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AJ Haefele

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There was something my DNVR Avalanche Podcast co-host Nathan Rudolph said this week that has stuck with me all week. “Good teams don’t let themselves go on losing streaks.” It’s a simple premise, and one that’s obviously true, but 82 games in a regular season is a LOT. The Avs have already had one stretch this year where they went…...

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Every time a winning streak gets past about five games, you start wondering when it’s going to end. Could they do something historic and it last for weeks? Will it end tomorrow? Who will be the team to put their foot down on a supremely confident club? That answer came tonight when the Calgary Flames ended multiple six-game winning streaks…...

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The Avalanche toppled the Boston Bruins on Saturday evening in a 4-1 win that was Boston’s first regulation home loss of the season. The game-winning goal came in the second period when Ian Cole scored his first of the season. As always here in Avalanche Film Room, we wanted to breakdown exactly how the Cole goal came to be. It…...

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“A Stanley Cup preview.” There are a handful of teams that run into each other every year and the game gets billed as a potential preview of the Stanley Cup Finals. We all have a crystal ball and it’s never not hazy for us. Double negatives aside, this was nothing but positive for the Avalanche. Coming in with two wins…...

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Pierre Edouard Bellemare – B Bellemare is pretty consistent from night to night. He was again a solid cog in the middle of Colorado’s best depth line. He does a ton of little things well, especially offensively, that are easy to overlook but it’s no accident he’s in the middle of a line that cycles well. Tonight, that grit-and-grind mentality…...

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I’ll be honest. I don’t even really know where to start on this one. Every game is its own miniature story and tonight the story is really just one about a team that keeps winning. Just when it appeared they were getting close to 100%, Nazem Kadri was listed as out. We don’t really know what the injury is there…...

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Life comes at you fast. There is no place where this is truer than the world of sports, where a career’s accomplishments mean nothing on any given night and you allow yourself to believe in the possibility of seeing something you don’t expect. Such was the case tonight when the Avalanche made a stop in Toronto to take on the…...

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While I haven’t been covering the Avalanche for as long as some of my colleagues, this being my fifth year in action on the beat means I’ve been to several hundred games in that time and have been inside a few locker rooms. One of the things I notice the most about this year’s Avalanche team is the locker room.…...

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Division games are always statement games. Coming into today’s afternoon affair, Colorado had struggled with the teams in front of them in the Central Division but had taken care of its limited business against the teams chasing them. Following a 5-2 win against the lowly Chicago Blackhawks, the Avs move to 3-1 on the season against the teams currently in…...

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Ain’t nobody out there likes getting embarrassed. It’s a humiliating experience no matter how many people see it. But it’s especially humiliating when you do it on television in front of thousands of viewers. The last time the Avs and Oilers tangled, that’s exactly what happened to Colorado as they got bombarded in a 6-2 waxing that saw Connor McDavid…...

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“We have to play a full 60 minutes.” One of hockey’s most-repeated cliches is all about how teams have to play a full game in order to come out with the win. But the dirty secret is that it isn’t really true at all. Tonight was another example of that as the Toronto Maple Leafs played a very effective 18…...

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MINNEAPOLIS – It’s hard to be too upset when you finish a five-game road trip 3-2, but when the last loss comes against one the NHL’s worst teams, it stings a little. Of course, as bad as the Minnesota Wild have been on the road this year, they’ve been excellent at home. That continued tonight as they eeked out a…...

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MINNEAPOLIS – Every year in every sport, there’s a team whose grand offseason plans are cast aside by the cruelty of plain bad luck. Injuries are a natural part of competitive sports and every year they seem to hone in specifically on a small number of teams while otherwise leaving others alone. To start this year, the injury bug burrowed…

Let’s try this again. I tried writing about Colorado’s new guys and what a difference they were making this season but the end of the Vancouver game changed pretty drastically and I had to CTRL+A <—- that sucker so here we are again. With injuries to nearly half of Colorado’s regular forward corps, the Avs were once again carried by…...

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Sports justice is one of those things that sometimes you have to wait years for. As a Kansas basketball fan, nothing was more cathartic than watching the Jayhawks blow out their former head coach who had stabbed them in the back and left them in the lurch after the 2003 season. It was perfect sports karma but we had to…...

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Such is the nature of professional sports. Two nights ago, a fairy tale. Tonight, a nightmare. Fresh off a 40-save performance that doesn’t technically count as a shutout but absolutely should, Adam Werner never stood a chance tonight in Edmonton in a 6-2 loss against an Oilers team angry coming off a blowout loss and looking to get their mojo…...

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“Next man up.” One of the most reliable axioms across all sports is the idea that when injuries strike, whoever steps in as the replacement has to keep the ball rolling. Life is hard and there’s no time to feel sorry for yourself in pro sports when there’s always a tomorrow to be worried about. When Philipp Grubauer went down…...

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Colorado’s 4-2 win over Columbus was an entertaining hockey game full of highlights. The Avalanche came back from a 2-1 deficit period in the second period to earn their second straight home win. That deficit is where we begin with this edition of Avalanche Film Room. Trailing 2-1 halfway through the second period, Colorado was pinned in their own end.…...

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One of the things I love most about watching sports is when you see a player who, even at the highest level, does things other players simply cannot. We are into the seventh season of watching Nathan MacKinnon so it’s easy to take him for granted at times but he certainly stands out as one of the NHL’s bests.…...

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Entering tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators, the Avalanche had absolutely nothing going for them. Injuries to 25% of their forward corps and, as of today, their starting goaltender, had found a home in Colorado’s dressing room. They had lost five straight games, essentially giving back the gains they made with their league-leading hot start. And they were playing a…...

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