CENTENNIAL - They started the season as 150-1 underdogs to win a Stanley Cup, at least according to the wiseguys in Las Vegas. As of Monday, the oddsmakers had moved them up to 33-1 to win a Cup. The Nashville Predators, though, are 15-4 to win it all, the best odds given any NHL team.
So, the Avalanche has no illusions about the challenge ahead. For the second time in team history, the Avs are starting a playoff series as the last seed in the Western Conference, playing a team that won the Presidents' Trophy with 117 points and went to a sixth game of the Stanley Cup Finals last spring.