The Colorado Avalanche are playing great hockey lately, having won 10 out of their last 14 games. Slowly but surely inching their way up the standings, trying to get that elusive last playoff spot. Since the Avs’ last victory against the Calgary Flames, which was a huge win, they had to stop playing hockey in the groove they were in, for a 4 day break in the schedule. That break ends tonight when the Avalanche visit the Coyotes in Arizona, but will 4 days off hurt or help the Avs?
The 4 day break is a bit of a catch 22. On one hand, it allows for players to get some rest and heal up a bit to get ready for this last set of games. On the other hand, Colorado was playing so well, you could argue that they would have been better without the break.
No doubt, the veterans and players like Semyon Varlamov and Erik Johnson will surely benefit from the time off. For Varly, it gives him 4 days to rest that minor injury he suffered. While for EJ, it just gives him extra time to hopefully get 100% healthy and get back into the lineup where he is such a difference maker. But you wonder what kind of effect this may have on the in-form players like Landeskog, O’Reilly, Duchene, Barrie, etc.
There is no changing the schedule now, and if the Avalanche didn’t have so many issues early on in the season, we probably wouldn’t be talking about this. We will soon find out what sort of impact, if any, this 4 day break had on the Avs, starting tonight in Arizona.
Fighting Until the End
Despite the long break, the Avalanche haven’t lost much ground, if any, in the playoff race. With a win tonight they can leapfrog the San Jose Sharks for the 10th spot. Closing the gap on the Winnipeg Jets to just 5 points. The Avalanche have put themselves into this position where every single game is pretty much a must win. That’s not a bad thing though, you don’t want this time of year to mean nothing.
This is what hockey players play the game for, a ticket to the playoffs with a chance to win the Stanley Cup. Only time will tell if the 4 day break helps or hurts the Colorado Avalanche.
What do you think about the Avs’ 4 day break? Will it be positive or bad timing?
Sebastian Noble is currently in his third year with The Hockey Writers covering the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. Liverpool, England, and of course Colorado Avalanche & Florida Panthers supporter. You can follow him on Twitter @SebastianHNoble