Entering the final weekend of regular season play, the Colorado Avalanche have guaranteed themselves a spot in the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs. The final weekend has the Avs at home, hosting Chicago Friday night and Los Angeles Sunday afternoon. The Avs are currently in eighth place with 94 points. The three teams above them, L.A., Detroit and Nashville are tied at 98 points. With two games left, the Avalanche could conceivably catch one or more of those teams to move up. Here are the scenarios:
One game remaining-Saturday at home against St. Louis. While the Avs could tie them in points the Predators would own the first tiebreaker, most wins.
Los Angeles 45-27-8
Two games remaining-Saturday at home against NHL bottom-dweller Edmonton, Sunday at Colorado.
If the Kings lose to the Oilers and the Avs beat the Blackhawks, the Avs could catch the Kings by beating them Sunday in Denver. That would tie the teams at 45 wins. The Avs would have to win in regulation. The Kings have a regulation win and an OT win against the Avs this season, the Avs have one win against the Kings. Taking the game to OT gives the Kings the point they need to edge the Avs.
Two games remaining-Friday at Columbus, Sunday at Chicago. The Avs have one more win than the Wings, so if the Avs win both games, and Detroit loses both, the Avs will win by having the tiebreakers.
LONG SHOT, BUT BEST POSSIBILITY.
Of course, none of these means anything if the Avs lose to Chicago Friday night.