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Category: Colorado-Avalanche

A Shopping List For The Colorado Avalanche

from Sean Keeler of the Denver Post,

And what do you get a team that seemingly has … everything? If goaltenders Darcy Kuemper and Pavel Francouz can handle the spring the way they’ve crushed the last six weeks, you’re more than halfway home.

Mind you, the NHL postseason is a different beast. It can smell your fear from 150 yards out. Skittish? It’ll eat you alive. Nowhere to run. No place to hide.

The shopping list, in no particular order: Toughness, grit, faceoffs, defense, goaltending.

Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux, the primary name kicking around the rumor mill, ticks the first three boxes all by himself.

At 34, Giroux is the sort of veteran tide that lifts all boats. On paper, he’s a perfect fit.

On the flip side, he’s also carrying a reported $8.275 million cap hit. And the Avs have less than $1 million of cap room to play with.

Giroux should be Plan A. But if Philadelphia asks for the moon — and by the moon, we mean Avs center Alex Newhook — you move on.

Dallas forward Joe Pavelski brings a lot of the same juice, and for about $1.275 million less.

more

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Video- Nathan MacKinnon Bloodied By His Own Stick

added 10:51pm, longer version of the video is below.

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Video- The Cal Maker OT Goal

from Sportsnet,

With the Colorado Avalanche and Chicago Blackhawks in overtime, Makar corralled the puck in the corner of the offensive zone, swung around the net looking like he might lay a pass to the point, before quickly pulling a spin-o-rama to stun Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach and leave him in the dust.

Makar then darted to the net and went backhand, forehand, backhand, top-shelf on future Hall of Famer Marc-Andre Fleury, winning the game, to top it off. His 14th goal of this season already.

Most defencemen can only dream of scoring 14 goals in a season, but 14 goals in 25 games? Most forwards can only dream of that. Makar is doing the unthinkable, and could very well run away with the Norris Trophy at season's end.

Not since Mike Green's 31 goals in 2008-09 have we seen something like this, and even that total looks in jeopardy of being shattered. Green wasn't scoring them with spin-o-rama dangles either.

Did we mention that Makar is only 23?

On a team stacked with talents like Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog, it's Makar's incredible display of skill sending the hockey world into a frenzy. And it certainly won't be the last time.

Here's some of the best reactions from Tuesday night:

read on and watch the goal below or at Sportsnet...

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Nazem Kadri Is At The Top Of His Game

from Mike Stephens of The Hockey News,

Nazem Kadri is killin' it.

If you live on the east coast and enjoy going to bed at a reasonable hour, that may be news to you. But after yet another multi-point performance last night, Kadri's early-season production has officially reached the point where it cannot be ignored.

The man is riding a nine-game point streak, for Pete's sake, with 23 points in 15 games. That's a 109-point pace over 82 games, which would absolutely obliterate his career-high of 61, and, perhaps more importantly, earn him a nice chunk of change on the open market.

Oh, yeah, Kadri is a free agent at year's end. That's right, he's doing this in a contract year at age 31, setting himself up nicely for what is likely the final opportunity to truly cash in on a long-term deal while in his prime.

Talk about timing.

Look, it's unlikely that Kadri woke up this season a 100-point player after spending the 12 in the 50-60 range. But that doesn't mean he's in for a significant regression, either.

Kadri isn't riding some unsustainable shooting bender. The former-Leaf is shooting 13.6% on the season, just a smidge above his 11.3% career average and lower than the 15.2% he shot in 2017-18, when he netted 32 goals.

continued

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A Two-Year Extension For Jared Bednar In Colorado

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed head coach Jared Bednar to a two-year contract extension through the 2023-24 season.

Bednar is in his sixth season as Colorado’s head coach.  He owns a 191-154-40 (.548) career record, which includes a 169-98-36 (.617) mark and four straight playoff appearances since 2017-18.  He sits just two wins shy of tying Bob Hartley (193) as the winningest coach in Avalanche history.

Overall, Bednar's 191 wins trail only Michel Bergeron (265) and Hartley (193) in Quebec/Colorado franchise history.  Bednar’s 385 games coached are the most in Avalanche history and second in franchise history behind only Bergeron (634).

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Nathan MacKinnon Out With Lower-Body Injury

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Video- Gabriel Landeskog Suspended Two Games

Boarding

 

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Video- A Hearing Today For Gabriel Landeskog

 

Watch below.

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Avs Primed For A Cup Run

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

Nathan MacKinnon is intense. It has helped make him the player he is, one of the best in the NHL. Three times in the past four seasons, he has been a finalist for the Hart Trophy, which is awarded to the most valuable player in the League.

But coming off the Colorado Avalanche's loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Second Round, the center seems …

Relaxed? Happy?

"I think we just need to let it go and move on," MacKinnon said at the NHL/NHLPA Player Media Tour in Chicago last month.  "It's tough to play when you're angry for seven months. I'm in a good spot. I'm enjoying my life and excited for the season."

That mindset might be key for MacKinnon and the Avalanche as they shoot for the Stanley Cup again in 2021-22, starting with their regular-season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks at Ball Arena on Oct. 13 (10 p.m. ET; TNT).

"I think for us as a team, it's just remaining [even-keeled]," defenseman Cale Makar said at the Player Media Tour. "I think when something doesn't go our way, we just … we kind of need to make sure that we stay calm and keep that even keel. And even going into the season, obviously you're not going to win the Stanley Cup in game one or month one. It's just trusting that process."

continued

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Jared Bednar Needs To Get The Colorado Avalanche To The Next Step

from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar wants to do like Jon Cooper.

Bednar wants to go from the proverbial pressure cooker to a multiple Stanley Cup champion.

In 2018-19, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the President’s Trophy as the NHL’s regular-season champion before getting swept in the first round of the playoffs. Cooper, a sixth-year head coach at the time, was retained while many wanted him fired.

Cooper then led Tampa Bay to back-to-back championships.

“I’ve talked to Jon Cooper at length,” said Bednar, who is beginning his sixth season with the Avs.

In other words, Bednar has picked Cooper’s brain about how to get a championship-caliber team over the hump. He’s tried to understand what he could have done better to beat San Jose in Game 7 in 2019, beat Dallas in Game 7 in 2020 and avoid an 0-4 meltdown in June to lose to Vegas in six games.

Colorado, the 2021 President’s Trophy winner, has failed to get out of the second round of the playoffs for three consecutive years. And if it happens again — or the team falls apart in the regular season — Bednar realizes he will likely lose his job.

“No one’s going to put more pressure on me than I do, because I see how committed our guys are, how bad they want it,” he said from training camp.

continued

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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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