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Here's my awards for the first round series against the Wild.

The "most prophetic blog post written all season award": James Mirtle. He has come up with what is titled the Rod Langway award for the best defensive defenseman in the league. Look who won it this season. With the best defensive-defensemen in the league matched up on the Wild's best player it should be no surprise that Gaborik was frustrated and unable to score points all series.

The "Making an Avs blogger eat crow award": I could have easily awarded this to the entire team for their work on Adrian Dater, (and Dater shamelessly lobbied for being on the other side of this award today :) ) but I'm going to give this to Tyler Arnason and Joel Quenneville. After having harsh words for both of them after game three, both coach and player significantly improved their performance, and were critical in the Avs series win over the Wild.
Arnason had a great shift tonight that resulted in him getting the puck to David Jones who set-up Ryan Smyth for the game winning goal. After blasting him after game 3 he went on to have 3 points in 3 games and was remarkably better in games 4,5 &6.
mmm crow is delicious

Despite a general consensus that Adam Foote is a step slower and is reduced to taking penalties as a result, Quenneville played Adam Foote (and Kurt Sauer) against Maid Marion Gaborik and completely shut him down. He was also able to match his lines against the Wild more effectively. More importantly when the Avs had a third period lead in games 4,5, and 6 they played a much more aggressive defensive game, dumping the puck in the Wild Zone and then trying like hell to hold it their without being caught. Quenneville earned himself a contract extension with those three games (if he wants it) and frankly he deserves it. His coaching in the last three games was outstanding, and more importantly he out-coached Jaques Lemaire in this series. That's an impressive feet feat.

The "Proof that bloggers are not complete idiots award:" Goes to this post by me (Yes I am giving myself an award. I know that's lame, at least I didn't call it the Jibble_cribbits award like Mark Messier would have done.) Sure now I'm the one shamelessly self-promoting, but I more wanted to point to the fact that the Wild defense got extremely tired, in this series. Not only that but Johnsson and Burns's play slowly deteriorated as the series wore on. Their bodies were obviously wearing out. This isn't to take away from the work they did, they were great even late in the series, but their fatigue was costly in spots. The Wild had 4-5 good defensemen and when 2 went down with injuries they weren't able to replace their minutes adequately enough and it cost them. (Example the Avs have 8 D-men that could all log decent minutes even though only 7 played in this series).

The "middle finger to my critics award": Goes to José "pimp cane" Théodore. Quite simply he is the Con Smyth favorite after round one. [McNab] He has been the best goaltender through the first round of the playoffs so far. [/McNab]. When you play so well that you make a McNabism not an overstatement you are doing extremely well.

The "Bob Cole Award" for most blatently curmudgeon homer announcer: who sucks the soul out of hockey: Goes to both Minnesota announcers Dan Terhaar and Mike Greenlay for their whining about the refereeing all series long, especially game 4. Luckily I didn't have to hear much of it (I got Vs for most games) but in seeing the audio from this clip: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAFv9--70Qs&hl=en]
But I'm not the only one who thought so.. read what this guy had to say about the Minnesota announcers.

The Lady Byng of bloggers award goes to The entire Minnesota Wild independent blogosphere. While Wild announcers, columnists and the fans at the Xcel energy center were being kind of babies, the Wild bloggers handled themselves with grace, integrity and reason. I can't say enough good things about the fine folks at: Wild Puck Banter, 18,568 reasons why, Land of Lakes hockey, Deuce by Definition, Wild view from section 216, Hitting the Post, and Hockey in Minnesota. Well done guys and gals of the MN hockey blogosphere, and I will definitely be heading to your sites more frequently next season to keep tabs on the Avs division nemesis.

Well from here it's on to Round 2, where our next round opponent is most likely to be non other than the Detroit Red Wings, even though the Avs could face anyone from them To #7 Calgary.