The Good Guys: Handled Edmonton the way a playoff team should handle a draft lottery team on Friday, with a resounding 3-1 win. Erik Johnson scored for the third consecutive game, and Semyon Varlamov shut the door on the talented, but green, Oilers. Colorado stands tied for 11th in the Western Conference, 3 points out of the 8th and final playoff position. Two more points tonight isn't a luxury; it's a necessity.
Bunch Of Dicks: Winnipeg is still in that warm, fuzzy "Wow it's good to have the Jets back" zone for me. The Jets are in a similar spot as the Avs: two points out of the final playoff position in their conference. They're going to be playing a similarly desperate game tonight, one would imagine. If the Avs are going to take two, they're going to earn it.
We Like: Welcome back, Duchene.
We Don't Like: Hey look, a three-point game in Phoenix last night. Life on the playoff bubble sucks.
Randomly: "Buffalo! New Jersey! Minnesota! IT'S HOCKEY DAY IN AMERICA." NBC Sports programmers may be taking advice on which teams America will find interesting from saboteurs at ESPN.
Potential Hero: How could I go with anybody but Matt Duchene? He's nothing short of the best offensive weapon on the Avalanche, and a spate of one-goal losses during his absence did nothing but reinforce his value to the team.
Potential Goat: The biggest issue with Semyon Varlamov has been his inconsistency this season, which isn't terribly uncommon for a young goalie playing behind an iffy defense. Varlamov is going to need to steal games here and there over the next month and a half in order for the Avs to have a puncher's chance at a playoff spot, and he definitely can't afford to have any games where he implodes early with JS Giguere battling injury.
Final Thought: After today, the Avs bookend visits to Columbus and Detroit with home games against Los Angeles and Anaheim. 8 points out of 10 is the minimum, and you don't want to lose your margin for error in Winnipeg today.
Avs 5, Jets 4