Game #81. There are only two games remaining in the 2011-2012 Colorado Avalanche season since their postseason dreams are basically zero. It would take a significant miracle for the Avalanche to squeak into that eighth seed in the Western Conference.
Colorado faces a Columbus Blue Jackets team that has been assured of one of the top two picks in the June Amateur Draft based on their league worst 61 points in the standings. Their season has been a complete trainwreck from the start, and now the end is mercifully close for Blue Jackets fans.
Avalanche fans have more to be happy about with their team. While some players such as David Jones, Milan Hejduk, and Matt Hunwick may not be returning to Colorado next season, there is still a very solid core in place. Goalie Semyon Varlamov has been excellent the second half of the season. Rookie Gabriel Landeskog is the favorite for this year's Calder Trophy. Ryan O'Reilly is a likely nomineed for the Selke Trophy. There's quite a bit to look forward to in the future.
For now, hockey fans only get two more games until September rolls around again. Time to just watch, have fun, and say "goodbye" to your team for the summer.
Puck drops at 7:00 p.m. MT
For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Blue Jackets blog Jackets Cannon.