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 Tytuł: Knights, Avs meet in battle of surprise contenders
PostWiadomość wysłana.: 16 kwietnia 2018 11:58 

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When the NHL season started in October, two developments seemed improbable the expansion Vegas Golden Knights and the Colorado Avalanche reaching the postseason in a head-scratching development, one is a lock and the other is a real possibility.And the two longshots could end up playing each other in the first round of the NHL playoffs next month Adam Foote Jersey. Saturday, the two surprise teams play a matinee game in Denver that could be a preview of an opening series if the standings hold up down the stretch.Article continues below ...The Golden Knights have surprised many with their inaugural season. Theyve gone against conventional wisdom that expansion teams struggle at first but gain traction. Vegas started strong and has maintained a lead in the Pacific Division, seven points over second place San Jose with eight games remaining.The Sharks beat Vegas in overtime on Thursday but the one point gave the Golden Knights 100 for the season.It a huge number. Definitely satisfied and happy with that, coach Gerard Gallant told The Las Vegas Review-Journal. What do we got, eight games left in the season? So let keep adding on to the points, but it definitely a huge feat for our group so far.Colorado is the other feel-good story of the season. After finishing last season with just 48 points, the Avalanche were sitting in the first wild card in the Western Conference heading into Friday action. Anaheim, with 88 points, held the second wild card and played at Winnipeg on Friday night.The 40-point turnaround is the biggest since Pittsburgh had 47-point improvement in 2006-07, and Colorado has a chance to top that mark if it can at least go 4-4 to end the season. Led by Hart Trophy candidate Nathan MacKinnon, the Avalanche have flipped the script on their fortunes with one of the youngest rosters in the league top line of MacKinnon , Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog has carried the team. The trio combined for the only points in a 7-1 home loss to Los Angeles on Thursday night a rare dud at Pepsi Center this season.MacKinnon is third in scoring in the NHL despite having missed eight games. He leads the league in points per game at 1.39.Colorado strong March has given it some room for error, but not much. St. Louis had 85 points entering Friday home game against lowly Vancouver with a chance to close the gap to a point. Dallas was four points back of the Avalanche before hosting Boston on Friday night.Despite the closeness of the playoff chase Colorado coach Jared Bednar said his team is concentrating on its schedule.Youve got to be careful watching the scoreboard because it wasted emotion, he said after Thursday loss. Were concentrating on what we have to do to get in and how many games we have win and how we have to prepare and how we have to play. If you start watching what everyone else is doing you start riding an emotional roller coaster for no reason. Id love to look at the scoreboard to see if we got help but were not expecting any help.

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