If the NHL season ended today, the Colorado Avalanche would find themselves watching the postseason on television. After two straight losses last week, the Avalanche have slipped into a precarious position -- 10th place in the Western Conference and the fewest remaining games of their main competition. If they want a playoff berth, they'll likely have to win their last five games of the season.
Monday night's opponent is a San Jose Sharks team that has struggled to put two straight victories together. Their March record of 5-5-3 has barely kept them afloat in the playoff chase, and yet they still sit just a single point behind the Pacific Division leading Dallas Stars. Former Avalanche players Dan Winnik and T.J. Galiardi have not made the desired impact in San Jose. Since the trade deadline, Winnik has two goals and an assist in 14 games. Galiardi has not scored a single point and has only played in eight of 14 games in a Sharks uniform. He will miss Monday's game against Colorado with an upper body injury.
Conversely, Jamie McGinn (the man Winnik and Galiardi were traded for), has been a dynamo for Colorado. Anchoring a line with Paul Stastny and David Jones, McGinn actually leads the Avalanche in scoring since the trade deadline. Here's some food for thought: McGinn scored 12 goals in 61 games for San Jose this season, but has already scored eight goals in 13 games for the Avalanche.
I believe Avalanche GM Greg Sherman is feeling pretty good about that deadline deal.
Semyon Varlamov will start in net for the Avalanche.
Puck drops at 8:30 p.m. MDT
For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Sharks blog Fear The Fin.