This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. It took 82 games to get here, but we’ve made it. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are upon us and the Avs are ready to get things going. There is absolutely nothing that beats playoff hockey.
I have a bet with a friend, who has never been to a NHL playoff game before, that it beats every sports playoff experience. He went to the AFC Championship in Denver a few years ago. I told him these games would beat it. I’ll report back when he attends a game but I feel confident I’ll win this one.
I caught up with a few fans before puck drop to see how we were feeling about the matchup with the Nashville Predators, the regular season and series predictions.
Mike Schonberger has had season tickets for over 20 years and felt good about the regular season performance. “The plays that they set up on offense and transitions to defense were amazing, so I knew they were destined for playoffs,” he said.
Tonight was the first time since the 2019 that Ball Arena was at full capacity for a playoff game. 2020 was the bubble season and 2021 it was a 50% capacity and when it was announced that the arena could be full, the Avs got booted in the second round. Tonight was not about the past though. Ball Arena was packed to the max and loud after every whistle.
“It’s good being back, it’s a fun environment, people are loud, people are fun. It’s good to see everybody back.” said Cody Hudson, an Avs fan since he was 7 years old when he moved here.
The Avs have played the Predators before in the playoffs. The last time being in 2017 when the Predators won the Presidents’ Trophy. The script has flipped a little bit this year with the Avs finishing with 119 points this season. The Avs did not disappoint as they put up five goals in the first period and never took their foot off the pedal.
“I think it’ll be a tough matchup but I definitely think we have the better team. We have a lot more depth and playoff experience over the last couple of years,” said Zach Schuette. His first Avs game was the All-Star game in 2001 when he was 4 years old. That’s a pretty good first game, I would say.
Cody, Zach and Mike all had one thing in common. They all agreed the Avs will win the series 4-1. They didn’t want to come off as overly confident and gave the Preds a game.
“I’d like to say sweep but I’m thinking we might drop one in Nashville, but we’ll see what happens.” Said Hudson.
The Avs got off on the right foot and won the game one with a final score of 7-2, including two power play goals, consistent goaltending and depth scoring. One game down, three to go.