Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,
On his home ice, surrounded by thousands of Detroit fans that covered the Pepsi Center in a sea of red, young Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon dropped his gloves and fought for the franchise's lost glory.
Less than a minute after the opening faceoff, there was MacKinnon taking punches in the face from Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson. Ericsson had run MacKinnon roughshod into the boards, and the 19-year-old Colorado forward was not about to be bullied.
"It was in the heat of the moment, for sure," MacKinnon told me Thursday, admitting that he decided on fisticuffs to settle the dispute. "Right now, I don't feel like fighting anybody. But, it was a big game, and I asked him to fight. He said yes. It was fun."
MacKinnon did what hockey players do: He traded fists to prove his manhood. MacKinnon battled in the grand tradition of the blood feud between the Avalanche and Red Wings....
As the arena shook with an approving roar from a crowd with a lust for blood, here's what struck me: Is a teenager really the toughest man that Roy has got to stand up for team pride? And is MacKinnon really the best shot the Avalanche has of overcoming a wretched start to kick in the back door to the playoffs?
Watch the fight below...
Sure, Ryan O'Reilly is one of the possibilities to be moved to try to land that D-man, but the truth is -- and this is true in baseball and basketball too -- if an executive isn't open to listening to any and all offers for everyone on the roster, he's a fool. Note, I said "listen." If I were running a team -- we will now pause for the laughter to die down -- my position would be that nobody is untouchable and we will consider doing anything if it improves the team. And that could be the automatic answer to every question and rumor, including in hockey, where let's just say standards for vetting rumors before tossing them out are laughably low.
-Terry Frei of the Denver Post where you can read more on the Avalanche in a Q & A session with Frei.
via the Colorado Avalanche website,
The Colorado Avalanche announced today that defenseman Erik Johnson is out for the next 3-8 weeks following a knee scope performed Monday.
“He is, first of all, very disappointed by the situation, but it’s out of our control," said Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy. "We have a lot of confidence in our group, and it will be a different responsibility for some of our defensemen.”
Johnson missed the NHL All-Star game and other on-ice activities last weekend in Columbus, Ohio due to the ailment.
While the appearance was slated to be his first at the All-Star Game, Johnson did represent the Western Conference at the 2008 YoungStars game in Atlanta during his rookie season with the St. Louis Blues.
The Bloomington, Minn., native is tied for first among NHL defensemen in scoring with a career-high 12 goals this season. The 6-foot-4, 232-pound rear guard has 23 points (12g/11a) in 47 games, placing him second among Colorado blueliners in scoring. He ranks fourth on the Avalanche in goals and first in ice time (24:25), blocked shots (107) and power-play goals (3-tied).
NEW YORK (January 24, 2015) – The National Hockey League announced today the participating Clubs, locations and dates for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® and 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ games planned for the 2015-16 NHL regular season.
The 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will feature the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, on Jan. 1, 2016. When these long-time rivals meet, Boston will become the first Club to host the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® for a second time, after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime at the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Fenway Park. It will mark the first time the Canadiens will play in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and just the second time a Canadian-based NHL team will play in the game, following Toronto’s appearance in 2014.
The 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series will feature two games. On Sunday, Feb. 21, in a first for the Club, the Minnesota Wild will play host to the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium on the Univ. of Minnesota campus. The following weekend, on Saturday, Feb. 27, the Colorado Avalanche will make their debut in a regular-season outdoor NHL game when they play host to the Detroit Red Wings at Coors Field.
My over/under of how many times this cannon fires over the weekend is 50!
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
"Hi, I'm Bob, long-time listener, first-time caller...I think Colorado should trade Ryan O'Reilly to Buffalo for Tyler Myers.
One for one. Boom. Done. I'll hang up and listen."
If only it were that easy.
Where to begin?
If the Colorado Avalanche and soon to be 24-year-old centre Ryan O'Reilly were on Facebook, their relationship status would be tagged as "complicated."
Not surprisingly, that would also characterize the ongoing trade talks involving O'Reilly.
"That was a (expletive) call. If you're asking me, it was a (expletive) call. The guy gives two whacks to him, and Varly responded. Take both guys out."
-Patrick Roy, head coach of the Colorado Avalanche on a roughing penalty Semyon Varlamov received for mixing it up with Alex Ovechkin (who scored on the power play). More on the penalty and game from Terry Frei of the Denver Post.
Below watch Patrick Roy post-game (the above conversation is not included in the video)
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Were the Colorado Avalanche written off by some too early?
Thursday night's 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators continued a potentially season-turning sequence for the Avs, who have now gone 8-3-2 since starting the season 9-13-6. Combined with Winnipeg's loss at Arizona, the Avalanche moved to within five points of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. If the Jets (47 points), a marvelous story this season, fade even just a bit, it's going to open up that last playoff spot for quite a second-half race along with Calgary (45 points), Dallas (43 points), Colorado (42 points) and Minnesota (41 points).
more topics including Burnside on the Rangers and Custance on the Blues...
from Nick Groke of the Denver Post,
The first step for the Avalanche to get back on a scoring run, according to coach Patrick Roy, is to get boring.
The Avs' best forwards are slumping — the team ranks third-to-last in the Western Conference for goals scored — as Colorado hosts the Philadelphia Flyers on New Year's Eve at Pepsi Center.
And for Roy, the key for the Avs will be to add some dump-and-chase to their skill.
"I'm not crazy about putting pucks behind their 'D' and getting the forecheck going. But some nights, their 'D' does a good job closing the gap on us and there's no room," Roy said.
"We have no choice but to put pucks behind their 'D' and try to generate offense a different way."
from Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News,
As the Colorado Avalanche struggle near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, they are becoming the subject of trade chatter among pundits and bloggers. The Avalanche are once again among the NHL’s worst defensive teams, fuelling speculation they could move one of their young forwards for blueline help.
In recent days center Ryan O’Reilly’s name has surfaced as a possible trade candidate. Former Denver Post columnist Adrian Dater claims the 23-year-old is being offered around for a defenseman, citing Florida, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal as pondering the possibility.
ESPN.com’s Craig Custance recently made mention of a rumored O’Reilly-for-Keith Yandle swap with the Arizona Coyotes. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman notes O’Reilly, who has a history of contentious contract negotiations with the Avs, will be eligible for free agency again in 2016.
CapGeek.com page on O'Reilly...
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 email@example.com