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Colorado Avalanche News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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3/25/15: The Colorado Avalanche season is not dead yet, but it is certainly on life support. The Avs have been playing great hockey lately, going 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. That has pushed them within striking distance of a playoff spot, though they will need some help by way of slumps from teams like the Winnipeg Jets, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings. They were left for dead early in the season when they got off to a terrible start, but it is a testament to head coach Patrick Roy and the players that they continue to battle and keep their playoff hopes alive.
3/18/15: The Colorado Avalanche remain on the periphery of the playoff race. They are still mathematically alive, though they still have a long way to go (and could use some help) to get to the postseason. They have been pretty strong lately, winning seven of their past 10 games, including a big 3-2 regulation win against Calgary last Saturday. The final three weeks of the regular season will be a free for all with top teams battling for seedings, and teams like the Avalanche just trying to get a wild card spot. The Avs have the talent, but do they have enough games left?
3/11/15: The Colorado Avalanche fell back to earth this season, just a year removed from going worst to first in the Central Division. But once again they are in the basement of the division (though that can flip-flop with the Dallas Stars on any given day). What is odd, though, is that the Avs are still above .500 and would be in striking distance of a wild card spot if they were in the Eastern Conference. The Avs will play out the string and should be focusing on getting some defensive help in the offseason. Even though they are above .500, they are -13 in goal differential.
3/4/15: It is common, in all levels of hockey, to pull the goaltender when the team is trailing by a goal (maybe even two). That usually happens within the last 90 seconds of regulation. Heck, two minutes is pushing it. Head coach Patrick Roy, a former All-Star goalie himself, took goalie-pulling to the extreme against Nashville. Trailing by three goals, Roy pulled goalie Reto Berra with about 12 minutes left in the game. Did he redefine the tactic of adding an extra skater to generate more offense? No. Nashville scored on the empty net and pushed their lead to 5-1, eventually winning 5-2.
2/25/15: The Colorado Avalanche have been on a bit of a roll for the past week and change, going 4-1-0 in their last five games and finally showing what the roster is capable of doing. In that stretch, they beat true contenders Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning. Granted, they benefited in the Lightning game by poor defense and goaltending, but a win is a win. Making the playoffs is a longshot at this point for the reigning Central Division champs, but perhaps this is a kickstart into next season where they will once again be a contending force.
2/18/15: After last season's improbable run to the top of the Central Division, it is sad to see the Colorado Avalanche struggling so much this season. Many expected a regression this season, but no one expected them to fall so far behind. Their standing will probably make the Avs sellers at the trade deadline this season. They have a few pending unrestricted free agents that are not likely to return next year, such as defenseman Jan Hejda and forward Danny Briere, so picking up a prospect or draft pick now would be better than letting them walk for nothing.
2/11/15: Whether it is true or just a perception, there is a thought that even star players need to drop the gloves every now and then. The Colorado Avalanche's Nathan MacKinnon joined the ranks of those who have fought in the NHL when he squared off against Jonathan Ericsson of the Detroit Red Wing last week. It was the first fight for the number one draft pick in 2013, and he was out of his weight class. Colorado is scrambling to overcome their terrible start to the season and needs every point they can get - and not for MacKinnon to get hurt in a fight. The Avs are still four points out of a playoff spot, but luckily there is still time in the season.
2/5/15: Congratulations is due to future hall of famer Jerome Iginla, who registered the 1,200th point of his illustrious career over the weekend. The point was courtesy of Iginla's goal against the Central Division leading Nashville Predators, giving the Avalanche a 2-0 lead late in the third period. The Avs would go on to win the game 3-0 and temporarily slow down the Predators. Colorado hosts former rival Detroit on Thursday before heading on a two game road trip to Minnesota (Saturday) and Winnipeg (Sunday). That win put the Avs within two points of the eighth playoff spot.
1/28/15: The Colorado Avalanche are getting back to par after a terribly rough start to the NHL season. The reigning Central Division champs have been moving up the standings and now sit in fifth place in the division, having passed Dallas and Minnesota just before the All Star break. They are only three points out of a playoff spot now and have a good chance to return to the postseason. In other news, the NHL announced that the Avalanche will host former rival Detroit Red Wings in a Stadium Series outdoor game next season. The game will be at Coors Field on February 27, 2016.
1/21/15: It took some time, but we are now seeing the Colorado Avalanche team that we all expected to see. The Avs, of course, went from worst to first last season under new GM Joe Sakic and new head coach Patrick Roy. Many people expected a backslide this season, and that did happen for most of the first half of the season. But the Avs have been pretty strong of late and are moving up the standings. They still have a ways to go before being able to secure a playoff spot, but if they continue to get points in 70% of their games, then they should be able to make it.
1/14/15: Something has gotten into the Colorado Avalanche lately, and that is good news for them. The team, of course, got off to a lousy start to the season and found themselves in the cellar of the Central Division. But they have been on a tear lately, winning seven of their last 10 and quickly moving up the standings. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov is now fully back from injury and is getting the bulk of the work and doing very well. Head coach Patrick Roy is not impressed with backup Ratto Berra. Calvin Pickard was outstanding when he was in, but he is stuck in the minors for now so he can play on a regular basis.
1/7/15: As one would expect from a last place team, the Colorado Avalanche have had a tough time keeping the puck out of their net. Through the end of the 2014 calendar year, they had allowed 112 goals. Only Dallas, at 118 goals against, has allowed more. To compare, the Nashville Predators lead the division with 78 goals against. Allowing three goals per game is a recipe for losses. The good news is that Semyon Varlamov is back from injury, and he has shown that he is a top goaltender. Calvin Pickard played well in his absence, but was sent back to the AHL so he could play on a regular basis.
12/3/14: There has not been much to cheer about in Denver this season and their 9-10-5 record (and last place standing in the Central Division) shows that. But the news still is of the negative side. Starting goalie Sergei Varlamov is coming back, but not as soon as expected. It was hoped he would return last Monday, but that is being pushed back to Thursday. It also looks like forward Jamie McGinn's season may be over. He hasn't played in a couple of weeks and may require season ending back surgery. The Avs could use Varlamov and a nice win streak to salvage the season.
11/19/14: The Colorado Avalanche season has been a disaster so far. They have come nowhere near capturing the magic they had last season when they won the Central Division. Head coach Patrick Roy is preaching patience, but the fact is that the Avs are last in the division and have not played well. At least there is some good news. Recent reports indicate that the Avs are 'very likely' to host an outdoor game next season at Coors Field. It would be the first outdoor game in Denver since the NHL started doing this a few years ago. No opponent is named yet.
11/12/14: We may be getting a little cross-conference rivalry building up between the Avs and the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers won the game 4-3, but the big moment came when Avs forward Nathan MacKinnon shoved Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn into the boards. Schenn left with an injury and MacKinnon got a major penalty for boarding. Avs coach Patrick Roy claims that his player barely touched Schenn and that Schenn just lost his balance. The Flyers maintain that it was a dangerous hit. This should be fun to watch the next time the teams meet. Colorado needs wins and is on an East Coast road trip this week.
11/5/14: No one is saying that the Av's slow start to the season is over, but they are showing signs of life. They finished their first 10 games of the season at 2-4-4, good for only eight points and last in the division they won last season. However, they buried the New York Islanders 5-0 in game 11. Semyon Varlamov had 40 saves in the shutout, while forward Nathan MacKinnon finally broke through, scoring not one, but two goals in the rout. MacKinnon had 24 goals last season as a rookie, so he was clearly due. The Avs will host Toronto on Thursday before heading east on a road trip.
10/29/14: It is easy to say that the Colorado Avalanche have been among the most disappointing teams this season, though it is tougher to pinpoint why. Head coach Patrick Roy, now in his second season, is questioning his team's effort, which is never a good sign. The Avs won their second game of the season after blasting the Vancouver Canucks (coming off a game in St. Louis the night before) by the score of 7-3. The Avs certainly have the talent to win - they did it last year. Now they have to get back into that mode that made them successful. Colorado is home on Thursday with the New York Islanders, then to St. Louis Saturday, and back home Sunday to host the Anaheim Ducks.
10/22/14: Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy is out to prove that last season was not an aberration, that the Avs are that good - despite the predictions from many experts that they will regress this season. So far the experts are right. Colorado is 1-3-1 in their first five games and starting goalie Semyon Varllamov is injured. So is backup Reto Barra. So cue the Martin Brodeur speculation. Brodeur is a free agent right now waiting for a call. While he is in his 40's now, he is still probably better than most goaltenders in the league, so do not be surprised if he shows up one day wearing an Avalanche uniform.
10/15/14: The Avalanche opened up their regular season to the team that ended their last season, the Minnesota Wild. But this was not the season opener that the team and fans had hoped for. The Wild simply dominated the game, putting up five goals in the process and allowing none. Avs' forward Matt Duchene readily admitted that the team was not ready for the game. But it was the first game of the season and there are 81 to follow. While many experts think that the Avs will regress from last season's breakout, the roster itself is too full of talent to fall too far. Expect them to pick it back up very soon.
10/8/14: There has been some concern among the Colorado Avalanche and their fans about the backup goalie position heading into the new season. Jean-Sebastien Giguere retired in the offseason, leaving the job behind starter Semyon Varlamov in question. Those questions may have been answered last week as new backup Reto Berra played very strongly against the reigning Stanley Cup Champion L.A. Kings. Berra stopped 41 of 42 shots and looked good with the added workload. Considering a backup is good for 15-20 games a season, that is a good sign for the Avs (and their fans) this season.
10/1/14: The Colorado Avalanche bucked tradition last season by not going through the years of steady development to get to the top of the division. They simply went from worst to first with first year GM Joe Sakic and first year head coach Patrick Roy. Those two are going against the current trend to incorporate advanced statistics into their program to evaluate players or improve their game play. Sakic and Roy are old-school in that they trust their eyes more than they trust a spreadsheet. So far it is working and, the Avs are certainly scoring one for the old guys that still don't like math.
9/24/14: It seems kind of hard to believe, but the Colorado Avalanche had attendance last season that was among the lowest in the league. Granted, they were coming off of a dismal 2012-13 campaign, but clearly established themselves in the elite of the Western Conference throughout the year. GM Joe Sakic is not worried about that. He has the green light to spend and win the Stanley Cup. The team did acquire Jerome Iginla in the offseason and has a developing Nathan McKinnon, and are a good bet to make the playoffs again, possibly winning the whole thing.
9/17/14: This could scare other teams in the Western Conference: the Av's Nathan MacKinnon does not think he was as good as he could be during his outstanding rookie season. MacKinnon actually exceeded most expectations, and, entering his second year in the league, is likely to make a big step forward. If he does that, then perhaps fans will forget that the Avs turned down a few lucrative offers for that first overall pick just over a year ago. In any case, the Central Division of the Western Conference looks to be as tough as ever, so the Avs need him to continue his development.
8/28/14: Give Avalanche President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic credit - he has almost all of his roster business finished already, and there is still some time before training camps open. The Avs have only one remaining restricted free agent to take care of and that is defenseman Tyson Barrie. Barrie had a great season in 2013-14. He scored 13 goals and 38 points in 64 games. And he is only 23 years old. Sakic is confident that a deal will get done soon, and they figure Barrie will have an even bigger role this coming season.
8/21/14: The Edmonton Oilers should be trying to copy the Colorado Avalanche's path to success. Two seasons ago, the Avs were the worst team in the Western Conference and pretty much a laughingstock due to terrible management and coaching. Last season, they won the ultra-competitive Central Division. Despite a heart-breaking loss to the Minnesota Wild in seven games in the first round, the Avs certainly look set to be a contender again this season. That playoff loss may still sting, but this is a young and talented team with great coaching, excellent roster management and a bright future.
8/14/14: The Avalanche enjoyed easily the best rebound campaign of any NHL team last season. While they were considered among the dregs of the league in 2012-2013, they vaulted to an impressive 52-22-8 record last season - good enough to win the hyper-competitive Central Division in the Western Conference (ahead of both the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks). They return most of their core players and should be just as competitive again. Actually, they may be much better because captain Gabrial Landeskog and second year sniper Nathan McKinnon each have another year of experience under their belts.
8/7/14: A recent unscientific poll rated Jerome Iginla as the greatest player in the Calgary Flames history. That is probably a fair take on a future hall of famer. Now he is with the Avalanche and the team hopes that he can continue to score goals and lead for another year or two, while he chases that elusive Stanley Cup. Colorado lost their number two center Paul Statsny to the St. Louis Blues in free agency. Iginla was quickly signed and is expected to fill in nicely. He may only have a couple years left in tank, but he proved last season that he can still play.
7/31/14: Former Colorado Avalanche defenseman Corey Sarich was involved in a serious accident last week and has been confined to the hospital. The good news is that Sarich appears to be doing well and is in good spirits. He may not even need a brace or surgery. Apparently, he broke five vertebrae and has a bad road rash. Even better is that he is up an moving. Sarich is a free agent and 35 years old. He may not get another chance to play in the NHL, but at least he is alive and doing well after the accident.
7/24/14: Much has been made about the contentious relationship and negotiations between the Colorado Avalanche and restricted free agent Ryan O'Reilly. The Avs are taking him to arbitration in hopes of a deal at a reduced price. O'Reilly can decide to take a one or two year contract from arbitration, and considering the strained relationship, would probably opt for a one year deal. That would mean that he would be guaranteed to receive a $6 million qualifying offer next summer. Of course, perhaps by then the two sides will just want to be away from each other or perhaps the Avs will try to trade him during the season.
7/17/14: The Colorado Avalanche turned their team around much faster than expected last season, rising from worst to first in the Central Division. Much of that was due to the quick maturation of their last two first round draft picks: Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan Mackinnon. This year, they selected Conner Bleakley 23rd overall. He is more of a development project than Landeskog or Mackinnon, and former NHLer Brent Sutter says that he is 'not ready' to make the jump to the pros just yet. That is fine. He is still a teenager and very few at his age are ready to join the NHL.
7/10/14: After a year and a half, Jerome Iginla is back in the Western Conference. The Avs signed the future Hall-of-Famers to a three year deal worth $16 million. Iginla may be 37 now, but he can still score - he led the Boston Bruins in goals with 30 last season. Iginla made the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004 with the Calgary Flames, but is still searching for his first Cup win. The Bruins wanted him back, but could not afford him. He is expected to fill some of the void created when Paul Statsny left the Avalanche in free agency for Central Division rival St. Louis.
7/3/14: The Avs thought they got a steal last offseason when they were able to land P.A. Parenteau, who had previously had a very good young career with the New York Islanders. Of course, sometimes even the best laid plans do not work out. Parenteau struggled with the Avs. He had only 14 goals and 33 points in an injury plagued season. The Avs traded him earlier in the week to the Montreal Canadiens for fellow French-Canadian Daniel Briere. Briere has one year left on a contract that will have a $4 million cap hit for the Avs. Briere also struggled last season but maybe playing for Patrick Roy will turn him around.
6/26/14: It is free agency time and the Avs finally get their chance to re-sign Paul Stastny. The Avs definitely want to keep him, even though he has not put up the same numbers over the past couple of years as he did when he was a bit younger. Stastny and his agent have played it cool to date. They have intentionally put off negotiating with the Avs so he could test the free agency market. The good news for the Avs is that the agent says that the Avs will have 'every chance to retain' him. Of course, the team will have to put up a competitive offer first.
6/19/14: The Avs, like many other teams, want to host an outdoor game. They will likely get their chance one day, but it will not be in the 2014-15 season. The Avs really want to host the Winter Classic, which is the premier outdoor game. The others are part of the Coors Stadium Series. The Winter Classic will be in Washington next season. But there is a very good chance that they could get the game in 2016. A great matchup would be against the Detroit Red Wings, whom the Avs had a strong rivalry with several years ago and are sure to draw a big TV crowd.
6/12/14: The Avalanche would like to have Paul Statsny back next season. And there is a good chance the pending free agent could return. However, Statsny's agent, Matt Keator, seems to be playing a game with the club. He seems content to wait until just before the opening of free agency to begin negotiations on a new contract. Statsny will get a deal somewhere, and Colorado may be the easiest place to do so. Of course, he has the leverage in this case, so he is trying to cash in in Colorado or even somewhere else. His offensive production is down over the past four years, but still is a valuable top-six forward.
6/6/14: The Avalanche front office has some work to do right now, and that is on top of preparing for the NHL draft. First, it looks like goalie J.S. Giguere is ready to leave the NHL. He has had a great career and won several awards. However, Semyon Varlamov is the starter in Colorado these days. Additionally, the Avs have to work out a deal with free agent Paul Statsney. Nothing is 'imminent' on that frong according to his agent. There is speculation that he could try to get to St. Louis, which is his hometown, and the Blues certainly have a need up the middle for more depth.
5/29/14: The NHL announced the finalist for the General Manager of the Year award, which is are Bob Murray from the Anaheim Ducks, Dean Lombardi from the Los Angeles Kings, and Marc Bergevin from the Montreal Canadiens. All are worth candidates, but Joe Sakic of the Avs deserves some recognition as well. Sakic hired former teammate Patrick Roy as head coach and selected Nathan McKinnon in the draft. The Avs went from worst to first and McKinnon had an amazing rookie season. If nothing else, Sakic should be a finalist this year, and not an afterthought for the award.
5/22/14: One year later, and it looks like the Colorado Avalanche did the smart thing by cleaning house and hiring former Avs stars Joe Sakic as the GM and Patrick Roy as the head coach. Despite losing in the first round of the playoffs, the season has to be considered a success. The trade they made a couple years ago for goalie Semyon Varlamov paid off as well. He was one of the best netminders all season and represented Russia in the Winter Olympics. It looks like he has secured his spot as the starting goaltender for the Avs going forward, and could not ask for a better mentor than Roy.
5/15/14: The Avs are certainly disappointed in the way their season ended, but taken from most logical angles, it was a hugely successful campaign. If Avs fans could have been told a year ago that they would make the playoffs this season, they likely would have jumped on board right away. The Avs did make it, and even won the Central Division - the most difficult division in the NHL. Patrick Roy, for his major efforts in turning around the team, is a finalist for the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year. He, more than anyone, deserves the honor for this past season.
5/8/14: There are really no excuses for the Colorado Avalanche losing to the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the playoffs. While the Avs had a two games to zero, and a 3-2 lead in the series, the simple fact is that the Wild were hungrier for the win. Colorado had a couple very dramatic come-from-behind wins that they probably should not have had. It has now come out that Avs' captain Gabriel Landeskog played with an injured hand. Many criticized the team for making Landeskog (the team's best player) the captain so early in his career. However, he proved that he will play, so others should follow.
5/1/14: Maybe a lot of experts thought that the Minnesota Wild were just happy to be in the playoffs and not capable of doing anything because there were a lot of predictions of the Avs winning their first round series in just five games. The Wild have proven to be more than placeholders as they have outplayed the Avs throughout the series, which now heads into a decisive game 7. The home team has won each game in this series, which does bode well for the Avs, who will be in their home building for the series finale.
4/24/14: One of the great things about the NHL is that any team that makes the playoffs has a legitimate chance to win. Perhaps the Avs do not want to hear that, as they earned the second seed in the West and are facing the #7 Minnesota Wild, who are dishing out all that the Avs can handle. The Avs lead the series 2-1, but that could have easily been flipped if not for a saved goal by Eric Johnson and late heroics by Paul Statsny to send Game 1 into OT then score the game-winner. Minnesota finally won on home ice by simply outplaying Colorado on Monday, though the Avalanche almost stole the game on the back of hot netminder Semyon Varlamov.
4/17/14: It has been quite a while since a goalie was given the Hart Trophy by the NHL for the most valuable player. In fact, it has not happened in a dozen years when Jose Theodore won it when he was with the Montreal Canadiens in 2002. That alone seems odd as the goalie is the only player on the ice the entire game. Regardless, Avs goaltender Semyon Varlamov is garnering some attention for the award this season. The Avs have ridden his strong play all season, and may end up winning the NHL's Central Division. The Penguins' Sidney Crosby is probably the favorite, but at least Varlamov is in the conversation.
4/10/14: The Colorado Avalanche are making a late push to knock off St. Louis from the top of the Central Division, and perhaps, the Western Conference. The two teams squared off last Saturday afternoon and the Avs made a statement by punishing the Blues 4-0; just a little something for St. Louis to think about going into the final week of the season. As it stands, both teams have five games remaining and the Blues have a three point lead in the standings. Both are assured playoff spots as automatic qualifiers. Who ever has the better record will play a wild card team, while second place will face the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round.
4/3/14: Get your playoff tickets, Avs fans! The Colorado Avalanche clinched their first playoff birth since 2010 over weekend by beating the red-hot San Jose Sharks. The Avs got off to a hot start, which many people thought may be an anomaly. But the team has held it together under first year head coach Patrick Roy. They may have a tough time catching the St. Louis Blues for the top spot in the Central Division, but could beat out the Chicago Blackhawks for second place. Considering the remarkable turnaround (the Avs were among the worst teams in the league last season), Roy has to be considered for Coach of the Year.
3/27/14: A couple of months ago, Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy publicly said that his team could not catch the Chicago Blackhawks in the standings this season. Maybe it was a moment of honest reflection or maybe it was a motivating ploy that has worked wonderfully. The Avs did catch the Blackhawks in the standings (though that was short lived). Now, only a point separates the two Central Division rivals with a dozen games left in the regular season. Even more interesting, if the standings hold, then the Avs would play the Blackhawks in the first round, as they would be the fourth and fifth seeds.
3/20/14: There is good news and bad news for the Avs. The good news is that they have won eight of their past 11 games and have moved into second place in the Central Division. Actually, capturing the division title from St. Louis is not that far-fetched. The bad news is that both Paul Statsny and P.A. Parenteau are out with injury so how long is this hot streak sustainable? But this is certainly a different team than a year ago, and no one is playing out the string and making vacation plans in May this time around.
3/13/14: As far as trade deadline deals go, this season was a big one in the NHL. There were several blockbusters, including Lightning captain Martin St. Louis going to the Rangers for Ryan Callahan and draft picks, Roberto Luongo (and his huge contract) going to the Florida Panthers, and the Blues acquired both goalie Ryan Miller and aggitator Steve Ott. The Avs didn't make those kinds of moves, but did acquire goalie Reto Berra for a second round pick. Colorado has two good goalies in Semyon Varlamov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere, and adding Berra provides insurance for the rest of the season and playoffs.
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
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Colorado Avalanche Schedule & Key Dates
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Colorado Avalanche Past Games Schedule and Colorado Avalanche Scores
|Apr 11, 2015||Chicago Blackhawks - Colorado Avalanche||2 - 3|
|Apr 9, 2015||Winnipeg Jets - Colorado Avalanche||0 - 1|
|Apr 7, 2015||Nashville Predators - Colorado Avalanche||2 - 3|
|Apr 4, 2015||Colorado Avalanche - Los Angeles Kings||1 - 3|
|Apr 3, 2015||Colorado Avalanche - Anaheim Ducks||4 - 2|
|Mar 30, 2015||Edmonton Oilers - Colorado Avalanche||4 - 1|
|Mar 28, 2015||Buffalo Sabres - Colorado Avalanche||3 - 5|
|Mar 26, 2015||Colorado Avalanche - Vancouver Canucks||4 - 1|
|Mar 25, 2015||Colorado Avalanche - Edmonton Oilers||3 - 4|
|Mar 23, 2015||Colorado Avalanche - Calgary Flames||2 - 3|
|Mar 14, 2015||Calgary Flames - Colorado Avalanche||2 - 3|
|Mar 12, 2015||New Jersey Devils - Colorado Avalanche||1 - 2|
|Mar 10, 2015||Los Angeles Kings - Colorado Avalanche||5 - 2|
|Mar 8, 2015||Colorado Avalanche - Minnesota Wild||3 - 2|
|Mar 7, 2015||Colorado Avalanche - Columbus Blue Jackets||4 - 0|
|Mar 4, 2015||Pittsburgh Penguins - Colorado Avalanche||1 - 3|