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Let’s start with the obvious here. When the NHL announced their GM of the Year candidates and Joe Sakic wasn’t on it but Jim Nill was, the credibility of the award went out the window. Sakic’s offseason consisted of taking chances on a myriad of guys to improve Colorado’s depth. Every move Sakic made worked out, including pulling Val Nichushkin…...

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As many of you are (painfully) aware, the Avs lost 5-4 to the Dallas Stars in Game 7 of the NHL’s second round Friday afternoon. After coming in as a heavy favorite, the team not only failed to end the series quickly but came up short in the end. How did a roster with so much promise, one that finished…...

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Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – C+ Simply put, the problem with Bellemare this series was that he was asked to do too much. As a fourth line center, he is fine. The struggle of Compher’s line this series forced him into the role of third line center, as he played more than JTC at even strength. He scored the big goal to…...

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In 2014, there was a deafening “ping” when Nino Niederreiter ended Colorado’s season with a Game 7 overtime winner. In Edmonton tonight, there was just silence. Dallas got a hat trick from Joel Kiviranta, including the series-winning goal in the first overtime period to end Colorado’s season in a 5-4 heartbreaker in Game 7. For Avs fans, the way the…...

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There are so many angles to Colorado’s 4-1 win in Game 6 that I could take here but I’d be lying if I tried to say the story was anything but Michael Hutchinson. It was one thing for him to get the surprise start in Game 5 and get the win. He was spotted five goals in a first period…...

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Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – A Heck of a game from Bellemare, who got the party started early in the first period and the Avs never looked back. Great play by him to one-time that across his body, and not let Bishop get set coming across. He was buzzing all night long. Andre Burakovsky – A That’s one way to stick around…...

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Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – D Bellemare’s line was fine at even strength in terms of numbers. His penalty kill work, however, was less than ideal, as he was out there for all three of Dallas’ power play goals. He even managed to toss in a penalty of his own. Andre Burakovsky – D Burky picked up a couple of assists on…...

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One of those hockey sayings you hear all the time is that you can’t win a game in the first period but you can certainly lose one. Tonight was the obvious night to apply that to as the Dallas Stars came out smelling blood with their 2-1 series lead and not wanting a repeat of Game 3 where they had…...

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On a day where the sports world largely pressed pause on itself beginning with the Milwaukee Bucks deciding not to play their postseason game and focus on issues back in Wisconsin, the NHL and its players largely decided to play on. “I don’t think I’d call those distractions,” Cale Makar said after the game when asked about his approach to…...

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Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – B- The Avs PK had some high-effort shifts, led in part by Bellemare with some key face-off wins and some diving clears to get the puck out and get a line change. Andre Burakovsky – A I loved everything about Burakovsky’s game. He was moving his feet, carrying the puck with confidence, and most importantly, letting the…...

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I don’t even know what to say. Colorado had complete control of Game 2. They were leading 2-0 and controlling play. They were in a rhythm and playing well. There was intensity, effort, everything you wanted after a team played a bad Game 1. One extremely weak slashing call on Sam Girard, followed seconds later by Corey Perry freely slashing…...

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Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – C- The fourth line was okay. They looked better with Nichushkin on it than it did with Namestnikov. Bellemare, unfortunately, lost the face-off right before the Pavelski power-play goal that changed the game. Andre Burakovsky – F Burakovsky is a shooter who had the most inopportune times refuses to shoot the puck. His pass to Compher in…...

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Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – D The fourth line was missing a big part of it today, and it showed. They failed to grind out anything offensively and Bellemare looked a little slow. As you’ll see with these grades, he certainly wasn’t alone… Andre Burakovsky – F Sloppy all over the place. The second line was a negative pretty much all evening,…...

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In sports, as in life, when things are going well, it’s easy to imagine all the ways in which that can turn and all your good vibes and fortune disappear. The fear is not knowing at which angle the universe will attack you. Enter the Avalanche, a team that entered Game 1 of their series against the Dallas Stars having…...

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The Arizona Coyotes represented the exact archetype that unconvinced Avalanche fans had come to worry about time and time again. They had a great goaltender, a low-scoring reputation and a gritty approach to the game. For years, the Avalanche were seen as the highly-skilled team that could get pushed around physically. Anytime a team punished them with consistent physicality, Colorado…...

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Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – A As far as back to back games from Bellemare, I don’ know if it gets any better. He was all over pucks again and had some big shot blocks on the penalty kill, especially the one at the end of the first. Nice to see that line get rewarded with a goal. Andre Burakovsky – B+…...

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“You got me all fired up, Calvy.” Sitting in the middle of the table at the postgame presser, Nathan MacKinnon added a little extra after Matt Calvert talked up MacKinnon’s one-sided fight with Christian Fischer in the third period of Colorado’s 7-1 decimation of the Arizona Coyotes. Why was MacKinnon fighting in a game that had already been decided? Because…...

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Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – A The fourth line was incredible. Consistent offensive zone time, and grinding away every shift. Bellemare, through two periods, wasn’t even on the ice for a shot attempt against at even strength. Just a great performance from him, including a backdoor setup to Graves in the first that hit iron. Andre Burakovsky – B- Burakovsky’s ice time…...

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The vast majority of games, there’s plenty of stuff for me to talk about. I can get into systems breakdowns and the different matchups that worked or didn’t work and all of the work that goes into line matching and the randomness of special teams on any given day. Today, though, Colorado lost their first game of the series 4-2…...

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It takes a village, right? While there are plenty of playoff heroics from the superstars who end up in the Hall of Fame, no team works their way through the gauntlet that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs without contributions from players further down in the lineup. Today was a perfect example of that as the Avalanche took a 2-0 series…...

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