Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Five minutes turn the tide for Colorado, leaving the Canuck’s destiny in others hands

A second period scoring blitz put Colorado ahead for good on Tuesday night, as the Avalanche secured themselves a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs on the strength of their 4-2 victory over Vancouver.

The Avalanche erased a 2-0 Vancouver lead in the space of five minutes of second period play, grabbing the lead from the Canucks and never looking back.

Vancouver with the loss has lost control of their destiny as Nashville who were victors on Tuesday climbed ahead of the Canucks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Division.

It was a case of the expected from the Colorado veterans leading off with Joe Sakic proved to be the most proficient of Canuck killers on Tuesday, Burnaby Joe picked up two key assists on that second period splurge, once again showing his keen sense of timing and developing plays when they count the most.

Vancouver once again failed to show any defensive urgency, unable to protect their two goal lead and leaving far too many scoring opportunities on the ice in the Vancouver end of the rink.

Roberto Luongo found himself outplayed on this evening by his counterpart Jose Theodore in the Colorado net, when the moment for the shut the door save came up; Theodore was more than up to the challenge.

Colorado which only a few weeks ago looked old, weary and seemingly ready to let a playoff spot slip away, have instead in the last week reversed their fortunes, if Theodore can provide the same level of goaltending into the playoffs as he delivered on Tuesday, the Avs may yet make the best of their trade deadline acquisitions.

In Vancouver you could almost sense the dire state of the Canuck fortunes, the crowd seemed numb after the two goal lead was dismissed in such rapid fashion, with two more home games to come, the last of the hockey at GM Place may very well arrive on Saturday night when Calgary makes their return appearance.

Calgary will no doubt have a very short memory of last Sunday’s loss, the chance to eliminate the Canucks from the playoffs may be a very large motivating factor for Mr. Keenan’s charges, that is providing the Oilers haven’t taken care of the problem for themselves on Thursday night.

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