One of the lower key best times of the sports year is the first round of the NHL and NBA playoffs. With sixteen teams and eight matchups in each, ever weeknight is filled with action on multiple channels to follow. And at least in the NHL, upsets are common. The Colorado Avalanche had relatively low expectation coming into the season. In fact, they had not made it out of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 9 years. But as the six seed, they knocked off the Pacific Division Champion Calgary Flames in a swift five games. The Avs took a body blow in Game 1 lowing 4-0, but then ran off four straight, including two on the road. It helped to have Mikko Rantanen as the star. The 22 year-old racked up 5 goals and 2 assists in the final 3 games, including the overtime Game 4 winner to send the Avs up 3-1 instead of tied 2-2. Rantonen along with his sidekick 23 year-old Nathan MacKinnon have the Avs poised for many more runs, and it won't be another nine years before they get past the first round. Maybe not before they win a Stanley Cup! Mikko Rantanen is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
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