The Stanley Cup Playoffs kick off for the Avalanche tonight. Here’s how various national media experts are rating Colorado as they begin their chase for another championship:
The Athletic (No. 1): “Can’t help but feel that Colorado ascended to this lofty position by virtue of having lost its final round robin game to Vegas thus ensuring the second seed in the Western Conference and a much more favorable matchup (on paper at least) against offensively challenged Arizona — as opposed to facing Chicago, which knocked off powerful Edmonton in the qualifying round. No disrespect to the Coyotes. Or the Avs, for that matter, who are locked and loaded up and down the lineup,” Scott Burnside writes.
Bleacher Report (No. 4): “As frustrating as an overtime loss to Vegas in the round-robin finale might have been — considering it kept the Avalanche from staying unbeaten—it was probably good news considering it’ll match Colorado with a playoff-novice Arizona team rather than the dangerous Blackhawks. The teams split two games in the regular season, but the Coyotes were 18 points behind the Avs in the overall league standings,” Lyle Fitzsimmons writes.
CBS Sports (No. 2): “We already know that the Avs have high-end talent up front and are capable of being a dominant force offensively, especially when Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar are at their best. They’re great on the rush and can draw a lot of penalties, which is why it was encouraging to see their power play have a lot of success in the round robin stage. The Avs went 4-for-6 in their three meaningful games and scored at least one power play goal in each contest. They still have some questions surrounding them (namely who their starting goaltender will be… and for how long) but there’s a lot of reasons to remain fearful of the Avs,” Pete Blackburn writes.
— Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post
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