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Category: Colorado-Avalanche

Calgary Flames Done In Five

from eric Francis of Sportsnet,

From best in the west to finished in five.

Minutes after the Calgary Flames‘ improbable, 50-win season came to a crashing end Friday, a stunned group of players shared one common explanation for how it all slipped away:
Nathan MacKinnon.

“For anyone who doesn’t think MacKinnon is one of the best, if not the best, they might want to look at this series because he can really turn it on up to another level,” said Flames captain Mark Giordano, following the Flames fourth-straight loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

“Tough player to play against and I thought he really took control and led their team.”

Mike Smith agreed.

“He was a beast,” said the Flames netminder, who was solid for the fifth-straight game despite losing 5-1 in a game where MacKinnon had three assists.


Game highlights and handshakes below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Calgary Flames Will Face Elimination On Friday After OT Loss To The Colorado Avalanche

from Eric Francis of Sportsnet,

The Calgary Flames have a five-alarm fire on their hands.

Despite another heroic goaltending outing by Mike Smith, the Flames return to Calgary Friday facing the very real possibility another conference champion is about to bite the dust courtesy of a wild-card club.

The Flames allowed a game-tying goal in the final three minutes for the second time in this series, setting up a 3-2 overtime loss and 3-1 series deficit.

This time Colorado’s hero was Mikko Rantanen, scoring 9:37 into overtime to cap a late, two-goal comeback that will require even more fortitude from Calgary.

Rantanen’s second goal of the game was a one-timer from long-range that beat Smith clean. It came on the Avs’ 52nd shot, mere seconds after Colorado killed off an Ian Cole delay of game penalty.


Below, watch the game tying and winning goals from Rantanen plus the full game highlights.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sweeps Tonight?

I have an open post going up later for all 4 games tonight, but let's talk elimination games now.

The Pittsburgh Penguins host the New York Islanders and the Tampa Bay Lightning are in Columbus to face the Blue Jackets.

The Pens and Bolts are down 0-3.  Are they done tonight?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Memorable First Game For Cale Makar

from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,

The script felt like total fiction, a dream made up for a college sophomore and a No. 8-seeded playoff team who played in different countries 24 hours earlier.

Defenseman Cale Makar skated in the NCAA championship game in Buffalo on Saturday while the underdog Avalanche was preparing for Game 2 of its first-round series at Calgary.

So what unfolded in Game 3 at the Pepsi Center had to have seemed surreal to the Avalanche and its sellout crowd Monday — and particularly for the 20-year-old Makar.

Making his NHL debut in the Stanley Cup playoffs, Makar played regularly at even strength. He ran the No. 2 power play unit. He gained enough trust to play in a 4-on-4 situation. And, yes, he scored his first career NHL goal with his first shot in the league in a dominating first period that carried the Avs to a 6-2 victory and 2-1 series lead over the Western Conference;s top-seeded Flames.

continue for more on Makar and the game...

Below, watch Maker's goal.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cale+makar

A Bad Game From The Calgary Flames In A Loss To The Colorado Avalanche

from Eric Francis of Sportsnet,

Nathan MacKinnon has officially taken over this series.

The first hint of the Avalanche star’s heroics came at the end of Game 2 when his overtime snipe in Calgary equaled the series.

It was his first goal in 12 shots.

On Monday it snowballed.

By the end of the first period alone the speedy centre had two power play goals, an assist, four shots and he drew a penalty in an easy win to put the Avalanche up 2-1 in the series.

By the end of the period Colorado had outshot Calgary 21-8, outscored them 3-0 and had helped make history when Calgary-born Cale Makar became the first defenceman in NHL lore to make his NHL debut in the playoffs and score a goal in the same game.

From there the Avalanche cruised to a 6-2 win that saw the hosts electrify the Pepsi Center by humiliating a Flames team that would have lost by at least a touchdown had it not been for the brilliance of Mike Smith....

The easy thing would be to point out MacKinnon is the only superstar in the series to play as such, but this one wasn’t on Johnny Gaudreau.

It’s on the entire Flames squad, which promised to be better after Game 2.

They promised to be hungrier.

They promised to be grittier.

They promise to be done in five games if they continue to play like this.


Game highlights are below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Cale Makar Signs With The Colorado Avalanche

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed defenseman Cale Makar to a three-year, entry-level contract.  He will join the Avalanche immediately for its Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Calgary Flames.

Makar, 20, just completed his sophomore season at the University of Massachusetts, helping the Minutemen reach the NCAA Frozen Four Championship Game.  The Calgary, Alberta, native was named the winner of the 2019 Hobey Baker Award, becoming the first player in school history to win college hockey’s top individual prize. 

Selected by Colorado in the first round (fourth overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft, Makar was voted the Hockey East Player of the Year by unanimous selection and was named an AHCA First Team (East) All-American.  He also received the Leonard Fowle Award as New England Player of the Year. 

“Cale obviously had a tremendous season, winning the Hobey Baker and getting his team to the Frozen Four,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President/General Manager Joe Sakic.  “He is a game-changing type of player who made a lasting impact on the UMass hockey program.  We are excited to have him join our team.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cale+makar

The Calgary Flames Have More To Give

from Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun,

He might be the exception.

Otherwise, Mike Smith nailed it.

“I don’t think we have played our best hockey yet,” said the Calgary Flames’ starting (and suddenly starring) netminder after Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche at the Saddledome, a result that evens their best-of-seven playoff series at one win apiece.

“I think everyone in here will tell you the same thing. I think we were a little tentative tonight. We weren’t skating as well as we can and we have, and it made them look really, really fast. We’ll clean that up.”

They need to.

Thanks to Nathan MacKinnon’s top-shelf snipe at the 8:27 mark of overtime, the Avalanche swiped home-ice advantage as this Rocky Mountain Matchup shifts to the Mile High City.


Watch the game highlights below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Colorado Avalanche Can’t Score Against The Calgary Flames

from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,

Game 1 was won by Mike Smith, the Calgary Flames’ 37-year-old goalie.

His teammates obviously played a role in defeating the Avalanche 4-0 late Thursday at the Scotiabank Saddledome, but Smith and the penalty killers in front of him were the clear-cut difference before Calgary scored two late goals in the final minutes of the third period.

Smith outplayed Avs goalie Philipp Grubauer, who took a nine-game points streak (7-0-2) into the postseason, and Colorado failed to convert on three of the game’s first four power plays before Calgary struck twice late in the second period to take command.

“Special teams made a huge difference tonight. They capitalized. We didn’t,” Grubauer (31 saves) said. “I think we played a good game. We can learn a little bit from them. It was fun to play for sure and we’re all looking forward to Game 2. We need to get the split.”


Below are the game highlights.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Colorado Avalanche Are Loaded For The 2019 NHL Draft

from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,

Tuesday’s NHL draft lottery in Toronto is bound to irritate Avalanche fans throughout North America if they don’t take the right approach. Which is, hope for the best (No. 1 pick) but prepare for the worst (No. 4).

The worst isn’t that bad. No other team in the 31-team in the league is guaranteed to go into the June draft with a top-four pick.

It’s just how it works. The Avs, who own the best chance at the No. 1 pick because they own Ottawa’s first-round pick — and the Senators finished with the NHL’s fewest points — have a league-best 18.5 percent chance at the first pick. Their percentages of 16.5 for the second pick, 14.4 for the third and 50.6 for the fourth also are league-highs.

The latter percentage is Colorado’s biggest because it ensures the Avs won’t move further down from fourth. No team can move down more than four spots. Back when the league featured 30 teams, the 30th-place team couldn’t move further than two spots down. Now it’s four....

Colorado has a glorious 2019 draft portfolio, which also includes its own first-, second- and third- round picks, and Ottawa’s third-rounder. That’s five picks in the first three rounds — indeed an impressive collection that Avalanche GM Joe Sakic and his staff corralled in part from the 2017 trade of Matt Duchene to Ottawa.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Arizona Coyotes Get A Point In A Loss To The Colorado Avalanche

from Matt Layman of ArizonaSports,

The Arizona Coyotes scratched and clawed their way to a tie game in the third period on Friday, overcoming a 2-0 deficit with two third-period goals but eventually lost 3-2 in the shootout.

The loss means the Coyotes no longer control their destiny in securing the second Western Conference Wild Card playoff spot. Instead, Arizona sits three points back of Colorado. The Coyotes did, however, earn one point in their non-regulation loss, and neither team saw an uptick in one of the tiebreaker categories: ROW (regulation and overtime wins).

The Coyotes are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season.


Watch the game highlights below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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