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AJ Haefele

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We talked on the podcast this week about how Colorado can turn around this losing skid of theirs. It wasn’t a complicated formula. Don’t lose the special teams battle. Get saves. Win at even strength. We said two of those three would be sufficient to get Colorado over the hump and help them close out an opponent. In a 4-0…...

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Pierre Edouard Bellemare – C I think tonight was a pretty good example of who Bellemare has been most of his career. A solid NHL player with a very limited offensive ceiling and who helps in niche ways, one of which is faceoffs. He got crushed in the FO circle tonight and that’s not great. The rest, though, I think…...

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I don’t even know what to write about this game. I’ve been sitting here for several minutes just kind of lost in thought. It was all just so…familiar. Avs played well? Got an early lead? Check. Avs lost the special teams battle? Check. Avs had a lead going into the third period? Check. Avs blew it thanks to a combination…...

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60 minutes of hockey and the outcome can come down to something as small as one shift, one decision, one save made. Or in Colorado’s case, one save not made. Again. Entering another third period with a lead in front of their home crowd, the Avalanche once again found their way to a loss, this time 4-3 in overtime to…...

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There are losses and then there are losses. Even the best NHL teams lose around  30 games in a season but there are always a few that really stick out. When you have a 2-0 lead six minutes into the first period against a rookie goaltender making his NHL debut, you should be well on your way to securing two…...

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Let’s be real. We all saw this one coming, right? When the NHL schedule was released, we all could look at the Avalanche traveling to New York to take on the Islanders and Semyon Varlamov and expect the curse of the ex-Avs to kick in. Colorado has handled a few of their former players this year but skaters can be…...

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There’s always a chance after a big win against a main rival for the emotional letdown game. A team pours so much energy into beating the team its chasing in the standings and then goes on the road to take on a bottom-feeder. It happens all the time. Sometimes teams just don’t take the bad teams as seriously as they…...

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There’s a scene from “The Office” where main character and cliche-ruiner Michael Scott realizes he has the upper hand on his former employer and he starts a conversation by saying, “Well, well, well. How the turntables…” before trailing off and realizing he’s screwed up the phrase. That’s kind of what I imagined tonight when Nathan MacKinnon and Sam Girard had…...

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*Apologies for the delay on these game grades as there was an unexpected situation last night. Everyone is okay (now) but here you go! Pierre Edouard Bellemare – C Probably a little harsh because Bellemare certainly didn’t have a bad night but the Jets have mediocre depth and I really expected more from this line in this matchup and Bellemare…...

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Well, at least that one was a little bit different. Instead of using the home game on New Year’s Eve to springboard them into 2020 feeling good about life and on the winning track, the Avalanche went a different road in losing 7-4 to the Winnipeg Jets tonight. The real story of this game is Connor Hellebuyck. He was the…...

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1. The Avalanche host a playoff series this season This requires a few things right off the bat that have not been given in previous years: Colorado makes the postseason and they don’t just squeak in. The Avs are in a self-inflicted rut after losing leads in the third period of four of their last five games. On the flip…...

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Shootouts have become pretty rare in the Jared Bednar era and until tonight, the Avalanche had not participated in one all season. That obviously changed as they got themselves into quite a tangle with the Dallas Stars that did not ultimately go their way and they lost 3-2 in a game they once again held a lead in the third…...

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Blown leads are just a part of life in sports. But blowing leads in the third period of three straight home games? That’s a problem. For tonight, though, the way it all unfolded differed quite a bit from what happened in losses to Carolina and Chicago last week. In those games, Colorado was leading in the third period but took…...

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While the NHL goes to sleep for the Christmas break, halfway around the world a group of the world’s most talented under-20 men’s hockey players are gathered to fight for international bragging rights. The World Junior Championships are set to begin this week in the Czech Republic and the Avs are set to send four players to the competition. While…...

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LAS VEGAS – ‘Tis the season of ugly Christmas sweater wearing and as we all know, sometimes you wear the sweat and other times that sweater wears you. Coming into their final game before the Christmas break against the Vegas Golden Knights, the Avs were wearing a scarlet ‘L’ on their chest after taking two home losses that should have been…...

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Winning in the NHL is hard. It’s really hard when your best players moonlight as your worst for a night. We saw that play out tonight at Pepsi Center as Colorado snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in a classic come-from-ahead loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. I said on the podcast earlier this week that sweeping a divisional opponent…...

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Responding to adversity is one of those things that separates the good from the elite in the NHL. It’s why the Avalanche has been showered with positive accolades so far this season. Few teams have faced the kind of injury issues, especially to key players, like Colorado did early on and it shows. When Colorado lost to St. Louis two…...

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Regular seasons have 82 games in them but there are always a couple that stick out as particularly memorable. With the Avalanche walking into St. Louis and temporary bragging rights about who sits atop the Central Division on the line, tonight was destined to be one of those games. The Blues are the defending Stanley Cup champions and have been…...

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While the Avs certainly didn’t play their best tonight, they definitely played and when you have a game that counts in the standings, you just hope to walk out with the two points. That’s exactly what the Avs did tonight in a 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils in a game beset by lethargic play on the ice and…...

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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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