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Category: Colorado-Avalanche

Open Post- Game 2 Of The Western Conference Final

Can Edmonton get some goaltending and can they stop the Colorado offense?

If not, they travel home down 0-2.

Darcy Kuemper won't play tonight for the Avs, Pavel Francouz starts in goal

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Video- Colorado Avalanche Take Game One Over The Edmonton Oilers

If you like goals, watch the 8-6 win.

If you like defense, move on.

 

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Open Post- Game 1 Of The Western Conference Final

This is your place to discuss the game tonight or anything NHL related.

Many expect a high scoring series and it should be an enjoyable one to watch featuring Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon.

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Ready For Some Offense?

from TSN,

The NHL's Western Conference Final begins Tuesday night in Denver as the Colorado Avalanche host the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1. 

This seven-game series will feature tremendous firepower, highlighted by arguably the two most exciting players in the game today in Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon. Not to mention the likes of Leon DraisaitlEvander KaneNazem KadriMikko Rantanen and Cale Makar

"It's going to be exciting," Avs general manager Joe Sakic told the media on Monday. "They got some world class players there. Two of the best in the game. So do we. Both teams have great depth up and down the lineup that have gotten contributions. I just think for the league, if you're a fan of the game you're going to enjoy this series." 

The stats give hockey fans plenty of reasons to be excited as well. 

For the first time in 34 years, and just the fifth time in history, a final-four matchup in the Stanley Cup playoffs will feature two teams with a goals-per-game average of 4.3 or higher. Colorado sits at 4.3 while the Oilers are scoring 4.33 goals per game this spring in the playoffs. 

This year's Western Final also marks the first time in Stanley Cup playoffs history that a series will feature the top four active skaters on the career playoff points-per-game list with a minimum of 30 games played. 

continued

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Joe Sakic Stuck With His Team

from Sean Keller of the Denver Post,

Roster’s too soft, man. Too fragile. Too pretty. The stuff that’s been chucked at Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic over the last 24 months, Ken Holland heard 16-17 years ago. In his sleep.

“There was talk, (with) the Red Wings at that time, that (we) were too European, were too small,” Holland, general manager of the Oilers and architect of those early-oughts Detroit rosters that the Front Range loved to hate, said on the eve of Tuesday’s Colorado-Edmonton Game 1. “(But) we believed in the team.”

Holland built squads that won the Stanley Cup in 1998 and 2002, then again in 2008....

Sakic stuck with Nazem Kadri, whose past playoff shenanigans made him a marked man by other teams, by other teams’ fans, and by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

Sakic stuck with Jared Bednar, even as the coach drove those talented rosters Super Joe had constructed the way a toddler drives while playing Mario Kart for the first time.

Even after the Avs somehow managed to land in playoff ditch after playoff ditch. Even as the whispers that Bednar was in over his head got louder with each passing, painful spring.

more

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From Both Sides- Colorado/St. Louis

from Sean Keeler of the Denver Post,

You don’t think the Stanley Cup is a bucket full of bonkers? It took a career Detroit Red Wing to finally end the Avalanche’s second-round playoff curse.

“You know, when I signed (here), there were friends I’d made that lived in Detroit that kind of gave me a little bit of (crud),” Helm, the Avs’ fourth-line center, cracked after his game-winning goal against St. Louis here Friday night sent Colorado to its first Stanley Cup conference final since 2002. “(But) they’re happy to see me here, winning, seeing the team (be) successful.”

With 5.6 seconds left in a 2-2 game, Helm, who’d signed with the Avs after 14 seasons with the (boo) Wings (hiss), cocked his stick back with both hands from the left face-off circle.

The lamp lit. Enterprise Center slumped.

continued

from Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

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The Colorado Avalanche Advance To The Western Conference Final

The Avalanche defeated the St. Louis Blues 3-2 to win the series 4-2.

Colorado will host the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, May 31st, then play every other night.  The first four games will start at 8pm ET and if more needed, the start time is TBD.

Give credit to the Blues who battled on every shift and left it all on the ice. St. Louis actually held a 2-1 lead with until the Avs tied it with 9:41 to play in the third period..  An enjoyable series to watch.

Colorado tying goal

 

GWG

 

added 10:58pm, longer vesion of Helm goal is below.

added 11:17pm, Handshakes and highlights are below.  added 11:22pm, Darren Helm post-game, watch below.

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From Both Sides- St. Louis Blues/Colorado Avalanche

from Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Inside a quiet elevator in a silenced arena, the doors opened to reveal the biggest Blues fan there is.

Tom Stillman, hockey-loving chairman of the Blues, stepped into a Ball Arena elevator to go down to ice level, where it had just happened.

It, of course, being the impossible.

“That was hard on the heart,” Stillman said. “But it showed the team has a lot of heart.”

Even before puck-drop, it was hard to believe the Blues would win this game. After their embarrassing showing in Game 4 at home, Game 5 at Ball Arena was supposed to be a Colorado coronation — finally, the Avs would return to the conference final for the first time since 2002.

Then consider that down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, the Blues were down 3-0 in Game 5’s second period.

It was over. This column would be an obituary.

contnued

Below find Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post and the game highlights.

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Nazem Kadri Has Received Threats Against Him

from Sportsnet,

The Colorado Avalanche say local law enforcement are working with the NHL team to investigate threats made to forward Nazem Kadri after Game 3 of a Western Conference semifinal against the host St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

"The Avalanche organization is aware of threats made toward Nazem Kadri and is working with local law enforcement to investigate," the team said in a statement on Sunday.

Kadri, while chasing a loose puck, bowled over Blues goalie Jordan Binnington in the first period.

The Blues announced Sunday that Binnington will miss the rest of the series with a lower-body injury.

continued

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Coach Needs To Coach

from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,

Is this series over? Far from it.

But am I calling out Bednar for not having his team ready to play, allowing the Avs to whiff at the chance to grab this series by the throat?

Abso-freakin-lutely.

Bednar is blessed with by far the most talented roster of any professional team in Denver. But the Avs couldn’t have played with less passion or less sense of purpose if they were coached by Uncle Vic Fangio. If the Broncos came out flat for a big game, the uproar in this town might cause Mt. Evans to crumble.

Is Bednar, who has never found a way to win more than one playoff series in any of his previous five seasons on the Colorado bench, coated in Teflon?

From the jump of Game 2, Colorado had none. When the most star-studded team in the NHL is so uninspired that center Nathan MacKinnon and the fellas looked as if they were skating in a Slurpee, whose fault is that?

read on

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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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