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AJ Haefele

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I’ve been struggling with what to write about tonight’s Avalanche win over the Los Angeles Kings. You see, I went with the whole “goaltender steals the show” angle last night when the Avs beat the Anaheim Ducks, so it’s hard to go back to the well. The reality is, this was Darcy Kuemper’s game. Unlike last night in Anaheim, the…...

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As this Colorado Avalanche season has gone on, it’s been a lot of different ways of winning for the home squad here in Denver. Historically, teams will tell you that more is learned from the losses and those painful lessons can only be acquired by falling down and getting up. After winning the President’s Trophy last year as the NHL’s…...

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Darcy Kuemper – INC Never got a chance to really get into the game despite playing into the second period. He was doing okay even with the first goal against but then Greenway smoked him and the concussion protocol took place. Just hope he’s okay. Pavel Francouz – A It’s hard for a goalie to come in cold to a…...

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Darcy Kuemper – A+ He didn’t have a lot to do but he got his first shutout as an Av. Why even bother trying to nitpick this? Nicolas Aube-Kubel – C+ Did his job just fine but didn’t stand out in any kind of way. A solid night for NAK but just that. Andre Burakovsky – B+ Big steal led…...

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Pavel Francouz – B The truth here is that his play in regulation wasn’t great. Two of the goals that got by him had issues and the other my main problem was that he wasn’t even close. Then he was stellar at the end of regulation, in overtime, and locked it down in the shootout. What more can you ask…...

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Well, the Avs won again. Their home winning streak is now up to 13 after they won a more-exciting-than-expected shootout contest against the Arizona Coyotes to cap off a 4-3 win that had a little of everything in it. Special teams played a major role as Colorado’s atrocious penalty kill finally stepped up as the Avs killed off two minutes…...

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The NHL announced the rosters for this year’s NHL All-Star Game in Vegas in the first week of February. As expected, Nathan MacKinnon was named the captain of the Central Division as a result of the NHL’s All-Star Fan Vote. It will be MacKinnon’s fifth All-Star Game appearance and his third straight as the captain of the division. MacKinnon and…...

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There are lots of truths to be told after Colorado’s five-game winning streak came to an end tonight in Nashville in a 5-4 overtime loss. Let’s just start there and see where we end up. One of the truths is that the too-many-men penalty called on the Avalanche in the extra session appears to have no basis in reality. Also…...

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Pavel Francouz – B Another solid outing for Francouz, but the second goal was just downright bad. Against a team that is desperate for offense, giving them a freebie helped create a big hill to climb. Once the team in front of him climbed it, however, Francouz slammed the door shut with some great saves late. Nicolas Aube-Kubel – A+…...

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Darcy Kuemper – INC I certainly haven’t been easy on Kuemper this year but I don’t know how you can really look at any of those goals and say they were Kuemper’s fault. His pulling was more about changing the momentum in the game and trying to kickstart the team than anything else. I’m not bagging on Kuemper for this…...

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Darcy Kuemper – A Gave up just the one goal. The rest almost doesn’t even matter, right? You’re asking a goaltender to stop pucks and Kuemper stopped 34 of 35 shots. He appeared to get stronger as the game progressed and when the Jets tried to make it interesting in the third period with the Avs leading 4-1, he didn’t…...

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As Colorado’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks developed tonight, there were plenty of interesting storylines that seemed to take center stage for a time. First, the Avs jumped all over the Hawks and built a 2-0 lead after a dominant first period that could have been 3-0 without an excellent save from Marc-Andre Fleury to stonewall Tyson Jost on the…...

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The NHL announced the Colorado Avalanche season is now on pause until after the Christmas break. The announcement comes with the postponement of four Avalanche games: vs. Tampa Bay, at Detroit, at Boston and at Buffalo. Those games will have to be rescheduled to be made up at later dates. Colorado’s pause comes just a day after the Avs played…...

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Pavel Francouz – B This is a soft grade for Frankie given the goals that got by him weren’t of the highest caliber, but there was an own goal mixed in there and he played well enough to have them at 3-2 going into the final 10 minutes of the game. The PK continues to give up a ton of…...

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What the hell was that? A game was just played tonight in which 12 players between two teams (seven for Nashville, five for Colorado) were unable to participate due to positive COVID tests and a 13th, Jack Johnson, was held out of most of the first period as waited for test results. In addition to that, it ended up being…...

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Darcy Kuemper – B+ I said on the pod he was getting a B, but in retrospect I just thought he was too good tonight to crush him for the second goal. I hated the rebound and the extreme panic response that followed and took him out of contention for making the second save, but the rest of his game…...

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Darcy Kuemper – A This was absolutely what Colorado envisioned in the offseason trade to acquire Kuemper. The second goal was the all-too-familiar goal below his blocker where he’s repeatedly been beaten this season but none of them were laughers and he shut the door at the end…with a little assistance from Erik Johnson. Nicolas Aube-Kubel – C An interesting…...

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Darcy Kuemper – B Kind of weird game to grade. Kuemper’s best work came with the score out of hand, but it stayed there because of his best work. Of course, it only got close because of his worst work, which was that second Detroit goal that absolutely cannot happen. He’s just given up too many of those this year…...

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Nicolas Aube-Kubel – B He brought a physical presence, didn’t take a penalty, was fine in shot metrics and tallied an assist. Exactly what more could you be asking for from NAK? Darcy Kuemper – B- The first goal is off the skate of his own player, the second off his own face, and the third beat him cleanly but…...

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Nicolas Aube-Kubel – C- He was really amped up and it showed. That manifested in some good ways but also some bad with him taking another needless penalty, this one in the offensive zone, and it led to a goal against and helped Philadelphia briefly climb back into the game. Justus Annunen – C- Claude Giroux’s goals were bombs. The…...

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