ROCKY ROAD

The Wild’s blood pumps hard­est when Colorado comes to town

The Hockey News - Rivalries 2014 - - Team Vs. Team -

THE MIN­NESOTA WILD have played just 14 NHL sea­sons. Be­lieve it or not, though, only one team has stayed in their di­vi­sion for that en­tire pe­riod: the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs fol­lowed the Wild from the North­west to the Cen­tral, where the two sides con­tinue to play heart-stop­ping and some­times bit­ter playo se­ries.

The first time the Avs and Wild clashed in the post-sea­son was in 2002-03, when the Wild ral­lied from a 3-1 se­ries deficit, win­ning Games 6 and 7 in over­time. The Avs an­swered in 200708 with a six-game vic­tory. Then came last sea­son’s back-and-forth war. The hockey it­self was sen­sa­tional, with four games go­ing to over­time, and the bad blood made the se­ries even more mem­o­rable. Matt Cooke, known for his spotty dis­ci­plinary record, knocked Colorado D-man Tyson Bar­rie out of the se­ries with a knee-on-knee hit in Game 3, earn­ing him­self a seven-game sus­pen­sion.

With both teams on the rise as Stan­ley Cup con­tenders, the ha­tred will grow.

The two teams meet Oct. 9, Oct. 11, Feb. 7, Feb. 28 and March 8.

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