrote:
Thought this was a funny note from game 1:

Quote:
Lions C Dominic Raiola was at the game and was booed when he was shown on the videoboards

I heard about that on the radio last night, but I didn't see it on TV.

Well, that was a scary game last night, wasn't it? The Wings looked incredible in the 1st period by completely outskating the Avs. Then, everything changed in the 2nd period when the Wings were standing on their heels. I really can't blame Osgood for any of the three goals, but he might have been able to get the second one that went short side. However, he came up huge with 8 seconds to go in the game to preserve the victory.

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April 25th, 2008, 10:16 am
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Man alive Franzen is tearin the Av's a new one. Never heard of him having a hat trick before. Doing it in the playoffs is even better. 8)

Ozzy's not getting alot of action but we're winning so I think he'll stay in goal for the time being. :D

GO WINGS!!!!

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April 26th, 2008, 11:24 pm
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inheritedlionsfan wrote:
Thought this was a funny note from game 1:

Quote:
Lions C Dominic Raiola was at the game and was booed when he was shown on the videoboards



LoL!!!


April 26th, 2008, 11:38 pm
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Congrats to Franzen for his first career hat trick. Unfortunately, I didn't see much of the game due to the NFL draft, but it sounds like they dominated throughout. I'd like to see a sweep here, but I'd imagine that the Avs will steal a game in Colorado.

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April 27th, 2008, 9:44 am
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The Avs are toast! After their 4-3 victory last night, the Wings have a 3-0 series lead. Sure, Colorado is banged up, but that's the way it goes. The same thing happened to the Wings last year, so I don't care about their excuses. I wouldn't be surprised to see Theodore benched for Game 4, but it shouldn't matter as the Wings sweep the series.

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April 30th, 2008, 10:06 am
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Shure looks like a 6 game series sly. :roll:


April 30th, 2008, 11:09 am
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I'm not going to say sweep, I'll say 5 games. I just think that the Avs should win at least one at home. They (Avs) were trying last night, the Wings just wouldn't let them in. Watching the Wings these past few years I know they can lose focus from time to time, which is another reason I'm saying the Avs will win the next game. I hope I'm wrong, but then again, does it really matter if we win in 4, 5, or 6 games? Just as long as we win!!!

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April 30th, 2008, 11:23 am
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I'd play Hasek for the next game in Colorado. Ozzie looked winded and of his game a little IMO... It wouldn't hurt anything to sit Ozzie for one game, esp. in that light mile-high air, and play a well-rested Hasek.


April 30th, 2008, 4:16 pm
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wjb21ndtown wrote:
I'd play Hasek for the next game in Colorado. Ozzie looked winded and of his game a little IMO... It wouldn't hurt anything to sit Ozzie for one game, esp. in that light mile-high air, and play a well-rested Hasek.

No way. Juggling goalies like that is a bad idea. It just doesn't work. Ozzie's been playing really well. He's leading the league in playoff GAA. He didn't let in any bad goals. It makes no sense to pull him.


April 30th, 2008, 4:23 pm
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Touchdown Jesus wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
I'd play Hasek for the next game in Colorado. Ozzie looked winded and of his game a little IMO... It wouldn't hurt anything to sit Ozzie for one game, esp. in that light mile-high air, and play a well-rested Hasek.

No way. Juggling goalies like that is a bad idea. It just doesn't work. Ozzie's been playing really well. He's leading the league in playoff GAA. He didn't let in any bad goals. It makes no sense to pull him.


It makes sense to pull him for reasons of travel, fatigue, and rest.


April 30th, 2008, 4:26 pm
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wjb21ndtown wrote:
Touchdown Jesus wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
I'd play Hasek for the next game in Colorado. Ozzie looked winded and of his game a little IMO... It wouldn't hurt anything to sit Ozzie for one game, esp. in that light mile-high air, and play a well-rested Hasek.

No way. Juggling goalies like that is a bad idea. It just doesn't work. Ozzie's been playing really well. He's leading the league in playoff GAA. He didn't let in any bad goals. It makes no sense to pull him.


It makes sense to pull him for reasons of travel, fatigue, and rest.

I guess we'll just disagree. He's had 1 road game this series. I don't think he's looked bad in any way. And history has shown that you ride a hot goaltender as far as he'll take you. In many cases, all the way to the cup.

I look at it the same way as shuffling QBs in football. It might make sense on paper in terms of keeping them both fresh, but in reality it just doesn't work out.


April 30th, 2008, 4:44 pm
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Touchdown Jesus wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
Touchdown Jesus wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
I'd play Hasek for the next game in Colorado. Ozzie looked winded and of his game a little IMO... It wouldn't hurt anything to sit Ozzie for one game, esp. in that light mile-high air, and play a well-rested Hasek.

No way. Juggling goalies like that is a bad idea. It just doesn't work. Ozzie's been playing really well. He's leading the league in playoff GAA. He didn't let in any bad goals. It makes no sense to pull him.


It makes sense to pull him for reasons of travel, fatigue, and rest.

I guess we'll just disagree. He's had 1 road game this series. I don't think he's looked bad in any way. And history has shown that you ride a hot goaltender as far as he'll take you. In many cases, all the way to the cup.

I look at it the same way as shuffling QBs in football. It might make sense on paper in terms of keeping them both fresh, but in reality it just doesn't work out.


Not that I'm going to pursuade you, but it's totally different than keeping a Qb fresh in football. If anything, it's more like giving a pitcher an extra day of rest in baseball when he's struggling, which is quite effective.

In football the Qb and the team plays once a week. I don't know how much hockey you've played, but as a former player/beer league player, this schedule in hockey where you're playing every other day is plain brutal. Couple that with flying out west and back (not that they've done this yet, but they will after this game), and I can't imagine the toll it would take on you. I can't help but think these guys have to spend nearly their entire off day in bed, or taking it easy. Throughout the season, even for important games, teams will sit their starting goalie due to fatigue. They try to plan around it and play their starters against the better teams, but it doesn't always work out. In the playoffs you don't have a choice. For that reason I think we should rest Osgood here, where the next game doesn't mean all that much. IMO the biggest problem is having Hasek come out on fire, get a shut out, and then you have a goalie controversy. Still, I'd rather have a situation where I'm struggling to manage an ego and another great starting goalie, than have one tired goalie and one old guy....

Keep in mind that it's not just that Osgood has "only had one game this series" he's also played every other day for the last six days.


April 30th, 2008, 11:31 pm
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