The Colorado Avalanche have been waiting for this opportunity for seasons now, the chance to clinch a playoff berth. With a win over the Vancouver Canucks Thursday night and a Phoenix Coyotes loss to the New Jersey Devils, Colorado will be a for sure lock in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov who has had a phenomenal season, has never defeated the Canucks in his playing career and will have a chance to do so tonight.
Colorado however, might be without defenseman Erik Johnson who has been battling flu-like symptoms. The Denver Post noted that everyone excluding Johnson skated for the Avs in their morning skate, including John Mitchell who has been battling a back injury. Head coach Patrick Roy noted Mitchell might not play tonight but could possibly return to action Saturday when they take on the San Jose Sharks.
Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly has yet to step foot into the penalty box this season and if he can keep it up, he will be the first skater in history to do so. Here is more from Ryan O’Reilly.
It’s a lot of good luck, obviously there’s been some times when I maybe got away with one,” said O’Reilly, who is the only skater in the league who has played 50 games and recorded no penalty minutes. “I don’t really think about it too much. It’s obviously not a great stat to have, it’d be nice to have a fight or two to make me look a little tougher
The Colorado Avalanche currently sit in third place in the Central Division standings, three points behind the Chicago Blackhawks with a game in hand.