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AJ Haefele

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“If we want to win games, we’ve got to start strong. Right now we’re not doing that.” That was the first thing Cale Makar said to me following Colorado’s 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. It wasn’t that the Avs didn’t show up this time, like in their other two regulation losses against Anaheim and St. Louis where they never…...

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There are a few games every year where you just give away the game. In their 12th game of the season, the Avs finally had one of those nights. They pulled a point but in the locker room after their 4-3 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers, it was the one that got away they couldn’t stop thinking about. “Yeah,…...

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An 82-game regular season is never easy to navigate. A week after Mikko Rantanen pretzel’d himself into a lower-body injury that appears to be trending more towards short-term, the Avalanche rocked the hockey world this morning when they announced Gabe Landeskog was going to be out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. The Avs last played on Saturday night and…...

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Erik Johnson – D Sometimes guys have tough nights in the box score when they really didn’t do a lot to earn it. This is best represented by plus/minus and the way people try to use it to interpret how good or bad a player was during that game. Tonight, Johnson earned the negative two by playing key roles in…...

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When Lazlo Holmes went showed up and said “Let’s do that hockey”, one team in the Pepsi Center actually seemed to listen to him. And it wasn’t the Colorado Avalanche. Following a 6-1 destruction of the Vegas Golden Knights, the Avs returned home to the Pepsi Center for their first home game in two weeks and got beat up in…...

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You know sometimes you go into matchmaking with a group of friends and you get into a game where the opposing team is a bunch of randos who have never played together before? That was kind of the video game equivalent of the Avalanche annihilating Vegas today. The 6-1 Avalanche win comes on Nevada Day, a holiday nobody outside of…...

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In sports, as in life, adversity is never far away, always closer than the horizon would suggest. In a 7-0-1 start, Colorado handled a little adversity well and certainly had their share of luck along the way. All of that ran out tonight in a classic house of horrors for them as they lost 3-1 to the St. Louis Blues.…...

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Coming in on the second night of a back to back (SEGABABA) against a rested team, this was the old “scheduled loss” for the Avalanche in Tampa Bay. Instead, Tyson Jost turned into his own personal breakout as Colorado exacted a little revenge for a loss that started a dark period of the season last year for the Avs. Colorado…...

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It was a pretty wild one in Sunrise, Florida tonight as the Avalanche kept their hot start going with a 5-4 overtime win against the Panthers. Nathan MacKinnon won it in OT on a wrist shot that beat Sergei Bobrovsky. It was the only point Colorado’s top line scored all game. That’s because Joonas Donskoi (1 g, 2 a) and…...

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Erik Johnson – C- Johnson’s turnover trying to fire a puck through traffic in the neutral zone directly led to the second Pittsburgh goal and that continues to be a problem that plagues him. There were some good moments from him, though, just not enough to make up for his big mistake of the evening. Cale Makar – B I…...

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Every game tells its own story and through the first five games of the season, the story came down to finishing. After going 5-0 and not trailing in a third period all season, the Avalanche found themselves in a new situation. How teams respond to adversity and what they look like when trailing changes from year to year and having…...

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The Avs certainly weren’t perfect in their 4-2 win over Boston but a win is a win and the guys were plenty pleased after the game to take the W. First up, the man with the game-winning goal, Andre Burakovsky. Next, the stonewall on the back end, the man Cale Makar called “the backbone of the team,” Philipp Grubauer And…...

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During Colorado’s long wait between games two and three, the seasons managed to change from fall to winter and back to fall. Colorado, eh? As the Avs sat around waiting for their next victim, the NHL continued on. In Vancouver last night, highly-touted defenseman Quinn Hughes finally scored his first NHL goal in his eighth NHL game. The Canucks announcers…...

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Gabriel Landeskog – A Landeskog is already on the familiar PPG pace he set last season. Tonight, he got the game-winner by standing backdoor and letting Rantanen find him with a great pass. That top line has picked up where it left off last year. Nathan MacKinnon – A- Kind of? MacKinnon had two assists but seemed a little more…...

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Nathan MacKinnon is a superstar. Mikko Rantanen is right behind him. The world seemingly expects Cale Makar to cure cancer in between shifts. It can be easy to forget the steady presence of Gabe Landeskog, who plays third banana on the league’s most dominant top line. It’s a new year but the same old captain for the Avalanche as he…...

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The Avalanche are riding pretty high after winning their season-opener 5-3 over the Calgary Flames. Below is postgame audio from a club that believes it has big things ahead of it. Conor Timmins on his NHL debut: Mikko Rantanen on his two-goal night: Cale Makar: Joonas Donskoi:...

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Preseason nothin’. As Colorado got off to the kind of start it wanted with a 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames, it was the player who did not play for the Avalanche in the preseason that drove the bus. Mikko Rantanen, who agreed to a six-year contract during Colorado’s final preseason game last weekend, reminded everyone except a couple of nerd…...

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The Avalanche knows what’s coming. They remember how they felt playing Nashville the first time last year. The sting of a playoff loss carries one through the summer. Instead of facing the team that eliminated them, Colorado is on the other side of the coin as they welcome in the Calgary Flames for their season-opening game. “There’s gonna be some…...

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The nightmare for Avalanche fans is over. Mikko Rantanen has agreed to a six-year contract worth $55.5 million in total, $9.25M per year. The contract ensures Colorado gets a very fair price on their star right wing through the bulk of his prime as it is set to expire when he is 28. The 22-year-old Rantanen is coming off maybe…...

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It was only a mild surprise when the Avalanche sent Bowen Byram back to the WHL for the season. After drafting him fourth overall, general manager Joe Sakic said Byram would get every opportunity to stick. That Byram played in two of three games in Irvine in the Anaheim Rookie Faceoff and then four of Colorado’s first five preseason games…...

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