Avalanche vs Wild. Wild vs Avalanche. The 2014 NHL playoff battle is on between the Central Division winning Avalanche and the Western Conference wildcard Wild. The puck drops at 9:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. That’s 8:30 for fans watching from Minnesota and 7:30 for fans watching in Colorado.
The first time Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy was in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Cold War was going on between the West and the Soviet Union – birthplace of both teams’ starting goaltenders in the Wild vs Avalanche series. Not that either of them are likely to remember much of it. The Minnesota Wild’s net minder, Ilya Bryzgalov was nine years old when the Berlin Wall fell and only 11 when the Soviet Union disbanded. Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov was in diapers when the wall fell and only two years old when the Cold War ended (though, as this Inquisitr report points out, some fear a new Cold War may be in the makings).
Patrick Roy’s stellar playing career ended with his last playoff appearance as a player, backstopping the Colorado Avalanche against – ironically enough – the Minnesota Wild, according to an APreport. According to the report, Roy claims he isn’t nervous going into his first NHL playoff as a coach, just anxious to get it started.
Roy’s Avs have been a Cinderella story par excellence this season, going from second to last in the whole NHL last year to going on a late-season tear to pass up the St. Louis Blues and win the Central Division by a point (as a previous Inquisitr article points out, there was plenty of jostling for position among playoff teams, right to the last game of the 2013-2014 regular season) and finishing as the second seed in the Western Conference. The Avs will have home ice advantage over the gritty Minnesota Wild – who went on a late season charge of their own to make it into the wildcard spot.
The NHL’s new playoff format determines that the second seeded division champion in each conference plays the higher seeded of two wildcard teams in the Conference in the first round. The winner of the Avalanche vs Wild best of seven series will go on to play the winner of the Central Division’s Blackhawks vs Blues series.
Don’t miss any of the action as these two Central Division rivals hit the ice. If you find yourself away from the television, or somewhere that the game isn’t televised, you can watch it streaming online live here.