Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/19/14
Avalanche not settling in final games You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, and you certainly don’t want to face-off against the defending Stanley Cup champions in the first round, in a Game 7, on the road. Take a look at today’s NHL standings, over a week away from the start of the postseason, you’ll notice the Avalanche sit in second place in the Central Division. If you haven’t been keeping up with the standings chances are you’ll be overcome with shock, and your body will be unable to properly process your blood. Then, you’ll realize the Avalanche’s current rank in the division indicates two things.   One, the team has had a remarkable regular season that was unforeseen by most and predicted by few. Two, an upcoming first round series that will test the inexperienced, speedy Avalanche against the experienced, speedy, Stanley Cup Champion defending Chicago Blackhawks is practically inevitable — that is if the remainder of the season finishes without a collapse from the first place St. Louis Blues. With four games remaining for both the Avalanche (107 points) and the Blackhawks (105 points), it goes without saying that it is in the Avs’ best interest to keep pace down the final stretch and secure home ice for the opening series. Despite the Avalanche having the best regular season road record in the Western Conference (24-10-3),  the Blackhawks are a proven playoff team. They’ve won two of the last four Stanley Cups and clinched eight of ten playoff series in that four year span. Captain Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane both can cite the Conn Smythe Trophy on their resumes and the offensives leaders will be available to play after suffering injuries in late the regular season. Furthermore, the Hawks players have totaled 1121 games of playoff experience to the Avalanche’s 300. Playing the first two games in front a home crowd that is craving a resurrection of playoff hockey at Pepsi Center will undoubtably  play into the Avalanche’s advantage, and more importantly, the Avs want the luxury of  playing a potential Game 7 against champs at the home arena fondly referred to by locals as The Can. Patrick Roy knows the importance of home ice, and isn’t settling for second place in the Central Division. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) And no one knows the importance of playing a Game 7 at home in the Pepsi Center quite like head coach and former Avalanche goaltender Patrick Roy.  That’s why Roy doesn’t plan on cruising through the final few games or reward his players with rest in anticipation for the playoffs.  ”Right now, our top players are playing over 20 minutes pretty much every night, which is pretty good, and I think that will prepare them really well for playoffs,” Roy told The Fan Morning Show on 104.3 The Fan on April 3. “It’s a tough situation right now to rest people, because we’re in that race with Chicago. And maybe I’m a big believer but I don’t think its over with the Blues yet.”  Forget the Blackhawks, could the Avalanche potentially leapfrog the St. Louis Blues (111 points, four games remaining) for first place? Granted, Roy made these comments before the Avalanche lost a point in a shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins. But if the Avalanche can win out the rest of their games and the Blues lose three of their final four, the Avalanche can clinch the first seed.  Not likely, but also not mathematically out of the question. Colorado fans can sense playoff hockey is near and are ready to pop The Can when the first home game arrives. But Roy and company have some business to take care of first. Most playoff series wins in the last four seasons*  Series winsTotal series playedChampionships NBA - Miami Heat11122 NHL- Chicago Blackhawks8102 NHL - Boston Bruins8111 MLB - San Francisco Giants662 MLB - St. Louis Cardinals681 *Not including MLB Wild Card playoff The post Colorado Avalanche: Home ice crucial in first round of playoffs appeared first on isportsweb.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Family searching for missing Ohio State football player

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Manny Pacquiao responds to Floyd Mayweather diss

Australian cricket player dies from head injuries

Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Things to be thankful for in the NBA this season

Eric Berry sends out Thanksgiving message

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks about Eminem referencing her

WATCH: Dwayne Harris dirty hit on Nolan Carroll sparks fight

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Avalanche News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks Eminem

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.