The Avalanche Condition

-By AJ Pacheco

WARNING: The remaining 7 games of the season may cause high blood pressure, fits of rage, and in severe cases heart problems. Please consult your doctor, therapist, or loved ones before considering watching the Avalanche. 
7 games to go and of course the playoff race is going to come down to the wire. Saturday night the Avalanche looked like they were in pretty good shape. The Flames had just lost badly to the Bruins and with a game the next day against the Capitals it appeared as though the Avalanche would remain safely ahead of Calgary. Then the Avs lost to Phoenix (which wasn't unexpected) and the Flames scored early and often against Washington (which was unexpected). In San Jose, a few unlucky bounces and countless obscenities at my TV later, the lead is now 4 points with 7 games to go. 
The Avalanche have now lost 5 of 6 and are clinging to the 8th spot in the West. I honestly didn't see the Avs winning either of the games on this road trip but after Calgary won, at least one point against the Sharks would have been nice. The Avalanche control their own destiny but with each loss they put more and more pressure on themselves and give more life to the Flames. If the Avs win four of their last seven games they clinch a playoff spot regardless of what Calgary does. To take some of the pressure off, the Avalanche MUST win Wednesday against the Ducks and then continue on with their success against the Flames on Friday. Friday's game is the most important game remaining. If they can win the next two games, one more win should get them into the playoffs. 
As I'm writing this there are 13 days left in the season. 13 days to take care of business and 13 days to not choke. The Avalanche are in good shape with only two more road games but 5 of the 7 games are against teams ahead in the standings. Clinching the playoffs sounds easy enough but we have seen too often this season that nothing is easy with these Avalanche. So remember: put the children to bed, hide anything breakable, and take frequent deep breaths if you decide to watch the Avalanche during the last 7. 



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