Colorado Avalanche News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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3/6/14: Give the Avs a lot of credit this season. It was just 12 months ago that the Avs were among the worst teams in the NHL and even had the first overall pick in the draft last June. Now they are among the best teams in the league, so a lot of credit has to go to GM Joe Sakic and head coach Patrick Roy. Colorado is in third place in the Central Division, with a 10 point lead over Minnesota. With about 20 games left, they are almost assured of an automatic playoff spot. They can even move up. They trail both Chicago and St. Louis by just three points, so there still is plenty of time to improve their playoff position.
2/27/14: Avs head coach Patrick Roy has never been shy about saying what is on his mind. He has been known to rip his own players, opposing team players, and even other coaches in public. But he went even a step further with the Olympics. He publicly called out Russian forwards Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin for their play and leadership in the Olympic games. While Roy had a vested interest in the Russians because his goalie, Semyon Varlamov, was their starting goalie, he has no relationship with Malkin or Ovechkin. He did temper his comments by saying it was a learning process for the Russian stars, who failed to medal at the Olympics.
2/20/14: Av's goaltender Semyon Varlamov got his starting job back for the Russian national team at the Winter Olympics, and improved his record to 2-0 in the tournament. Russia went with Sergei Bobrovsky in their second game, an epic 3-2 shootout loss to Team USA. Bobrovsky played well, but T.J. Oshie (St. Louis Blues) scored on four of six shootout chances, powering the Americans to the win. Varlamov and the Russians beat Slovakia, putting them into the fifth seed heading into the elimination rounds of the tournament. He also stopped 12 of 14 shots in a 5-2 win over Slovenia.
2/13/14: One could argue that the Avs are playing with house money right now, so whatever happens is a blessing. That is the attitude of those that know that the Avs were among the worst teams in the league last season and do not believe the team should be in third place in the Central division heading into the Olympic break. However, head coach Patrick Roy has done an outstanding job of preparing his team throughout the season, and they have the talent and goaltending to be a contender throughout the playoffs. The turnaround this year may be unexpected, but the Avs are no fluke.
2/6/14: The Avs won a game they probably should not have against the Devils last week, but that is what good teams have to do. Head coach Patrick Roy was facing a 1-0 deficit and pulled the goalie with a full 2:30 left to go. The Avs scored to force overtime, then won quickly with a PA Parenteau goal. The Avs remain hot with their fourth consecutive win and 13th in their last 17 games. If this keeps up, then there will be an epic finish to the regular season in the Central Division, as both Chicago and St. Louis are also in the mix.
1/30/14: The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia will force a two week time out in the NHL as many players will represent their country in the games. That creates an artificial trade deadline, which has a lot of speculation on who is going where. The Avs are comfortably in third place in the Central Division, but now rumors are circulating that the team may trade forward P.A. Parenteau. Parenteau was a healthy scratch against the Stars (Avs won the game). The Candiens, among others, are apparently interested in the player, who has struggled for most of this season.
1/23/14: The Avs are comfortably in third place in the Central Division, and actually are not far behind the second place St. Louis Blues. But the focus in Denver these days is not on the Avs but on the Denver Broncos. For those following Peyton Manning and Broncos, they have missed a nice run by the Avalanche in recent days. Most recently, they topped the Nashville Predators 5-4 for another win. Patrick Roy certainly deserves consideration for the coach of the year award for his work. Let's not forget that the Avalanche were the worst team in the West last season and now can be considered a contender for the Stanley Cup.
1/16/14: The Sharks took a huge blow last week when defensive leader Logan Couture went down with a hand injury. He had surgery this past week and will miss three to four weeks rehabbing. The team has already lost star rookie Tomas Hertl, so the questions are beginning to mount about their depth. San Jose is second in the Pacific Division and has a four point lead over third place Los Angeles, and a six point edge on Vancouver. The Ducks are running away with the division, so it looks like the Sharks job now is to hold serve and keep their guaranteed playoff spot by finishing in the top three in the division.
1//16/14: Colorado is certainly the surprise team in the Western Conference this season. Give all due credit to head coach Patrick Roy and GM Joe Sakic for the turnaround. This was a team that was last in the NHL last season. Now, they are an automatic qualifier for the playoffs (today). Roy, particularly has been fantastic. He seems to have instilled both confidence and accountability in his players. When he called out his backup goalie, the goalie said he was not playing his best. Every league has surprise teams who rise up and take the league by storm. This season, in the NHL, it has to be the Avs.
1/9/14: Colorado has finally given themselves a bit of a cushion over the Minnesota Wild and the rest of the Central Division, so they now have a seven point lead for third place. That is important because the top three teams in each division automatically qualify for the playoffs. The Avs still trail the Chicago Blackhawks by 10 points and the St. Louis Blues by seven. The Avs have benefitted by earning twelve points in their last ten games, while the Wild have only earned eight. There is still plenty of season to go, but if the Avs can simply hold serve, then they will be back in the playoffs for the first time in several years.
1/2/14: Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy offered a rare candid thought last week when he said that his team would not catch the Chicago Blackhawks in Central Division. It is one thing to play the underdog role, but quite another to concede the victory. Roy's Avs are 9 points behind the Blackhawks, so he probably has a point. The Avs started the season at 14-2, but have middled around .500 since. However, that should be of no concern. Barring a major breakdown, the Avs should make the playoffs, and once in, anyone can win the Stanley Cup.
12/26/13: Colorado has allowed the least amount of goals against in the Western Conference with only 71 through 35 games - so just over 2 goals per game. A big key to theat has been the outstanding play of goaltender Semyon Varlamov this season. However, Varlemov found himself in trouble recently on an arrest for domestic violence against his girlfriend (on a side note, a Russian Olympic representative said that it was a conspiracy by the U.S. and Denver police to keep him out of the Olympics). The charges were officially dropped last week, so Varlamov is clear to play for both the Avs and the Russian Olympic team.
12/19/13: The Avalanche are getting a bit of better news out of the Alex Tanguay hip injury. The original diagnosis was very harsh, but things seem to be getting better. Tanguay suffered the injury while rehabbing a knee injury - possibly by overcompensating for the knee soreness. That knee injury came on November 2nd, so this is a relatively new injury. Tanguay is 34 years old, so these type of injuries can be tough to deal with. The Avs have clawed their way back into the top three in the Central Division, behind Chicago and St. Louis - though they still need to fend off Winnipeg for a few more months.
12/12/13: As the Stars keep jockeying for playoff position (yes, the playoffs are still over four months away, but the Western Conference is ultra-competitive), they will be without one of their more sturdy role players for a bit. The Stars are saying that Vernon Fiddler is out at least a week with an upper body injury. Of course, that could mean anything from a concussion to a hangnail, but the NHL does not require such denotations. Dallas moved young forward Cody Eakin into Fiddler's spot for the time being. Dallas has been especially unlucky with injuries of late, but if they can hold serve for the next few weeks then they enter the stretch run healthy, hopefully.
12/5/13: Colorado is developing an intense dislike of the St. Louis Blues. The Blues buried the Avs 7-3 three weeks ago and followed it up with a 4-1 pounding last week in Denver. Avs head coach Patrick Roy had some choice words for Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock after the most recent game and lamented that rules are different for young coaches as opposed to older one. The Avalanche may be fuming now and come out with increased intensity the next time these two teams meet. However, until Colorado wins one, it is not a true rivalry.
11/28/13: Forget the hockey season for a moment. Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov has bigger issues as he was charged with third degree assault for an incident with his girlfriend. He is scheduled to appear in court next week and is out of jail on a $5,000 bond. The maximum penalty is a two year prison sentence. The charge against kidnapping, a much more serious charge (it is all serious and should not be taken lightly by any means), was dropped. Varlamov has had a great year on the ice, but this is far more important than hockey
11/21/13: Colorado got off to a great start this season and in no way resembles the team that was last in the league last season. That is until they went to St. Louis. The Blues pounded the Avs 7-3 and chased goal tender Semyon Varlamov from the game. Colorado simply could not stop St. Louis' top line of Alex Steen, David Backes, and T.J. Oshie who combined for nine points. The Avs players were upset and a boxing match broke out with three fights within three minutes of the final period. The Blues won this round, but next time should be must see TV for all hockey fans.
11/14/13: The Washington Capitals gave up on Semyon Varlamov a few years ago and shipped him out to Colorado. For a while, that looked like a smart move as Caps goalie Bradon Holtby played very well and Varlamov struggled. But Varlamov is having an outstanding year. He has a 9-2 record and a .936 save percentage while the Colorado Avalanche lead the league in points. Moreover, Varlamov has beaten the Caps twice this season and only surrendered two goals on 75 shots. Varlamov is still facing charges for allegedly beating his girlfriend, and that may land him in jail - and that should not be overlooked by any means, no matter how good he is playing.
11/7/13: The Avs have been as strong as any team this season and a lot of the credit has to go to the new leadership. New General Manager Joe Sakic and head coach Patrick Roy have infused their attitude into the players, and the players have bought in. They Avs only have one loss on the year and own the best record in the Western Conference. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov has been a big part of the turnaround, but he may be in trouble soon. He is accused of assaulting his girlfriend and was arrested last week. One Russian hockey official claimed it is a conspiracy by the US Olympic Team and the Denver Police to keep him out of the Olympics. Sometimes one has to put sports in perspective and realize what is important.
10/31/13: What do we make of the Avs hot start? Considering this was the worst team in the NHL last season, how do we guage if iti among the best this season. The Avs are 8-1-1 and seem fully in control of their destiny (even though the season is only a few weeks old). It does look like the new management and coach have made a tremendous difference. Former first overall pick Erik Johnson (by the St. Louis Blues) is playing like he did before he tore his ACL. The team in general has an aggressive attitude that they lacked in the past. The Avs may have been picked to finish near the bottom this season, but they certainly are not playing like it.
10/24/13: Not many people outside of Avs head coach Patrick Roy saw the team's ultra hot start coming. Colorado was easily the worst team in the Western Conference last year and among the worst in the league - they even had the number one pick thanks to their futility in the 2013 shortened season. That is all in the past now. The Avs are 6-1, finally losing in their seventh game (to long-time rival Detroit). Though the season is still very young, they may be the best team in the league at this moment. Roy has instilled confidence and pride in this team, and that should be expected to continue. Consider them a playoff contender until further notice.
10/17/13: Don't get too excited yet, Avs fans. Remember, it is a long season and there are still 78 games to play. At the same time, the Avs lead the Western Conference and stand at 4-0-0, meaning they have taken eight out of eight possible points. They have a +10 point differential and have only surrendered three goals through four games. Again, it is still early, but it looks like Patrick Roy and his feisty temperament has sparked something in this young team. Roy had never coached at the NHL level, but had success with junior leagues. His team is very young and that seems to be paying off so far this season.
10/10/13: Well that was quick. It did not take long for new head coach Patrick Roy to get noticed. Roy was a seemingly obvious choice for the head coaching position. He was with the Avs in their glory days and won a couple Stanley Cups. He also spent the last few years coaching in the junior leagues, so it is assumed he would be good with a very young team. He is also temperamental and was fined after his first game for getting into loud verbal spats with the Anaheim Ducks' players and coaches. Whatever Roy's salary is, he should have a clause to pay the fines he will receive throughout this season.
10/3/13: The Avalanche start the season with old faces in new positions. New General Manager Joe Sakic brought in Patrick Roy as the head coach. Roy brings a decidedly new hard-nosed attitude to his first NHL coaching gig, and that may be what the Avs need. The team will be among the youngest in the NHL certainly, but the important thing is for Colorado to take the next step developmentally. It is a similar tactic the St. Louis Blues employed and they are now among the favorites in the Western Conference. There may not be a lot of wins this season, but the foundation is being set for a return to greatness.
9/26/13: New head coach Patrick Roy earned his first victory as the Avs bench boss in a 4-3 preseason victory over the L.A. Kings. Ryan O'Reilly scored two goals, including the game winner which was a short-handed goal 45 seconds into overtime. The team can feel good about the victory especially since it was not likely to win last season. There are some concerns though. First overall pick Nathan McKinnon sat out Friday and Sunday with a hip injury. McKinnon will be a big piece of the Avs' rebuilding process and missing time with his team and linemates does not benefit his development.
9/19/13: The Avs' forward Paul Stastny is ready to prove that he is better now than when he first broke into the league. This is Stastny's seventh season. He entered the league at age 21 and tallied 78 points in 82 games. He was runner-up for the Rookie of the Year Award to a guy named Evgeni Malkin (pretty good company). His second year was great too when he managed 71 points in just 66 games. He was injured for the next few seasons and his numbers fell. He feels now that he is better than in his early years. That is to be expected, he does have six years under his belt. The Avs need him to return to form if th
Colorado Avalanche Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Colorado Avalanche First Game 2013
Colorado Avalanche Regular Season Last Game 2013
Colorado Avalanche Preseason Beginning 2013
AVALANCHE SCORES3 wins, 3 losses (50%)
Mar 4, 2014 Colorado Avalanche 4 - 2 Chicago Blackhawks Mar 2, 2014 Tampa Bay Lightning 3 - 6 Colorado Avalanche Feb 28, 2014 Phoenix Coyotes 2 - 4 Colorado Avalanche Feb 6, 2014 Colorado Avalanche 1 - 3 Philadelphia Flyers Feb 4, 2014 Colorado Avalanche 1 - 5 New York Rangers Feb 3, 2014 Colorado Avalanche 2 - 1 New Jersey Devils Feb 1, 2014 Buffalo Sabres 1 - 7 Colorado Avalanche
Mar 6, 2014 Colorado Avalanche vs Detroit Red Wings Mar 8, 2014 St. Louis Blues vs Colorado Avalanche Mar 10, 2014 Winnipeg Jets vs Colorado Avalanche Mar 12, 2014 Chicago Blackhawks vs Colorado Avalanche Mar 14, 2014 Anaheim Ducks vs Colorado Avalanche Mar 16, 2014 Colorado Avalanche vs Ottawa Senators Mar 18, 2014 Colorado Avalanche vs Montreal Canadiens Mar 19, 2014 Colorado Avalanche vs Winnipeg Jets Mar 21, 2014 Boston Bruins vs Colorado Avalanche Mar 25, 2014 Colorado Avalanche vs Nashville Predators Mar 27, 2014 Vancouver Canucks vs Colorado Avalanche Mar 29, 2014 San Jose Sharks vs Colorado Avalanche Apr 1, 2014 Colorado Avalanche vs Columbus Blue Jackets Apr 3, 2014 New York Rangers vs Colorado Avalanche Apr 5, 2014 Colorado Avalanche vs St. Louis Blues Apr 6, 2014 Pittsburgh Penguins vs Colorado Avalanche Apr 8, 2014 Colorado Avalanche vs Edmonton Oilers Apr 10, 2014 Colorado Avalanche vs Vancouver Canucks Apr 11, 2014 Colorado Avalanche vs San Jose Sharks Apr 13, 2014 Colorado Avalanche vs Anaheim Ducks