“Bettman has only a marginal interest in the weaker teams. He only wants the NHL to make a bigger profit as a whole.” -- Dominik Hasek

April 5, 2007

Worst Case Scenario

It is true that if Colorado loses to Vancouver tonight, their playoff hopes are over. It is also true that if Calgary beats San Jose, the Avs' playoff hopes are over. Either of those possibilities is depressing enough for most fans, but the real worst-case-scenario won't reach its pinnacle until Sunday.

Pretend for a moment that the Avalanche beat the Canucks tonight, say 11-1 (we're pretending), and the Flames lose to the Sharks. Then, the Avs beat the Nashville Predators at home and the Flames lose again, this time to Edmonton (really, we're still pretending). That sets up a true showdown as the Avalanche face the Flames---at home---in the final game of the season on Sunday. The Avs would trail the Flames by only one point, and would need to win (even if it's in overtime) to surpass the Flames and claim the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Pretend that all of that happens, and the final showdown really does take place.

And now pretend that the Avs blow the game and lose, missing the playoffs on the final day after a phenomenal 14-2-2 run over the last 18 games of the season. Now, wouldn't that be depressing?

It's amazing the Avalanche have made it this far and still have a chance. The only consolation, I suppose, is that if the NHL had never adopted the ridiculous policy of giving one point to a team that loses in overtime, the Avs would currently be only two points behind Calgary instead of five. But enough pretending already.

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