The end is here.
82 regular season games have been played, and the Colorado Avalanche are looking at one of their worst seasons in franchise history. It was a long, frustrating road, but now Colorado will be watching the playoffs from the couch at home wondering what would have happened had more things gone right for them.
They will be facing a Edmonton Oilers team that hasn't had much to play for this season, having essentially been the frontrunners for the first overall draft pick since the first month of the season. With the loss of rookie forward Taylor Hall two months ago, Edmonton has been playing out the string of games with an eye on June.
The real story of this game is Avalanche captain Adam Foote. It will be his last time on an NHL hockey bench wearing a team sweater, his last time in front of the Pepsi Center home crowd, and his last chance to skate against NHL competition. It's a shame that the Avalanche couldn't stay healthy enough to give Foote one more taste of the playoffs, but at least he gets to exit the game he loves on his own terms.
It could also be the last game in an Avalanche sweater for players like Peter Budaj and Brandon Yip, two players unlikely to return to Colorado next season due to their price tag and cheaper replacements coming up behind them.
Peter Budaj will start in net, potentially his last game as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. Nikolai Khabibulin will start in net for Edmonton.
Puck drops at 1:00 p.m. MDT.