The 'Lanche are five points back of eighth place in the West with three games remaining, which means even if they win out, they still need a whole lotta help in the form of a pretty good Calgary team losing to the sad-sack Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
Not going to happen.
But if there's one thing we should all take away from Colorado's ridiculous 13-1-2 charge up the standings the past month or so, it's that Joe Sakic is oh-so-much more than simply another bland superstar in a league full of them.
He's a leader - and regardless of who he's for the ride, he'll shoulder the load. Way back in this franchise's Quebec Nordique days, there were times when Sakic had to do just that on his own - but since making the trek to Denver in 1995-96, he's had a lot of help. Patrick Roy, Peter Forsberg, Adam Foote and their good friend Stanley were along for the ride, and the past 10 years, Sakic has never played on a team with less than a .579 win percentage. He's won two Stanley Cups and only been eliminated in the first round twice in that time.
Adversity has been in short supply.
This year? It's everywhere. A sophomore Slovakian goaltender is tending the pipes behind a blueline crew cobbled together with castoffs like Karlis Skrastins and Brett Clark, a blue-collar crew Denver hasn't seen since the days of Don Cherry's god-awful Rockies. For the first time in a long time, this is a team built on youth (Paul Stastny, Wojtek Wolski) and bargains (Andrew Brunette at $800,000), but the one constant has been the captain.
And when his team seemed woefully, horribly, St. Louis Blues out of the playoff race back at the trade deadline, he was the one who keyed the climb up the standings. Last night in Calgary, a place where almost no one has won the past few years, Sakic played nearly 25 minutes and had four points, was everywhere on the ice, lining up against superstars 10 years his junior.
Sakic turns 38 three months from now, but has he slowed any? With three games remaining, his 35-goal, 95-point totals are his best in six years, and he sits ahead of Jaromir Jagr in seventh in the scoring race despite the fact he's on a team short on talented peers.
He's Joe Sakic, superstar nonpareil, and since early February, he's kept pace with Sidney Crosby with 13 goals and 36 points in 27 games while sitting in the bottom half of the league in terms of quality of linemates.
That's hard to believe. And yet we've grown so used to his feats that any talk of the Hart has been out of the question.