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Colorado Avalanche Vs Dallas Stars

WESTERN CONFERENCE:

Dallas Stars (Seed 2)

The Stars finished a solid second in the Western Conference and easily won the Pacific Conference by 13 points. Although Marty Turco started out shaky and inconsistent, he found a grove part way through the season, going 41-19 with a 2.55 GAA and a .898 SAV%. These are good stats but to get deep into the playoffs, Turco will have to play at a new level.


Center Mike Modano led the team with 77 points—a well balanced effort with 27 goals and 50 assists-- while showing an ability to make everyone on the ice with him a little better. Center Jason Arnott provided almost as much offense on the second line, scoring 32 goals and making 44 assists, while defenseman Sergei Zubov (+20) was an assist machine, leading the team in that category with 58.

Wings Brenden Morrow and Jere Lehtinen have been solid; Morrow had 42 assists and Lehtinen put in 33 goals. Rookie Jussi Jokinen on left wing has been a notable surprise providing 38 assists and 17 goals.

The Stars have a mediocre, no-name defense and a worse than average power play. This team will have to work extra hard to make it into the third round. Modano, Arnott, and Turco hold the keys to this team’s shot at success.

Colorado Avalanche (Seed 7)

The Avalanche have a force at center with veteran Joe Sakic leading a balanced attacked (32 G, 55 A, 87 PTS) and Rob Blake providing tough defense and added offense (14 G, 37 A, 51 PTS).

The sticking point for this team is in goal. Jose Theodore (18-17, 3.41 GAA, .882 SAV%) has been chosen to start the series over rookie Peter Budaj (14-11, 2.86 GAA, .900 SAV%). Theodore has been less than stellar this season and has a terrible playoff history.

The choice to start Theodore in goal over Budaj could seal the fate of this team early in the playoffs.

First Round Playoff Series Prediction:

Dallas over Colorado in 7 games

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