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Avalanche-Stars preview: Who has the edge?



Avalanche Stars

The Avalanche just sent the desert dogs packing down highway #2; tails between their legs without a howl or hardly a whimper. Arizona simply couldn’t hang with Colorado’s stuff. It was the most dominant performance of the first round not only in the West but league-wide.

A brief look back, then a look ahead at Avs-Stars and how I see this thing playing out. Maybe.

Asserting Dominance

The Avalanche controlled 63 percent of the shot share, outscored Arizona by 14 goals and had just one player be on the wrong side of a 50 percent Corsi, JUST ONE. In contrast, the Coyotes had four, four on the right side of the share that is, 16 on the WRONG side. They got spanked, plain and simple.

Kuemper stood tall and stole a game and for the most part through the first three games played liked a top-five goalie (which he was this season) but then like the rest of the team went to water under pressure in games 4 and 5. For a team coached by one of the more hard-nosed, liked and respected guys behind the bench in Rick Tocchet, they simply quit on him. He asked for character and resilience after game 4 and Tocchet got nothing.

Even though on paper they weren’t as deep and on the ice, they didn’t have the skills, all he asked was for some truculence and the Avalanche quashed that too. The Avs got through the series with a clean bill of health and Cale did great for those on Calder watch – zero goals against in all-situations and lead the team in even-strength Corsi at 71.7 percent. Even though some said he had some poor minutes, Cale was doing the exact opposite. Atta boy kid. So what’s next for the Avalanche?

Time To Shoot The Stars Down

Tonight it all starts again. Recent history leads me to believe that this bubble Avalanche team is much stronger than them, a 4-0 win in the round-robin series also suggests such. The Stars got the better of the Avalanche in the regular season series, sweeping Colorado. That was an age ago however and the Avalanche were without two top-20 guys on the first two of three occasions.

The way Dallas beat the Avalanche in the first two games was… ugly to say the least. The goals they scored were very lucky or handed to them on a platter to say the least.

Game 1:

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