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AJ Haefele

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With no crowd on hand to constantly urge players to shoot every time they touch the puck, the Avalanche seemed to use their final round-robin game against Vegas to practice their passing. Or, overpassing, as the case might have been. “Yeah,” Nathan MacKinnon said after being asked during his postgame presser if the Avs should have shot the puck more.…...

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There are lots of ways I could start this postgame piece off. Puns, alliteration, dramatic flair, making fun of Texas (a Colorado favorite). Instead, let’s just be real about what we saw on the ice Wednesday in Edmonton. That was an ass-kicking. The Avs took the last vestiges of shine off the Dallas Stars on Wednesday evening in a 4-0…...

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It’s hard to say in a season where the Colorado Avalanche finished with 92 points in just 70 games (a 107-point pace across an 82-game season) and led the NHL with 24 road wins that they left many demons behind. Enter the Dallas Stars, however, and you have the only real pockmark on Colorado’s year. The Stars finished 4-0-0 against…...

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Welcome back, hockey! And I don’t mean that weird exhibition game against Minnesota that was like snacking on kettle chips while waiting for Thanksgiving dinner to finally hit the table. This was the real thing. Hockey that meant something, that actually counted. The Avs used all 59 minutes and 59.9 seconds available to them to top the St. Louis Blues…...

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“The puck stops here.” That’s the quote, right? No? Well for our purposes here today we’re going to pretend it is as we look at our final position preview before the Avalanche play their first round-robin game this afternoon against the St. Louis Blues. We’re looking at the goaltenders, of which the Avs have two who had solid (or better)…...

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There’s almost nothing in hockey more romanticized than the fourth line. Made up of a healthy mixture of youth and experience, the same barrier is true for almost all guys on the fourth line: they simply aren’t good enough to play higher in the lineup. Because of this, you typically find defensive specialists on fourth lines around the league as…...

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Yesterday, we looked at “The New Guys” and how they’ve helped change Colorado’s roster at the top. Today, we’re going to look at everyone’s favorite players, “The Glue Guys.” No Stanley Cup has ever been won without the heart, grit, and lovable determination of the guys who go hard every shift of every game, even if they aren’t the most…...

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Player grades from Colorado’s 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. Andre Burakovsky – C He didn’t do a whole lot in this one. Playing next to MacKinnon and Rantanen, he’ll need to be more impactful moving forward. It wasn’t bad at all, just not quite enough. We’ve seen a lot more from him and the Avs will need it. Cale…...

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After falling short last year in seven grueling games to the San Jose Sharks, Colorado’s front office knew it had the high-end talent to make trips to the second round a regular occurrence. It also knew it lacked the kind of depth needed to get beyond that point. Insert an aggressive offseason plan that saw Colorado add talent up front…...

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The NHL announced all of the 31-player rosters at the same time on Sunday afternoon and Colorado’s featured a couple of small surprises. The breakdown of Colorado’s roster resulted in 17 forwards, 11 defensemen, and three goaltenders. The only forward cut from Colorado’s training camp was the minor surprise of the day as Vladislav Kamenev will not join the team…...

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If I wandered around the Denver metro area knocking on front doors and asking if people were familiar with Nathan MacKinnon, chances are I’d get a decent amount of “yes” responses but still enough “no” answers to make me feel inadequate at my job. If I surveyed the casual hockey landscape, however, I wouldn’t find anybody who isn’t familiar with…...

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One of the great advantages of this weird playoff restart following a four-month shutdown is the expanded rosters teams are taking to their bubble cities. While Conor Timmins certainly would have benefitted plenty from whatever playoff run a very good Colorado Eagles team was set to make, him tagging along with the Avs in their quest for the Stanley Cup…...

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Ahhh, yes, the time for another Tyson Jost conversation. This seemed inevitable when Jost opened Avalanche training camp as the 13th forward and hasn’t really moved up in the lineup in the week since the team first hit the ice. He’s moved around some but has consistently hung around on what you’d consider the “fifth” line, or the top healthy…...

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Ever since the Avalanche returned to the ice last week, we’ve talked about the need for intensity to ramp up and reach a level fit for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Apparently Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar agreed. Just before beginning a structured five-on-five drill, Bednar stopped the practice the unleash a verbal tirade directed at his team. He loved the…...

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When I went on the podcast this week and said I wasn’t worried about any of the teams out west being able to beat Colorado, I figured I was just getting the hype train prepped for what will surely be a fun playoff experience regardless of the outcome. What I wasn’t expecting was the hype train to be just as,…...

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One of the many things that make hockey great is the opportunity to show what you’re made of. Teams regularly play 12 forwards and six defensemen every night, meaning players are competing for roles among a handful of specific jobs. But not goaltenders. At any given time, there’s just one man standing in net as the last line of defense…...

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Training camps open up across the NHL tomorrow morning and with that, the Avs released their full roster of participants. The 34-player roster has some interesting names included that will lead to an interesting two weeks of battling for spots in the pecking order when injuries inevitably hit during the postseason. The Avs are slated to leave for the “bubble”…...

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After what felt like an eternity of haggling over the details, the NHL and NHLPA have agreed on basic terms of a CBA extension as well as putting the finishing touches on the plan to Return to Play. Let’s start there as it is the most immediately relevant information. Return to Play The agreement on hub cities took several twists…...

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The NHL held Phase One of the NHL Draft lottery last Friday and the results were predictably hilarious as last-place Detroit followed in Colorado’s footsteps and tumbled all the way down from the first pick to the fourth pick. The real surprise of the event, however, was not Los Angeles getting the second pick or Ottawa landing at pick three,…...

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