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AJ Haefele

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They don’t call them growing pains because they feel good. When the Avalanche last won a playoff series, Jose Theodore was backstopping them past the Minnesota Wild, who was were still in just their seventh season of existence. Nobody really knew at the time Colorado was on the verge of collapsing into irrelevance in the NHL for the next decade.…...

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From pumpkin to prince. A week ago, Mikko Rantanen was skating around on his own wearing an orange non-contact jersey and the world wondering whether or not he’d be healthy for the playoffs. The Avalanche had managed to clinch their postseason berth with Rantanen on the shelf after he suffered an undisclosed injury against the Dallas Stars on March 21.…...

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There were a lot of film room-worthy moments from last night’s 6-2 stomping over the Calgary Flames but the story of the night was Cale Makar in his NHL debut. There were a lot of nice plays from Makar throughout his near-15 minutes of ice time but let’s be honest here: the goal is what we’re all going to remember…...

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Sven Andrighetto (C) – This is a totally neutral grade because I don’t have an opinion on his game either way. He had a silly penalty early on but beyond that was relatively quiet throughout. It looked to me like Bednar used the early game to get some practice in for a potential 11-forward lineup. Tyson Barrie (B+) – He had an…...

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Fresh off the 48-point season the organization will never be able to forget, they watched in horror as their draft lottery luck was about as it bad as it could be, dropping from the well-earned first pick all the way to four. In the 2017 NHL Draft, that tumble seemed significant at the time. The class was considered weaker than…...

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Tyson Barrie (D) – The QB of a PP that wasn’t even competitive despite four bites at the apple. The guy who was so good at the end of the regular season needs to stick around if Colorado is going to compete in this series. Gabriel Bourque (C) – Outside of his scoring chance in the first period, I honestly don’t have…...

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For all the nitpicking done on how the Avalanche qualified for the playoffs, not much was really made along the way how Colorado lost two of their top three forwards to injury along the way. Even when they got Gabe Landeskog back, Mikko Rantanen went down and missed the final couple of weeks due to an undisclosed injury. Well, now…...

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Well, that sucked. Instead of re-hashing the events of last night, let’s just get to it. There will be no Hughes or Kakko in Colorado. Harsh, universe. 1. New Jersey Devils – Jack Hughes, C, USNTDP (USHL) The Devils have a heavy USA Hockey presence and they’re going to be all about adding to their center depth with Hughes. Nico…...

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It took 514 days but Avalanche fans woke up last week finally not giving a damn about the Ottawa Senators. A lot has happened in that time. Ottawa went from an expected playoff team to a league doormat and the Avalanche flipped the script on a 48-point season to consecutive playoff seasons. When Matt Duchene was finally (mercifully?) traded in…...

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Insistent on taking the easy way out, the Avalanche put their playoff hopes in the hands of their penalty kill in the final 1:26 of regulation last night. Tied 2-2 with the Winnipeg Jets, Colorado inexplicably had six skaters on the ice and were called for having too many men on the ice. In order to get to OT and…...

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Uncut audio from Colorado’s huge 3-2 overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets. The Avalanche clinched a playoff berth by getting to overtime and then won the second point simply because they could. Below is audio from a couple of the players after the game. First up is Erik Johnson, the longest tenured Av right now and a player who missed…...

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(x) Sven Andrighetto – Doesn’t matter. Made the playoffs! (x) Tyson Barrie – Doesn’t matter. Made the playoffs! (x) Gabriel Bourque – Doesn’t matter. Made the playoffs! (x) Derick Brassard –  Doesn’t matter. Made the playoffs! (x) Matt Calvert – Doesn’t matter. Made the playoffs! (x) Ian Cole – Doesn’t matter. Made the playoffs! (x) J.T. Compher – Doesn’t matter. Made the…

I’ve been blessed to have a unique look at the Colorado Avalanche the last three years. It seemed like a curse at first because I was the only media member to cover the 48-point Avalanche season from training camp through 82 regular season games. I remember those postgame locker rooms, especially in the second half of the season. This was…...

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Facing a must-win game on home ice against a floundering opponent that had just been eliminated from playoff contention 24 hours earlier, it was a familiar face who manned the net when the Avalanche took the ice tonight. Instead of starting Philipp Grubauer, arguably the hottest goaltender in the NHL over the last two weeks and the man responsible for…...

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Sven Andrighetto (B-) – I liked his game again tonight and thought he was one of the few guys who found a little space out there at times with his speed. I have no problems with him being the third shooter with Rantanen out and no clear-cut obvious choice to take that spot. He had Binnington beat, too, until the…...

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Superstars are made in all kinds of different ways. Connor McDavid fights the uphill battle to prove he’s actually human (he swears he is which is exactly what a hockey cyborg would say). P.K. Subban had so much personality his original team felt compelled to move on from him. If a superstar plays for the Florida Panthers, is he even…...

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Sven Andrighetto (B-) – I again thought Andrighetto was involved in a positive way and his speed caused problems for Arizona’s depth guys when they got matched up. I’d have preferred he got a shot off on his best scoring chance of the night but we all want things in life, I suppose. Tyson Barrie (C+) – I thought he was aggressive…...

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