Monday, February 11, 2008

Adversity seems to energize Avs

Three of their top players are out with injury, yet the Colorado Avalanche continue to battle their way through the NHL season, not only still viable as a playoff contender but soon to be stronger when their injured compatriots return.

Saturday night was a contrast in coping, as the Avs met the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place.

Both teams have suffered a rash of injuries that have seen make shift lines thrown together and minor leaguers given their chance to shine. While the Avs seem to have risen to the challenge, the Canucks of late have stumbled as the injuries mount.

On Saturday, while Ryan Smyth, Joe Sakic and Peter Stastny continued to mend their various injuries their team mates once again took charge of their situation and added to their win category, with a convincing 6-2 victory over a listless looking Canucks squad.

Colorado has now gone 5-3-2 since the power trio have been sidelined, a remarkable bit of bonding for a team that looked as though the bottom was closer than the top when the injuries began to mount.

Stastny is set to return to the line up any day now, while the convalescence period for Smyth and Sakic is to be a little longer yet.

However, judging by the way the Avs are playing, if nothing else, Smyth and Sakic will be well rested for a playoff run, and considering how well the team has come together in their absence, that may be a lengthy run at that.

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