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Wild upset Avalanche in wacky series

The Minnesota Wild pulled the upset over the Avalanche.
The Minnesota Wild pulled the upset over the Avalanche.
Photo by Doug Pensinger

The Colorado Avalanche was the feel good story of the regular season. The young team with the local legend behind the bench ended up not just making the playoffs, but winning the Central Division. Then they won their first two games against the Minnesota Wild in round one and Nathan MacKinnon was the talk of the league and all was well. Then the Wild came back and won the series in seven games. There's a new Cinderella in town.

The series took a turn when it moved to Minnesota, where the Wild won two games wherein they only let in one goal. Then the two teams exchanged home wins, sending things to a game seven. The games in Colorado were often fast and loos, and the Avalanche were a fast and loose team. The game headed into overtime, and there Nino Niederreiter beat Semyon Varlamov, and the celebration was on.

This Colorado team was exciting to watch, and they would have been a great matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks. I don't want to diminish the Wild, or overlook them, but on the other hand they aren't interesting or that good and I'd rather watch the Avalanche. Had they had Matt Duchene, and had Matt Cooke not taken Tyson Barrie out, I reckon this series would have gone differently. Alas, that didn't happen. The Avalanche are a team that is going to stick around, but they are gone for this year's playoffs.

While the Wild stick around. They have questions in net, and had to rotate goalies during this series, and then in game seven Darcy Kuemper got hurt. Congratulations to them and all, but I don't like their chances going forward. Still, they spent big on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, and now here they are, two years later, in the second round of the NHL playoffs. That's progress, even if it took a pretty big upset of an overacheiver.