Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
In an exclusive interview Thursday, Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic swept away rumors that young defenseman Tyson Barrie will be traded and discussed a handful of other issues including Nathan MacKinnon’s pending contract extension and next week’s NHL draft in Buffalo....
“I’d like to do a long-term deal with Tyson. If that doesn’t work out, it’s expected he’ll go to arbitration,” Sakic said. “Either way, he’ll be here.”
Barrie was Colorado’s fifth-leading scorer last season with 49 points (13 goals) in 78 games. Among all NHL defensemen, he was 13th in scoring.
MacKinnon, 20, is also a restricted free agent, but coming off his three-year, entry-level contract. Sakic said the No. 1 selection in the 2013 draft will be signed by training camp in September but isn’t sure if it will be a long-term deal with unrestricted free agency at the end of it or a bridge deal taking him to another RFA situation.
"... Sometimes you want to go fast track, but that would be the wrong thing to do. The problem is we got 112 points the first year and that's where everybody thought we made the turn. But let's not forget that the year before, we were second-to-last overall. There's a reality between that year and what's going on.
"Last year, 90 points. This year, less points. Obviously, it's not something we're proud of, not something we're happy about. I am very frustrated about it, but at the time time, I think we need to find ways to make this franchise better and it's not just for one year. It's for a longer term, and that's what we want."
-Patrick Roy, head coach of the Colorado Avalanche. More from Roy by Terry Frei of the Denver Post.
Roy needs to prove to everybody that he is capable of leading that team. Until he does, the Avs will serve as an unhappy reminder that the regular season really does matter in the NHL.
Denver fans would love to have the STL’s playoff worries today.
-Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch where you can read more on the Avs.
via Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
The Avalanche was down to five defensemen after Nikita Zadorov took a high hit from the Capitals' Tom Wilson to Varlamov's left and, with trainer Matt Sokolowski attending to him, stayed down for a minute or two. He then came to the bench and straight to the dressing room, and was done for the night. The Avalanche said he suffered a head injury.
Someone did yell heads up...
from Mike Chambers of All Things Avs,
I met with Avalanche GM Joe Sakic after Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild to specifically talk about rookie Mikko Rantanen, who had just played in his ninth NHL game. He will not play in his 10th this season, Sakic told me, to preserve the first year of his entry-level contract (three years). His ELC-slide will be used.
The expansion draft plays into the move, Sakic said, but Saturday’s loss did not.
Rantanen, 19, is still looking for his first NHL point. But he has torn up the American Hockey League, leading the San Antonio Rampage with 52 points (21 goals) in just 44 games. In addition to playing for the Avs, the AHL all-star captained Finland to the World Junior Championship gold medal. Rantanen will finish the season with San Antonio and become a full-fledged Avs winger in September.
“We’re not going to burn a year, first of all. He will start next year,” Sakic said. “(Expansion rules) can change, its got to be negotiated, but in his first two years he would be treated like a junior player. From our understanding, but not 100 percent, the first two years he won’t be exposed so you don’t have to protect them.
DENVER (March 26, 2016) – The Colorado Avalanche announced today that forward Mikko Rantanen has been reassigned to the San Antonio Rampage.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Was Thursday the night the Western Conference wild-card race shifted for good?
The Minnesota Wild won their fourth in a row, crushing the Calgary Flames 6-2, while the Colorado Avalanche dropped a 4-2 home decision to the Philadelphia Flyers that must have felt like a gut shot to the Avs, who now trail the Wild by three points in the race for the final playoff spot in the West.
Plenty of hockey left, of course -- Colorado has eight games remaining to Minnesota's seven, but the Avs have little room for error now. The beauty for Colorado?
The Wild visit them Saturday afternoon in a perfect opportunity to reclaim momentum in the race. It's a must-win, really, for the Avs, because after that they face the St. Louis Blues at home followed, by road games in Nashville and Dallas and a regular-season finale at home against Anaheim. All tough games.
What say you on this Good Friday, gang?
more on the race in the West from the ESPN hockey writers...
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
"It was pretty fun to score that goal, and as I was waiting for my teammates, all I could see in the crowd was orange," Giroux said. "There were a lot of Flyers fans there and that made it pretty special."...
It was the Flyers' first win at the Pepsi Center since 2002, ending a seven-game losing streak (0-4-3) at the arena.
Nineteen seconds before Giroux's goal, defenseman Gudas scored on a point drive to tie the game at 2-2 with 5:43 left. Gudas has five goals in the last 10 games - after not scoring in the season's first 57 games....
"Not only do we get to steal a game from someone - it feels like it's always happening to us - but it's a huge win for us," Shayne Gostisbehere said. "We had a lot of shots and we played good team hockey over the last two periods."
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
The Avalanche's 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night at the Pepsi Center was damaging, but not necessarily a devastating blow to Colorado's playoff hopes....
Playing their second consecutive game without both of their top two scorers, the injured Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon, the Avs took that one-goal lead when John Mitchell converted a setup pass from Andreas Martinsen to score at 6:13 of the third.
But the Flyers got goals from Radko Gudas at 14:17 and Claude Giroux only 29 seconds later to take control. Ryan White got credit for an empty-net goal with 4.8 seconds left when hauled down from behind.
Also on Thursday, Minnesota beat Calgary 6-2 at home, so the Avalanche fell three points behind the Wild in the chase for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. However, the Avs have a chance to get back within one when they face the Wild at home Saturday, and Colorado has both a game in hand and a 34-33 edge over Minnesota in the regulation and overtime win tiebreaker.
Watch the game highlights below...
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers continued their remarkable late-season run Wednesday night and moved into a playoff spot for the first time since Oct. 28.
The Flyers, on an 8-1-1 surge, moved one point ahead of Detroit for the final wild-card spot. They have a game in hand on the Red Wings.
"A real good team effort again. Everybody chipped in and contributed," rookie coach Dave Hakstol said after the Flyers had 10 blocks in the third period, a session in which they allowed just four shots. "We did a lot of the little things right that you need to do to win back-to-back and on the road."
from the CP at TSN,
Mikkel Boedker picked an opportune time to show his new team what he can do offensively.
The Avalanche forward scored twice to lift Colorado back into playoff position with a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.
Boedker, who came to the Avs at the trade deadline from Arizona, scored the go-ahead goal 37 seconds into the third with impressive move around the Vancouver defence.
"It's huge," said Boedker. "That's what we all want, we all want to be a difference maker and make good plays and make things happen and I think it's huge for your confidence.
"It definitely feels good when you can come in and produce and help your team."
Highlights from both games are below...
This one could hurt the Avs, Patrick Burke explains the suspension.
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.
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