DENVER - As part of the last NHL collective bargaining agreement, teams became required to give players a "bye week", one with no games and the option to get out of town for a few days, and after tonight the Colorado Avalanche will go into its bye week.
A win against the Central Division rival Minnesota Wild? Yeah, that would serve quite nicely as a parting gift for a surging Avs team. Maybe even more than the Detroit Red Wings, the Wild is the team Avs fans love to hate now, having lost two seven-game playoff series to them before and a reputation by Wild fans as a team that loves to brag about things despite having never made it to a Stanley Cup Final (and, no, the days of the North Stars don't count).
"There's certainly no love lost between the two teams," coach Jared Bednar said after Saturday's morning skate. "You feel that from our fan base, and you sense that from guys in our room. I think it's good to have rivals. I think they bring the best out in one another."