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Avalanche will play either Chicago or Arizona in first round of NHL playoffs

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HINTON, ALBERTA – Blackhawks or Coyotes. The Avalanche will play one of those teams in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs some time next week. The Chicago Blackhawks’ elimination of Edmonton tonight in their qualifier series added clarity to the Avs’ near-term future, and it comes down to this:

If the Avs beat the Vegas Golden Knights Saturday, they’ll play the Blackhawks in Round 1. If the Avs lose to Vegas, they’ll play the Arizona Coyotes. It’s that simple.

We still don’t have a starting time, by the way, for the Avs-Vegas game. That should come out shortly. There will be only one game at Rogers Place tomorrow, the Avs-Knights game. UPDATE: Game is at 1 p.m. mountain.

Who do you want as the opponent in the first round, Avs fan? The floor is yours. Tell me who, and why.

I would say that I think the Avs would be better off playing the Coyotes, but by no means am I disrespecting them as a team. I just think that the Blackhawks look hotter right now, and they’ve got guys who have won three Stanley Cups on the roster and who are playing well right now, especially captain Jonathan Toews.

Chicago will enter the playoffs as the No. 8 seed, and Arizona seventh. Colorado can finish no lower than the second seed for Round 1.

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jawtin

Take the hawks. Even in the Quenneville days the Avs always had their number.

Gulol

Chicago. Concerned they’ll play down to the competition if the play Arizona (visions of the Stadium Series game against the Kings come to mind). The Blackhawks will be a good test for the Avs

avsftw

I’d take the Hawks for the goalie alone. DK is healthy again and looking really good for AZ

Rich

I see this Avs team with a different mindset from previous teams so whoever they were to play they will compete to the fullest… Go Avs!

Matt Briggle

I would agree with Rich. I think this team has their mindset dialed in just right. They clearly have the big goal of the Stanley Cup in their minds, but they also have a series of smaller goals set that they know they have to achieve to reach the big one. This is an Avs team on a mission like they haven’t been since Mission 16W in 2001.

jensen

Arizona is not easy to play either. I think they turned out okay. Playoffs always depend on your form on the day and you have to be ready at any moment. If you’re not ready, you go and play golf in a timely manner. I am optically that we can go far because Bednar gives everything to the team to be successful. 

Brian Levesque

I would take Chicago, I don’t think the defense on the hawks can handle Colorados speed

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