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Why the Colorado Avalanche will win the Stanley Cup

Pittsburgh Penguins' captain Sidney Crosby raises the Stanley Cup after the Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 to win Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals in Detroit, Friday, June 12, 2009. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

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Pittsburgh Penguins' captain Sidney Crosby raises the Stanley Cup after the Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 to win Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals in Detroit, Friday, June 12, 2009. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Tony Cimato, Staff writer

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The 2017-2018 Colorado Avalanche will win the Stanley Cup. Yes, you read that right. Its possible, and I’m here to tell you how. As many of you know, the 2016-2017 Colorado Avalanche were one of the worst teams in National Hockey League History. This season, they enter the playoffs as the number eight seed as they play the Presidents Trophy-winning Nashville Predators. The Avalanche are massive underdogs to even win their first round series, and rightfully so. The Nashville Predators are the best team in the National. With their raucous fans, their star strutted national anthem singers, and oh yeah; the team is pretty good too. The Nashville Predators have the best defensive core in the National Hockey League with Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm and P.K. Subban; to back them up, is 2017-18 All-star goalie Pekka Rinne. Upfront they contain 4 lines that contain the strongest depth of any team. Leading the way are Fillip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen. The way Nashville plays, winning 60 percent of their face-offs, playing a sound defensive game that transitions straight into their offense that took them to the Stanley Cup Final last season before losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 6 games.

In this current playoff, the Nashville Predators team has played the third most games amongst the teams in this year’s playoffs where the Avalanche are dead last. In hockey, playoff experience wins championships. Sounds like Nashville is going to go right back to the Cup Final. However, two words. Nathan Mackinnon. Obviously, one player won’t win a hockey game, or a series; or a Stanley Cup. However, having the best player in the National Hockey League on your team with a group of young talented players equals a chance for success. According to NHL.com,
Nathan Mackinnon was fifth in the NHL with 97 points. He missed eight games, and in a points per game(ppg) basis, he finished with 1.31 ppg, compared to Connor McDavid (whose team missed the playoffs) who led the league with 1.32 ppg.

Mackinnon led the league in game-wining goals and points at home. For Mackinnon to have such a good season, you have to have excellent line mates. Mackinnon has two exceptional line mates in Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen. Landeskog, the Captain of the team, had 62 points, (3 shy of his career high) and Landeskog is the big Power Forward on the line, as he plays big and has a heart of a lion. Rantanen, a 20 year-old Finnish product ranked 17th in NHL scoring with 84 points at a 1.04 ppg rate according to nhl.com/stats. The chemistry this line
has created after being put together shortly after the trade of longtime Avalanche forward Matt Duchene, has skyrocketed the team that included a NHL best 10 game winning streak in January of this year. With all of their young, talented players, you cannot forget about arguably Colorado’s second most important line. Matt Nieto,
Carl Soderberg and Blake Comeau are the Avs most experienced and grizzled line. The work they put in, every single game, shows the young players what hey need to do, to be a championship caliber team.

The Avalanche also have an array of young talented players such as Tyson Jost, Sven Andrighetto, Samuel Girard, Nikita Zadorov, Alexander Kerfoot and J.T. Compher. These players are all under the age of 24, excluding Andrighetto, and all of them are experiencing their first taste of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Stanley Cup
Playoffs are a different animal compared to the regular season. Nashville’s former Captain and current fourth line center Mike Fischer has played in one more playoff game than the entire Avalanche roster combined. The Avalanche’s lack of playoff experience will benefit them as their young ignorant minds will not realize how big
of a moment it is, and they will continue to play their games as they have all season. They say experience wins Cups, but I believe the Colorado Avalanche, their superstar forward and his battery, along with the ignorant talent, won’t back down from the situation that they are in, and they will thrive in this 2017-2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. “I’m seeing SO many people picking Nashville in a sweep. If I’m seeing it, you know the players are seeing it, and you know they’re talking about it. Avs have been on a mission to prove people wrong all year.” Jesse Montano, a writer for BSN Denver wrote on Twitter regarding the Avalanche’s focus and determination to prove the doubters wrong.

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Why the Colorado Avalanche will win the Stanley Cup